By Marlene Núñez
Once again, Robert Schwartzman of Rooney, hailing from Los Angeles, blew me away. Their show at the Barracuda in Austin, TX was everything I expected from a Rooney show. This was not my first time seeing them live; I initially saw them when they played a set at Float Fest over the summer.
The smaller venue allowed it to be a more personal show. It’s a different experience because it’s easier to close your eyes and imagine that you’re not merely at a concert, but you are being serenaded by Rooney on a Wednesday night; especially if you’re standing front row, as I was.
The openers, Swimming with Bears and Royal Teeth, did a great job of pumping up the crowd. Their sound was upbeat and playful which complimented Rooney’s sound well. I danced all throughout their sets, but I saved all of my best moves for Rooney.
Once Rooney hopped on stage, they opened with their song “Blueside”, a classic from their self-titled album, while announcing we were about to travel back to the year 2003. In the middle of the set, Robert declared he was excited to kick start his tour in the best city for live music – Austin. Every time he played another song, the crowded cheered and sung along passionately. The band gave a good mix of old songs and new material from their most recently released record, Washed Away. Their older tunes carry a 70’s vibe similar to The Hollies, and their new music touches on a modern alternative style. He threw in a personal favorite song, “Why ft. Soko”, a keyboard-heavy jam in the middle of the set. At the end of the last song, “When Did Your Heart Go Missing?”, he gave me his guitar pick, a token that will commemorate this show. After he got off stage, he began greeting fans to take photos and sign autographs, myself included.
Besides Rooney, Robert dabbles in other side projects that I also appreciate. The versatile artist’s music is also featured on the soundtrack of the movie, Palo Alto. He has also ventured into other artistic fields throughout his career such as acting and directing.
Overall, the show and attendees were filled with contagious energy. I definitely recommend seeing Rooney perform live and up close. This new record is available now and jammed packed with songs soon to be your new favorites.