Words by Brian Everett (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Photography by Marshall Tidrick (marshalltidrick.com)
Last night Seryn took the indoor stage at Stubb’s before a warm audience seemingly unfazed by their collective ACL-Fest hangovers. “You guys set the bar for culture in this state, and we miss home,” exclaimed lead singer Trenton Wheeler--the band undeniably excited to perform in one of their favorite cities. Seryn is currently in the middle of their second Texas swing of 2015, and this was their 66th (!!!) show this calendar year.
The band has seen quite a bit of change over the last several years, including multiple lineup shifts since releasing This Is Where We Are, in 2011. They also packed their bags and left their hometown of Denton, Texas for Nashville back in 2013. Seryn released their second album, Shadow Shows, this past February and has apparently hit their stride as a four piece ensemble consisting of Trenton Wheeler (vocals + ukulele), Nathan Allen (guitar + vocals), Aaron Stoner (bass + vocals) and Jordan Rochefort (drums).
The band immediately grabbed the audience’s attention as they intimately built the track “River Song” from This Is Where We Are. The song was originally recorded when Seryn was a six-piece, acoustic-folk band. Now as a four piece folk-rock band, the song was sung with clearer intention, and this version seemed to better showcase the immense vocal talents of Mr. Wheeler, with harmonies provided by Allen and Stoner.
Seryn then leaped into several tracks from Shadow Shows, including the single “Ivory Black.” The tour-hardened band played each of these tunes at maximum velocity. It was abundantly clear that Seryn has found their groove as a stripped-down, yet more cohesive version of its previous self.
The band wasn’t about to let its long-time fans go home empty handed and closed their energizing set with the crowd favorite “We Will All Be Changed,” an impeccable cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” and the ultimate show stopper, “Beach Song.” As the final song ended, not a single person in the crowd was void of a smile on their face--their ACL hangovers obviously cured.
Whether because of a new lineup, different arrangements of their tunes or new material, those who have seen Seryn before would likely agree that each show brings something new to the table. This one was no different. The current cast put on a flawless performance and reunited their Texas fan base with the lush, dynamic music they have come to love from Seryn.
Austin’s own Taylor & the Wild Now kicked off the night with their contagious brand of big beat indie/soul which perfectly set the stage for the events that followed. Taylor Baker (vocals + guitar) and Drew Walker (guitar + horns) have been playing together since they met at Local Natives show at SxSW in 2013, and last night was only their second show with a full band. Taylor & the Wild Now has a single release party at Scoot Inn on December 3rd and will release their second EP early next year.