The Diamond Smugglers

While most people rip SXSW off like a band-aid and leave by Sunday afternoon, there are the die-hards who need one more Emo's filled night before they call it one. To describe Austin's Diamond Smugglers as a Neil Diamond tribute almost cheapens what they do, though that is certainly what it is. They play every conceivable Neil Diamond hit, with back-up singers who go through varying degrees of undress and a front-man who is the real Neil deal. The gimmick is never put before the music, and for a festival that is no stranger to putting posturing before spectacle, these guys could teach a class on how to tear shit up. The secret seems to be getting out, as the room had nearly three times as many people as the last couple of years, including one Garry Shandling.