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Saturday, September 23, 2023


She & Him persevere for fans

She and Him kept audiences warm during their performance at this year’s South By Southwest event. | Courtesy of Merge Records

Despite the chilling winds Canada sent to Austin on Saturday, fans gathered in great numbers to watch the charming Los Angeles based folk duo, She & Him.

Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward brought one of the biggest crowds to the biggest stage at SXSW: the Auditorium Shores. Auditorium shores, just across the First Street Bridge, gave the concertgoers a beautiful view of Austin’s skyline as the background.

On stage, M. Ward, being a folk powerhouse in the particular genre of music, played it cool. Meanwhile, perhaps one of America’s vintage sweethearts, Deschanel sang sweet melodies that took the audience back to a time when dancing under a Blue Moon was indeed romantic, and desperately wanting to hold your hand was a longing to every young person in love. And when a jacket just wasn’t enough to stay warm, fans were perfectly fine with being shoulder to shoulder with complete strangers.

“It’s so cold. Everyone just hug. Hug each other,” said Deschanel, as if that didn’t make every fan love her even more and no longer care about the long-set change, nor the near-freezing weather.

As the first song was played, a wave of singing and dancing swept over the crowd keeping us enveloped till the bitter end.

Giving the crowd much of what they wanted while simultaneously dealing with technical difficulties proved only child’s play to She & Him. Opening with “Black Hole,” from their critically acclaimed first album Volume one, got the crowd ready for just the right amount of hits that sounded. Some of these included “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here” and a beautiful spotlight performance of “Sentimental Heart,” where the multitalented Deschanel played the keyboard.

The rest of the set gave not just a taste but a whole platter of songs from their highly anticipated follow-up album Volume two, including their first available single “In the Sun” and a superb cover of the NRBQ’s “Ridin’ In My Car.”

And such as life the show was put to a halt. But as any concertgoer knows, life doesn’t give encores.

She & Him put on a grand finale with “Sweet Darlin.”

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