The party never stops, except when it does, and even then it kind of keeps going.
I’m talking about Cut Copy’s Saturday set at Austin City Limits Music Festival, a constantly escalating disco-rock fever full of crystalline sounds and some guys who look like they work in accounting. Not to linger too long on the Australian band’s look — best described as “your neighbor who drives a Civic wandered into a Depeche Mode concert” — of Dan Whitford and gang. However, I kept wondering when the singer was gonna break out into a “Schoolhouse Rock” number.
No, but really, the look matters! The clattering, whizzing, propulsive lead-in to “Need You Now,” the laser torpedo/midnight movie vibes of “Future,” the Eurotrash bacchanal of “Free Your Mind”: It all seems more fun when it’s approachable. Some of the lyrics are groaners (“You’ve gotta reach the sky if you want your light to shine,” OK cool, will do) but a few hundred bobbing heads can’t be wrong.
That’s why it was a darn shame that Cut Copy went all the way up to 7 p.m. and had their sound unceremoniously cut off. In the middle of “Lights and Music,” no less. That’s the song you’d want to hear if you came to see Cut Copy, said the guy who got it as a free iTunes download his freshman year of college.
Not that the band minded much, because they kept right on playing. For a band dominated by synthesizers, that’s … it’s a choice, kids.
The reason became clear soon enough. ACL had lined up a skydiving tribute to Tom Petty around 7 p.m. If you’re going to have the power pulled, there’s not a better reason to be found.