For the past three years I have been fortunate enough to attend SXSW. It’s kind of like summer camp when you think about it. In many cases (and mine) you are staying with friends, sometimes too many for the apartment you are in, you see people you haven’t seen in a year and you run around like kids going to see the next big thing, an artist you’ve been dying to see and bands/musicians who are playing massive underplays. All in, SXSW is what you make of it and this past year was no exception. Of course I didn’t get to see everyone I had hoped to but I did have a handful of new discoveries and a grip of new memories to carry with me.
In five days I logged 63 miles on my feet traversing the city and it was worth every step.
Who I saw:
Monday: The Vaccines, Ryan Hemsworth, Run The Jewels, Kaleo, Cathedrals, Spoon and Portugal. The Man
Tuesday: VÉRITÉ, BØRNS, Ryn Weaver, Gorgon City (Live), The Delta Riggs, Passion Pit, San Fermin, Milo Greene, Odesza, Spoon
Thursday: smallpools, Twerps, Sam Dew, Raury, SZA, Dry The River, Colony House, Robert DeLong, Kero Kero Bonito, GRMLN, House Music, The Stone Foxes, California Honeydrops, CRUISR, T. Hardy Morris, Frank Turner, Migos, Wyclef Jean
Friday: Son Lux, Skylar Spence, Wolf Alice, Blank Range, Jack Ladder, Natalie Prass, Gorgon City (live), George Maple, Poor Me, The Covz, Slow Caves, Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear, Kari Faux, Seinabo Sey, Years & Years, Rae Sremmurd
- There were hands down an overabundance of great performances but for me the best shows of the week were Leon Bridges, The Delta Riggs, The War On Drugs and Future Islands.
- Yes I saw Run The Jewels where the fight broke out. The show was packed with energy and too much fn besides that brief interruption.
- Seeing Frank Turner acoustic on the back patio of Red7 with maybe 100 people was a true treat.
- Wyclef as always delivered a fun and crowd participation show well worth the wait.
- Skylar Spence (FKA Saint Pepsi) is putting together a band for this summer’s festival season so be on the lookout for that!
- If you have a chance to see the California Honeydrops, do it!Robert DeLong keeps getting better and better.
- San Fermin, my how much this band has grown in a year. Sounding excellent.
- I became a fan of Sam Hunt.
- Kaleo sound nothing like you’d expect and that’s a good thing.
- Spoon was ripping through shows all week and sounded great as expected but I can’t wait for Britt Daniel to go back out as Divine Fits.
- Jack Ladder, seek them out this year.
- Despite saying it was their last song, anyone who stayed for The War On Drugs show at YouTube was treated to 30 more minutes of rip roaring jamming and it was flat out crushing!
- I’d been dying to see George Maple and she lived up to it. Her new track with What So Not, fire!
- And again, LEON BRIDGES. I sincerely hope you all start listening to this soulful human being who is going to make his mark this year. If you’re lucky enough to catch Leon and St. Paul and The Broken Bones at the same festival (Outside Lands) these two are quickly ascending to a level of fame that I hope makes them the stars of tomorrow.