Coming to SXSW from Santa Barbara, these boys brought California sunshine right into the bar. After quickly packing the house, people had to congregate by the window out on the street just to soak up some of their sound. Tommy’s voice is smooth like whiskey; warms you up and gives you chills all at the same time. Girls will swoon, guys will nod their heads, Tommy & The High Pilots are going to do some big things.
The band is a four piece made up of Tommy Cantillon (vocals), Steven J. Libby (bass), Michael Cantillon (guitar, keys), Matt Palermo drums . The guys have a great energy together on stage, and Tommy never fails to put on a full performance. Whether he’s climbing up speakers or dancing with fans, he’s electrifying, and you won’t take your eyes off him. Describing their sound is a bit of a challenge. There is definitely a throwback to classic rock, but it’s tempting to say they sound like summer. Like honey and whiskey and funnel cake at a carnival. Hey, these are a few of my favorite things.
Before speaking with Tommy and Matt, we chatted with their manager and Co-Founder of Redbird Records, Tim Convy. So Tim, why do you love these boys anyway? “From years on the road, their live show is flawless and at just 25, Tommy writes songs as timeless as any lifer. But what impresses me the most about the Pilots is how incredibly dedicated they are to what they do–they’ll do anything for this band, and it’s inspiring. That, and they happen to be every bit as entertaining off stage as they are on.” He was right. They were hilarious after the show and phenomenal dancers!