Back in September, I was still very much unemployed, and thus, hopelessly poor. Unfortunately, I thought that would induce a musical dry spell: I just couldn’t imagine being able to afford any shows whatsoever. Then I realized how easy it is to find really great free concerts here.
Probably the best of said concerts that I’ve been to thus far was a recording organized by Arte, a Franco-German TV network. Essentially, Arte was filming a showcase performance with The Hives, MGMT, Junip, along with a number of other bands, and they needed an audience for their broadcast footage. Lucky us! Of course I was stoked to see MGMT and Junip (particularly since it was at no cost to me), but I ended up being really pleased with a couple of the other smaller bands that they featured, one of which was Abby.
For some reason, their name left something to be desired so I wasn’t expecting much of anything. (In case you’re wondering, I also most definitely judge books by their covers.) But they started their set and their cello player was already drawing me in: it looked as if he could hardly contain his energy, he was radiating. He jumped around the stage, doing everything from beatboxing flute to emphatically pounding on the drummer’s high hat. I haven’t seen a performance that charged in a long while. The musicians’ commitment to their craft was really refreshing; I could tell that they had really worked on and rehearsed their live show, but I knew they sure as hell weren’t just going to phone it in.
They’ve garnered quite a following here in Germany, but have also managed to break onto the international scene, landing a song on the soundtrack of the most recent Hunger Games movie and scoring a spot at the music festival of all music festivals, SXSW. So if you’re into danceable electroacoustic-y music with great hooks, make sure to give these guys a listen.