SXSW FRIDAY DISPATCH: WAX IDOLS AT GYPSY LOUNGE
The Gypsy Lounge has all the staples of an east side Austin venue. Its dimly lit indoor bar is matched with worn wooden floors and a dash of oxblood paint. Outdoors, a sprawling patio with large staging, picnic bench seating and vanity games like Skee-Ball play host for larger draw acts.
Though the Friday night Castle Face Records showcase was built around banner act Thee Oh Sees, a hard working but disappointing act Wax Idols drew attention on the indoor stage.
The all-female group, led by a hybrid Karen-O and Wendy O. Williams impersonator Hether Fortune, was irritated from the start. Challenged by inconsistent sound checks and pressing festival time constraints, Wax Idols bit their lips, snarled and took to tearing through their notable garage rock noise. The group would be plagued by incoherent vocals for the entirety of their set.
Fortune invoked much flair and personality, though the rest of the band mirrored the stiff floors underfoot. Fortune even swatted at Wax Idol’s second guitarist during the set, correcting her approach.
When the voice came over the monitor advising the ladies they had time for one more song before needing to clear out, Fortune couldn’t hide her frustrations. As Wax Idols finished their final song, Fortune made an awkward dash off the stage, part half-hearted crowd surf attempt, part flat-footed stumble, resulting in Fortune alone on the floor.
Much of the beauty of SXSW is the condolence that there is always another opportunity for a show tomorrow. Wax Idols will surely look to reinstate their stage name Saturday.