One day after Tegan and Sara rocked the Waterloo Records stage in Austin, Texas, Canadian 80s synth pop Diamond Rings entertained a large SXSW crowd at the same location Thursday afternoon. With high energy, impressive dance moves and intricate background production, the artist put on a better than expected half-hour set while wearing a fabulous spiked vest and sporting slicked-back blonde hair.

Promoting and only performing tracks from his 2012 sophomore album Free Dimensional, Diamond Rings kicked things off with his EQ-approved single “Runaway Love“, introducing festival goers to his take on 80s pop with his deep vocal performances and catchy, head-swaying lyrics. “Hand Over My Heart” followed after as more spectators crowded in to hear the unique act.

After a decent start, the blonde beauty really turned up the energy once the moody intro beat of “I’m Just Me” began to play. It showcased that even though he sounds great in the recording studio, you do not get the full experience without seeing a live performance. Album highlights, “A to Z” and “Day & Night“, with its infectious, sing-along chorus, closed the set just as the party was really getting started.

Diamond Rings has been making the SXSW rounds this year, stopping at Lustre Pearl and Austin Music Hall and performing an acoustic version of “Runaway Love” for Yahoo! Music in the same day. He is also scheduled to perform at the Spotify House, where Semi Precious Weapons and Kendrick Lamar have already played, and The Main on Friday. It seems the traditional rock festival is getting its much needed dose of feel-good pop.



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