Live Review: Calexico, Augie March

7 March 2016 | 1:40 pm | Danielle O'Donohue

"Calexico is a melting pot of arid guitars, warm Latin brass and sizzling hot stage presence."

More Calexico More Calexico

Hailing from Tucson, Arizona, barely an hour's drive from the Mexican border, Calexico is a melting pot of arid guitars, warm Latin brass and sizzling hot stage presence. On record the band tends to sound darker and more bittersweet, but in person, this travelling band knows just what it takes to get your hips shaking and your feet moving, Sunday night be damned.

Support act, Augie March, trade in a similarly expansive brand of indie-rock, sans the Tex-Mex spice. Unfortunately the temporary Big Top set up in the Domain, essentially a hot, cavernous tent set up for the Spectrum Now festival, doesn't really do their sound any favours. The mix is a little too muddy to really let Augie March take flight — though early single There Is No Such Place cuts through, benefitting from its stripped back arrangement, singer Glenn Richards' voice pairing beautifully with his acoustic guitar.

Calexico don't seem to be plagued by the same sound issues. Instead they quickly settle into their lively set mixing fiery instrumentals with blissed-out guitar-rock. There is even a horn-soaked cover of Love's Alone Again Or.

Though Calexico at its heart started out as just Joey Burns and John Convertino, the musicians that round out this band also give it a lot of soul. Trumpet player Jacob Valenzuela often steps forward to provide a vocal counterpoint to Burns, and there is a continuous parade of new instruments brought out to add more flavour to the mix.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

Digging into a back catalogue that stretches over 20 years, Calexico's early favourites such as Crystal Frontier sit alongside When The Angels Played and World Undone, both songs from latest album Edge Of The Sun.

By focusing on the more up-tempo, danceable elements in their live show, Calexico make it worth getting off the couch, even on a school night.