The legendary Big Star was to be celebrated at SXSW this year. A panel was planned on the band and its influence, as well as a closing set at Antone's on Saturday. So it was a mighty big blow felt by everyone attending when news started circulating Wednesday of Alex Chilton's death. What was to be a performance by Big Star became a tribute to Chilton, with various singers slated to "borrow" Chilton's mic.
I've got photos forthcoming of it all, but it was widely agreed upon by those who attended that Sondre Lerche's performance of "The Ballad of El Goodo" was definitely one of the evening's highlights. Lerche's serene and moving voice was the right fit and brought the song, and everyone listening, to a whole new level.
The video below is of Big Star/Poisies guitarist Jon Auer rehearsing beforehand...
and of the performance at the tribute. I really wish you all could have been there, video doesn't come close to capturing the beauty of Lerche's sound. It was truly something special.
(Erica Bruce is a local DC writer and photographer for Between Love and Like.)