Music Preview: SXSW 2018
by Alyssa Quiles
SXSW is upon us once again and along with the film and technology portions of the festival, comes music as well. Here’s a rundown of what you can expect this year when it comes to must see artists and showcases.
The Music Festival runs March 12-18, with over 2000 official performers and with genres like pop and metal to everything in between, you can bet that there will be plenty of showcases to visit. Be aware of what type of showcase it is, some of these will be free, but you must get there early if you want to get into the venue. Other showcases may be invite only, so if you really want to see a certain show, make sure that it’s not closed off to the public, and if it is, get yourself an invitation if possible.
Pandora is back again this year, they will be having their showcases from the 13-15 at the Gatsby. Just a few names of who will be there are Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, YFN Lucci, Lil Xan, Walloas and Dashboard Confessional along with many other bands performing during the day and in the evenings.
Soccer Mommy, SOB x RBE, Mozzy, Now Now, YBN Nahmir, and BbyMutha and more will be playing at Fader Fort this year at a new location not far from the old one. A few of the biggest names in hip hop music have performed at this showcase so make sure to check it out.
Bandsintown will be giving their first-ever official showcase: Bandsintown Big Break. FOXTRAX, Sisters, The Lagoons, Peach Pit, and Sneaks will all be there at the Javelina on the 14th. Make sure to RSVP, it will be a show you don’t want to miss.
Be sure to check out some bands from overseas at the British Music Embassy. This showcase brings some of the hottest talent from the UK and gives its audience a variety of music genres. The showcase starts Monday the 12th and ends Saturday starting at 8pm each day.
Other showcases include: Tumblr presents Show Up, Australia House, SXSBreaks, The Budweiser Country Club, AWAL Emerging, New West Records, Sony #LostInMusic and many more.
Because it’s SXSW, there’s bound to be some big name artists performing this week. The Willie Nelson’s invite party– Luck Reunion at his Luck Ranch, is always a fun time with killer music including Willie and his family. Hot names this year include Kurt Vile, Paul Cauthen Nikki Lane, and more (it ain’t all country).
Rachael Rae’s Feedback-our fave- will be at Stubb’s Saturday March 17th (as well as her invite only Feedback House). This year’s artists include Dr. Pepper’s Jaded Heart Band (Matt Bellamy), hip-hop trio Salt-n-Pepa, Girl Talk, The Cringe will also be there along with many more. Free food and free drinks all day, 10am-4pm, make sure you don’t miss it! Flo Rida will also will be at McGarrah Jessee Rooftop Friday night, March 18. Khalid will performing at Trinity Warehouse on March 15. Willow Smith will be headlining ICM X Cantu “Women Represent” at the Belmont on the 15th. Super group, August Greene, featuring rapper Common, and producers Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins, will be performing at Stubb’s, March 14. Ludacris is around this year (including Rodeo Austin) so he may pop up in many places.
Keith Urban is doing a set at Stubb’s which will be special seeing this A-lister in a small venue up-and-close. Nice to see country music represented. Other must-hit shows include Preservation Hall Band, The Roots (at Bud Light), Kurtis Blow, Khalid and more.
If you don’t have a badge or wristband, there is still plenty to enjoy and see, The SXSW Outdoor stage and Waterloo Records’ Parties and Southwest Invasion are great examples. Amplify Philly is back with cool sets with legend DJ Jazzy Jeff and more.
The SXSW Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake is back again March 15- 17 and this event is free to the public and a great way to relax while listening to what could be some new tunes. Headliners include Los Lobos, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats and Roky Erickson. Waterloo Records has free music and food from the 14-17th. Headliners include, And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, Weather Station and Andrew W.K. Southwest Invasion is at Whole Foods Market the 15-17th. The event is free for all ages and there are over 40 artists that will be there from all types of music genres.
Downtown, have a little bit of time to spare and don’t know what to do? Walk down 6th street or head a little south to Rainey street and check out all the interactive displays, pop-up shops and, most importantly, free food! There is plenty to do during SXSW so you never have to a dull or boring moment.
KGSR does their cool annual live morning broadcast show this year at the W Austin with great acts like Elle King and Cold War Kids.
If you’re hanging at ACC, check out the really cool Radio Day Stage that has big names and small up and coming international musicians- see them here first! Don’t forget the Eastside for cool venues like Hotel Vegas and others that have killer shows. Empire Control Room has a killer lineup too- check out some shows there. And remember about Antone’s, Cheer Up Charlies, The Mohawk, Emo’s, ACL Live, Hype Hotel, Pandora and other great venues with killer lineups. Sadly this year’s fest doesn’t seem to include the annual SPIN Magazine showcases.
Don’t just look for big name shows- go discover amazing new music from artists from around the world. You can check out all the artists, where and when they’re playing on https://www.sxsw.com/festivals/music/ (SXSW Music) or on the official SXSW App.