Austin 101 Magazine

Kaleo Rocked at Rare Hometown Austin Show

It was a rare and special night in the ATX for our boys, Kaleo. The best friends moved here from Iceland a few short years ago and have blown up so much that we’re lucky to catch them around town these days. They hit everyone’s playlist in 2015 with winner, “Way Down We Go” and global success of their 2016 breakthrough album, “A/B” – which went on to be certified Gold. As if they needed it, they opened for a small band- The Rolling Stones this year and that sealed it. Not bad for some 29-year olds.

2019-12-19_Kaleo-7(by Diego Donamaria)

It was a cold night in December so the crowd was a tad calmer than usual. The intimate ACL Live venue is the perfect place for this show. The recently formed ex-KGSR, now ACL Radio ‘Starry Night’ concert was hosted by our very own Andy Langer and had great openers Devon Gilfillian and Adam Melchor.

2019-12-19_Kaleo-9Frontman JJ Julius Son, set the tone with his black leather pants, red jacket, boots, and rockabilly guitar (and later a santa hat). His voice is haunting and unique. Backed by great bassist- Daniel Kristjánsson, drummer- Davíð Antonsson, guitar-Rubin Pollock. They skillfully switch genres, often sounding a bit Americana or indie and other times, a glimpse of serious rock n’ roll reminiscent of The Black Keys and the likes. Those who only know their big hits like ‘Way Down We Go’ (a slow, ghostly vibe) were probably surprised to hear the high energy rock songs. They also have a unique sound with the guitars including acoustic/resonator. A little harmonica and bongos adds to their truly interesting sound.2019-12-19_Kaleo-11Although short with only a one-song encore, die-hard fans loved the show. The set list was jam-packed with a mix of slow and deep vibes and hard core, high-energy head bangin’. The crowd was slanted on the young side and we had a blast watching 3 teenage boys direct center in the front row- rockin’ out hard and getting attention from the band. A memorable night for these kids who will now be on a music-loving path throughout their lives-who knows, maybe they’ll be rockstars one day. There were several Iceland soccer scarves waving in the air during the set- groupies that follow the band? Probably just happy locals.

Word is that JJ is in the studio working on a 2020 release-we can’t wait.

Check out all our photos from the show: Austin 101

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