[No photos for this review as I was, sadly, too far back to get good shots. Which is a shame as Hacienda are handsome dudes.]
If there is a word that means loose and laid back, yet still full of great energy, Hacienda should be the illustrating photo for that word’s entry in the dictionary. From the moment the band came out and broke into their cover of the Everly Brothers’ “You’re My Girl” (a surprisingly dirty-minded song from the Everlys), the world just felt good. As they played great, dancing-required songs like “Who’s Heart Are You Breaking” and “She’s Got a Hold on Me”, I couldn’t help wishing I could see these guys play on their home turf of San Antonio, Texas, in some informal, small, outdoor venue with good beer, good people and barefoot dancing in the grass under the stars.
Speaking of good people, one of two complaints I could lodge about the evening was the audience (the other being the vocals mixed too low in the sound levels).* I did see people dotted through the crowd who were obviously enjoying Hacienda’s set as much as I was, but the majority of people seemed to be just waiting for Grace Potter and the Nocturnals (whom I didn’t stay for), more interested in looking around at other people in the crowd than watching the band. (I don’t expect people to always be interested in the opening act, but if you’re not there for the opener, how about moving to the back and sides of the venue so the people who do like the opener can enjoy them more?) And what was with all the middle-aged-and-older people again? Was Grace Potter on NPR recently or something? Still, the audience did give Hacienda the cheers that their final, ripping number (the only song of their set I didn’t recognize, likely off their first album) deserved.
*This is likely my own fault for not getting to the Beachland early enough to be up front. You might notice I complain about the audience less when I’m front and center at a show.