“Who wants to be glittered?” singer Joseph Caceres asks the enthralled and sweat-soaked crowd before applying sparkly eye shadow to the faces of willing recipients. XRY (prounounced “cry”) is San Antonio’s newest and perhaps only addition to the burgeoning indie-electronica scene. Consisting of just two members, the duo of musical savants Caceres and bassist Joe Vega, both formerly of local favorites Reader and Scholars and Thieves, have created a sound immeasurably different from anything we’ve heard in San Antonio.
Within milliseconds of opener “Cream,” the audience rips apart a pillow left over from an earlier performance, filling the Ten Eleven with feathers and fluff. Playing on the floor in an effort to stimulate crowd interaction, Caceres lunges and collides with the front line of spectators. Audience members immediately grasp at the derelict microphone in front of Vega. The animalistic tribal feel of “Summertime Hearts” creates a rave-like atmosphere, with audience members lurching and gyrating in unison. Caceres commands listeners, “For Christ’s sake … shake, shake, shake.” The crowd heeds the call, shifting into a musically intoxicated stupor — a few acid tabs and a fixed-gear bike shy of hipster Woodstock.
During “Tears,” Caceres adopts a spoken-word approach interspersed with short, sharp screams. This gives him the opportunity to abandon the mic and flesh out the melody on his synth. The sound is something akin to 808s and Heartbreak recorded by the Scissor Sisters. The sheer magnitude of sound and exaltation momentarily overwhelms the PA speakers. An eruption of beer-drenched feathers coats the audience and band alike, while the danceable beats of “Desire” move the crowd in ways not before seen within these walls.
Closer and crowd favorite “B’Beauty” features Vega playing his funkiest and most noticeable bass line yet. It’s their catchiest number, with a beat slightly reminiscent of a subdued C&C Music Factory, and clever self-referential lyrics to match: “Breathe. Cry. X-R-Y.” Beer is slung from all directions, covering crowd surfers and instruments. I’m amazed that the vast wealth of XRY’s equipment still functions after being drenched in alcohol.
XRY’s music is absolutely infectious. The more I listen and scrutinize each song, the more I drop my inhibitions and allow the music to transport me to a place far removed from the comforts of the circle pits and mosh calls I’m familiar with. It is both liberating and confusing. If you like being able to say, “I liked them before they were cool,” you’re going to need to check out XRY immediately. Awash in this sea of wayfarers and v-necks, XRY has found a home.
Friday, July 2
The Ten Eleven
1011 Ave. B