Best of SXSW 2016: Steve ‘N’ Seagulls
It’d be easy to see the tongue-in-cheek name Steve ‘N’ Seagulls, and to learn they’re a band who plays bluegrass covers of classic metal songs (and they’re from Finland, no less!), and simply write them off as a gimmick. You may’ve even seen their video of Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper” and declared them a one-trick pony.
Boy, would you ever be fucking wrong on both counts. COMPLETELY, entirely, totally, undeniably wrong.
I admit, even I was a skeptic: the guys have talent, no doubt, but could they sustain their shtick over the course of an hour-long show and keep the audience engaged? Absolutely.
At Metal Injection’s Official SXSW showcase the night of March 18th at The Dirty Dog, Steve N’ Seagulls tore through their patented covers of classics such as “Seek and Destroy,” “Holy Diver,” “Run to the Hills” and “Paradise City” to rapturous applause. Not only was the band flawless — the sound pristine thanks to their inherently stripped down approach, everyone locked in and tight — but they seemed only to heat up as the evening went on. The audience drew closer and closer to the stage as Steve N’ Seagulls worked through their repertoire, which says a lot given their 1am set time towards the end of a typically drunken and uproarious week of SXSW, resulting in full-room singalongs by night’s end. Beers, whiskeys and fists were all raised in unison, and a bad time was had by absolutely no one.
Check out the below video of the band performing “Paradise City” on the streets of Austin earlier that day. It’s just a taste of what the full show had, with all the street noise in the background, but it still sounds fantastic — those vocal harmonies! — and gives you a taste.