A banner with "Hockey Dad" on it and a drum kit decorated with stickers spelling the band names.

HUNNY + Hockey Dad Show Review

By Madisen Gummer
Music Journalist

Two women playing guitar. One in the center is singing.
Pllush’s lead guitarists and vocalists opening the show before Hunny. Photo by Victoria Roxanne Hill.

Jan. 29 at Barracuda started off with some dreamy guitar breakdowns by Pllush, a band from San Francisco. Their lead singer, Karli Helm, provided a fresh female sound which was a nice contrast to the dominantly male voices features throughout the show. One of the best parts of going to concerts is discovering new music through the openers, and Pllush did not disappoint. Some of my new favorite songs include “Big Train” and “50/50 20/20.”

The lead singer has his eyes closed, reaching out to the crowd. Fans hands marked with x’s are reaching up to him.
Jason Yarger of the band HUNNY sings to the crowd. Photo by Victoria Roxanne Hill.

HUNNY was absolutely phenomenal. Although they are from sunny southern California, they made this cold Tuesday night in Austin their home. They kicked off their set with “Rebel Red” from their latest EP Windows II and unapologetically crashed down on each of their songs, including an experimental version of “Parking Lot” where they mellowed out the verses and then hit the chorus hard. Their stage presence and energy was reflected in the mosh pit that opened up during one of their new unreleased songs and lasted throughout the rest of their set. The boys of this band have an undeniable chemistry with each other and their fans.

Left to right, there is the guitarist, lead singer, bassest, and the drummer in the back. The audience’s hands are reaching towards the lead singer.
HUNNY performing amidst the crowd at Barracuda. Photo by Madisen Gummer.

One of the peak moments of their set was during “Vowels” when everyone in the audience was screaming along to the chorus, and the lead singer Jason Yarger threw his guitar into the audience. Yarger ended the set moshing in the crowd to “Televised” while the rest of the band continued to orchestrate their talent on stage. Despite this being my second time seeing HUNNY, I was still shocked about how fantastic they are live, and how intimate they can make the concert experience.

The lead singer and guitarist of Hockey Dad sings into the microphone while the drummer is in the background. Their “Hockey Dad” banner hangs in the back.
Hockey Dad gives an intense performance at Barracuda on Jan. 29. Photo by Victoria Roxanne Hill.

HUNNY can be hard to follow up, but Hockey Dad took the lingering energy from the crowd and made it their own, beginning with their song “Homely Feeling.” The Australian duo brought a bit of that Aussie heat to this dreary winter weather with their indie/garage/surf rock melodies and beats. The lead singer and guitarist Zach Stephenson lead the way on most of their songs, including an audience favorite “Join the Club,” but drummer Billy Fleming took to the mic during their lighthearted “Sweet Release.” Although there was a lot of moshing potential, it was almost as if the crowd had shifted and focused their attention on the music itself, rather than the manifestation of music flowing through them. Hockey Dad ended the night with a transcending rendition of their most popular song “Seaweed.”

Featured photo by Madisen Gummer.

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