SXSW 2016 was the first time I heard this and was instantly hooked on it. Not only do I believe this will be The Avett Brother’s highest charting song but “Aint’ No Man” is just that damn good (and so is the new album) that you’re going to be hooked immediately. And that bass line!! Their new album, True Sadness, is out June 24.
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.
Got turned onto Prides early last year by their hometown mates, Chvrches, and definitely looking forward to seeing them at SXSW in a couple months. On the heels of their EP being released in March, here’s the title track, “The Seeds You Sow.”
I lost track of how many shows I’ve seen this year. Needless to say that it was a lot over the past 365 days and I’m not even done yet! Closing out 2013 with oh sweet music but before then, here are ten of my favorite concerts from the past year (including festival shows).
10. Two Gallants at Beauty Bar (June 8, Las Vegas)
9. Allen Stone at Bottle Rock (May 11, Napa)
8. Madeon at EDC (June 21, Las Vegas)
7. Phoenix at Outside Lands (August 11, San Francisco)
6. The Black Crowes at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium (December 14, San Francisco)
5. The Killers at Life is Beautiful (October 27, Las Vegas)
4. Chvrches at Hype Hotel at SXSW (March 14, Austin)
3. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros at BLVD Pool (August 1, Las Vegas)
2. Vampire Weekend at Life is Beautiful (October 27, Las Vegas)
1. Paul McCartney at Outside Lands (August 8, SF)
Five For Friday: Gold Fields, A Slient Film, Royal Teeth, SXSW, O.A.R., Allen Stone, Andrew McMahon and more8 Mar
Back with a Five For Friday that you should really pay attention to.
- If you are in Las Vegas tonight there is a rocking show set to take place at the Hard Rock Cafe on The Strip. Gold Fields, A Silent Film and Royal Teeth share the billing. Local band, American Cream opens the show at 8:30 p.m. If you want to hear some of the rising bands in music today, I highly encourage you to check this show out.
- Speaking of shows, there are a ton of SXSW artists rolling through town on their way to Austin. Beauty Bar has a solid lineup which includes David Wax Museum on Saturday evening. Also downtown tomorrow night is the Vegas Streats two-year anniversary party. Going to be a fun one!
- O.A.R. dropped dates on their upcoming summer tour which includes a powerful set of opening acts in Allen Stone and Andrew McMahon (Jack’s Mannequin and Something Corporate).
- Hangout Music Festival quietly added their third headliner, Stevie Wonder
- Mark your calendars for Sunday, April 7 as the next Life Is Beautiful Downtown Las Vegas Music Showcase takes place at Commonwealth.
Every music fan should be excited this week as the Alabama Shakes release their debut album, Boys & Girls (available for iTunes download now). From the first moment I heard Brittany Howard’s voice I was infatuated and just loved her band’s sound. To me, Alabama Shakes are a throwback to an era when the best music was being made and creativity was at an all time high. Do yourself a favor, get this album, crank it up and just listen. This is what rock and roll is!
They are the up-and-comers with the biggest buzz right now (I told you to hop on the train last November) and if you have the opportunity to catch them live this summer, do not miss out (I’m getting mine finally, at Bonnaroo).
If you haven’t yet listened to the Athens, Georgia group you are sorely missing out. Last summer/fall they toured with Foster The People and Cults gaining plenty of notoriety and just recently crushed SXSW. I highly suggest you get your hands on their EP from last year, Oblangle Fizz Y’all.
Even more exciting news, they are hitting the road with GROUPLOVE in May!
Since I wasn’t able to make it to SXSW I had my buddy Mike Watson share his experience and the highlights from Austin. He definitely had the chance to hear a ton of great bands and catch some very unique performances. Hope you enjoy!
Bands I had never seen live:
Of Monsters and Men
Walk the Moon
They all put on amazing shows. Of Monsters of Men had never played in the US. Saw them twice. I was at their first US show and it was in a bike shop. Gotta love SXSW. I really think they are going to blow up. Talked to them at the Mumford & Sons concert and their album is being released in the US on April 3. I had been a fan of Walk the Moon and GIVERS for a while now and they definitely didn’t disappoint. The both put on incredible shows. There is no wonder they get so much buzz. Even if you don’t know a single song of theirs they will have you a fan after seeing them live.
I would say Walk the Moon and GIVERS put on the best shows from the bands I had never seen, along with Gary Clark Jr. Gary Clark is just unbelievable on guitar. I see why Clapton has taken him under his wing. The dude is going to be the next big thing, he already is in the blues guitar community. He played at the White House with Buddy Guy, Jeff Beck, and Mick Jagger. Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr also put on a hell of a show, but I am just not into their music. Maybe it will grow on me. Fun. was a band that obviously had a lot of hype with the song out right now “We are Young”. They have a lot of other great songs though. The title track of their album was awesome live, “Some Nights”. I had never seen Keane before. I absolutely love their first album from a few years back and they sounded really good live. The lead singer’s vocals were spot on.
I was really excited to see Princeton. I love their album but they didn’t have a lot of energy in their show. Maybe it had something to do with it being 11am on a Thursday but a band should not have to say “y’all look tired”. They should be able to amp up the crowd on their own. I was also excited to see Reptar but they just didn’t sound good live. I will have to give them another chance. Tennis was another band that I was excited to see but the show left a lot to be desired.
Bands I have seen before:
Mumford and Sons
Band of Skulls
Temper Trap played a few new songs and in particular the song “Trembling Hands” was amazing. They are just great live. Band of Skulls lead man is so incredibly talented on the guitar. Some of the stuff they pull off live is just amazing. He really makes the band because the girl doesn’t do much on stage. Everyone knows how good Mumford is. They played a few new songs that were really good. I see their second album having the same success as their first.
Bands I didn’t get to see but wanted to:
Alabama Shakes – They were THE buzz band going into SXSW this year. Much like Foster the People last year.
Tango in the Attic
Bright Lights Social Hour
Finally, here is a list of bands I saw, I know I am missing some but can’t remember them all:
He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister @ Bayou
These people brought a ton of energy. The chick drummer plays standing on top of a drum head wearing tap shoes. It was crazy. So much fun. I had never heard them before but they were a great live show. I am going to have to listen to them more.
Dawes @ Cedar Street
Future Unlimited and Princeton @ Beauty Bar
Tennis @ Stage on 6th
Big Deal @ Hype Hotel
Of Monsters and Men @ Mellow Johnny’s (First time playing in the USA)
Punch Brothers, Ed Sheeran (This guy was cool, was just him and his guitar. He would play something, loop it, and then play riffs over it. Was awesome show), Kimbra (She was awful), Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr, Dr. John, Gary Clark Jr all @ La Zona Rosa
Walk the Moon @ Antone’s
Reptar, Band of Skulls, Kaiser Chiefs, Keane @ Cedar Street Courtyard
Imagine Dragons, fun., @ Woodies
Girls, Kaiser Chiefs, Temper Trap @ Stubb’s
Of Monsters and Men @ Cedar Street Courtyard
Howler @ W Hotel
Free Energy @ Peckerheads
50 Cent, Eminem @ Austin Music Hall
Old Crow Medicine Show, Edward Sharpe, Mumford and Sons @ LBJ Library Lawn
They played the Railroad Documentary on a screen. This was probably my favorite part of the weekend. Weather was perfect and the documentary was incredible. Oh and those bands are pretty damn good too.
Johnny Corndawg @ Lustre Pearl
The Guards, GIVERS @ Chevy