photo by Jesus Acosta
A humid Austin night didn’t stop hordes of super fans and new listeners from flocking to the TC Superstar record release show this past Saturday at Cheer Up Charlies. As the ballad of Ricky and Dana- the two protagonists on TC’s new album R&D out last week on local label Porchfire Records– unfolded the crowd became one moving organism, reflecting and mimicking the collective performative effort of eight-member orchestrated magic that is TC Superstar. As love, summer nostalgia, anger, and heartbreak filled the air- pink jumpsuit-clad dancers moved purposefully illustrating the movement behind synth wave beats so catchy it’s almost unfair.
The brainchild of Austin music outfit frequenter Connor McCampbell, the band has been steadily building a loyal following since the release of their debut Masc which introduced the crooning vocals, infectious synth beats, and heartbreaking lyrical stories to the world. But the mysticism and glittery magic of TC doesn’t stop there.
It was clear to see Saturday night, that this smart combination of performance, music, and carefully curated aesthetic has captured something specific in the Austin music scene. With openers Blair Howerton (Why Bonnie), the groovy and psychedelic Indoor Creature who featured their own take on one of their favorite TC songs “I Don’t Mind”, and experimental pop act Smiile, by the time TC graced the stage the crowd was packed to the brim, ready to dance, cry, or do both at the exact same time.
While TC Superstar has been playing shows regularly, even closing out a night at the recent premiere KVRX Fest in early May, this record release show marked a new moment in the band’s career. They played through the entirety of their new release R&D, featuring all new choreography beautifully executed and collaborated on by their four principal dancers. When the album was over, the crowd emphatically chanted for one more song. After checking that they still had enough time to play, they burst into a crowd favorite and a band staple- “Toyota Corolla,” McCampbell pausing during the chorus to extend the mic to the audience tentatively and was met with a wall of sound chanting along “Toyota Corolla Superstar!”
This newest album feels like a perfect elevation of TC’s presence but on a grander scale. With contributors from across the Austin scene joining them for various numbers onstage, the record release show felt more like a big surprise party we were all invited to- celebrating as dancers jumped, sweat dripped, and TC Superstar established themselves as the perfect example of what the Austin music scene can do- create verified magic.
-Claire Hardwick, KUTX Intern