Over the course of SXSW I took thousands of photos of the dozens and dozens of bands that I saw. I doubt you read all of my individual posts. If you did, cool! If not, here are the best photos that I took (in my humble opinion), which I wanted to share with you guys.
GEMS instantly hooked me in with their lovely debut single “Void Moon.” Everything that they have shared us since has had us swooning for more, making them one of my favorite new bands to emerge in recent months.
Seeing them play at SXSW was a treat as it was one of their earliest shows to date, in the rawest form. They put on a lovely show and brought the songs to live deftly. It’s still an early juncture of GEMs career, so I’m sure they will only improve with every show that comes to them.
Their style of music and the boy/girl duo definitely calls to mind comparisons of Beach House, and it isn’t too far off. Their a lush, dreamy, quality to their music that hits like a full bodied wave that takes your spirit far, far, away.
Something just seemed off about Delorean’s gig at Fader Fort. It may have been the environment, but I just never really got into their set, which was disappointing because I was expecting a set that I would be able to dance too. They just came out kind of flat and didn’t really leave that plateu. Still willing to seek them out when they come to NYC next, but I was left wanting a lot more.
I had no problem moving around Fader Fort or getting into photo pits or any of that stuff at all during SXSW. That all changed when it was time to see Earl Sweatshirt. Shouldn’t be a surprise as the member of Odd Future had been virtually missing for a while, making these early shows a must see for everyone.
Earl came out with Flying Lotus as his DJ (as Captain Murphy), and entertained with a well mannered set. For a relatively youngster, Earl has a fine command on the stage and was doing his thing with ease. Everyone in attendance had a sense that we were getting a glimpse at Earl at a small stage, as we all know that it’s only a matter of time until his career fully skyrockets.
I was left impressed with what Earl delivered live, and would have no hesitation to see him again. As a side note, it was strange to see Flying Lotus just hanging in the back as his DJ/hype man.
Only a few hours removed from seeing an electric set from Mac DeMarco at Hotel Vegas, I now find myself seeing them again. This time it was a daytime show at the Fader Fort. The set was a bit more laid back and there were no tents for Mac to hang off of, but it was still an enjoyable offering that really solidified Mac as one of my favorite new artists to see live.
It makes me shake my head at myself thinking that my first time seeing Brooklyn band Parquet Courts was in Austin, Texas. Go figure. But, I finally saw them, and it was good. They have a really tight sound that is anchored by tight guitar riffage with compliments by a tense rhythm section. They make playing look so easy, which only adds to their charm.
I still can’t shake their song “Stoned and Starving”, which has been bouncing around my head for the entire week since I left the show.
Thee Oh Sees put on the type of live show that just makes you salivate. Intense fast paced guitar rock driven with a great sense of melody and high energy. Their set was as tight as tight can be with a real punk feel that had the crowd rivaling the Black Lips and Wavves for craziest moshing that I saw during the festival.
I am not all that familiar with their material but I would gladly see them live any time I could, because they absolutely bring it live.
The first time I saw Mac DeMarco was when he opened for Wild Nothing at Bowery Ballroom last October. It was a great set, but his set at Hotel Vegas on Friday night of SXSW was a wild ride. Mac and his band were pretty drunk and were practically chain smoking with cigarettes hanging from their mouths while playing/singing. It was a sight.
The band still nailed all their songs, and gave thrilling performances of “Ode To Viceroy”, “Cooking Up Something Good”, and “Freaking Out The Neighborhood.”
The show came to an epic conclusion with the meant-to-be closer, “Still Together”. He sang it off by crowd suffering to the back, then coming back to the tent to hook his legs on it and finish the song while hanging upside down. It an amazing thing on all accounts.
The girls from Bleached can rock out. They came out blaring with golden-sun inspired guitar riffs and high energy and were a lot more enthusiastic than the crowd returned to them. They play a tight set that will keep your head nodding throughout. Think of a happy medium between the Cali haze of Best Coast and the skilled girl-rock of the Dum Dum Girls.
Marnie Stern’s music is not easy to describe. It’s a very unusual style. Her style of singing does match the nature of her tap-guitar playing and stop-pause rhythms. She is a lot of fun to watch because of this, and antics such pressuring her drummer to bear down to his boxers. Don’t think you will find any other female guitarist like her, and that makes a Marnie Stern show always worth a watch.
BMG Music Presents
Chapell is celebrating - having recently signed to Fieldhouse / BMG music. Debut album "The Redhead's Allegations" produced by Talking Heads' Jerry Harrison. Last NYC performance in 2016 prior to national tour with a huge iconic band (its still a secret) Come to Rockwood Music Hall on August 17 @8pm