Sometimes you have your way with SXSW, most times it has its way with you. The third round of this year’s festival battered me senseless as my 15-hour music marathon ranged from ‘80s icons to Iranian metal to Taylor Hanson (yes, that Hanson). Oh, and it ended with an illegal 3am hardcore show on a bridge followed by a hipster dance party in a former cabinet factory behind our hotel.
Then I hit my most anticipated show of the festival, Tinted Windows, a supergroup comprised of members of Smashing Pumpkins, Cheap Trick and Fountains of Wayne and fronted by none other than, in his own words, “Taylor F—king Hanson.”
The man who introduced them said it was no joke and their power pop sound was indeed ace, with Hanson’s vocals nicely roughed up from his “MmmBop” days. As a colleague noted, he slithered like a young Scott Weiland and while it would be easy to dismiss them as another Velvet Revolver, Tinted Windows have some wonderfully catchy songs.
The age difference, and guitarist James Iha’s epic indifference, may prevent this from becoming an ongoing concern for long, but it should be a great album and help restore Taylor Hanson’s unfairly tarnished credibility. The kid can wail.