I'd spent most of my week on or near E. Sixth St., as it's the hub of SXSW music action. But for the last show of the evening, I had to book it to W. 6th St and Rio Grande (also known as the intersection of "Oh My Gosh" and "You've Got To Be Kidding Me"). It's the only set I had to run to catch, but it was worth it, because I'm still humming Givers tunes twelve hours later.
Givers is a band of five far-too-young-looking boys and a girl from Lafayette, La. They employ acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, drums, electronic beats, ukelele, flute, synthesizers, a secondary drum set and more enthusiasm than I've ever witnessed in a show to make their songs. Some bands have standing as their basic position, with some passionate modification to jumping. Givers has jumping as their standard position, with standing when absolutely necessary.
Seriously, it was harder to tell whether the band or the audience was more excited that Givers was playing. The band's calypso-inspired bubbly indie-pop tunes careened off the walls of the venue, whipping the audience into a fervor. (I always worry when people start pogoing at upstairs venues. I'm afraid it's going to collapse. Thankfully, it did not.) The dual female and male vocals created exuberant harmonies, which the audience ate up. When the girl put down her ukelele and started mashing her half drum set, the room could barely get more electric.
Lots of bands are capable of whipping people into a frenzy, but to do with it technically difficult but incredibly appealing music is something that not many bands can do. Each of the members of Givers were excellent at their instruments, making things that other bands would have played simply even better by embellishing them with unique flourishes. The bass player is to be especially commended in this regard.
All in all, I left Givers' set in a far better mood than I went in, and that's after a full, tiring day of walking all over Austin. And was still humming "I Saw You First" when I woke up. Awesome. You will hear more from Givers; their album comes out later this year. You must buy it, if you like happiness. I'm not even kidding. It's that good. I don't care what genre you usually listen to.