Our staff saw a ton of cool stuff at this year’s SXSW music festival in Austin. It was difficult to pick our top 5 favorite things but here we go!
Brooklyn Bowl Reunion
Geese put on an incredible live show at the Brooklyn Bowl Reunion at Empire Control Room. It was a high-energy show including a giant pencil and six rowdy teenagers from New York. The performance was raw and gritty just as I was hoping it would be -while setting a new standard for modern alt rock. Geese was definitely a buzz worthy SXSW band that was a blast to photograph.
Spoon Rolling Stone + She Media Party
Hometown heroes Spoon left it all on the stage while playing the perfect set list spanning their entire music catalog. Lead singer Brit Daniel dedicated the show to a Spoon super fan that was rocking out the entire show front and center. The band had an electrical connection with the audience throughout the entire set, giving their hometown fans exactly what they wanted and more.
Wyclef Jean Rolling Stone + She Media party:
Wyclef Jean was a straight up party. He played every instrument on stage and interacted with the crowd throughout the entire performance. By the end of the show the stage was full of female fans dancing as Wyclef Jean wore some of their clothes/accessories as he sang classic Fugee hits as well as his solo material.
Arlyn Studios homecoming party:
The legendary Arlyn studios is the best kept secret of SXSW, consistently curating the best local and international acts of the fest. Standout artists at the party included French musician Theo Lawrence and rising country star Joshua Ray Walker. Free Tito’s (Austin’s own vodka) was flowing and since the setting consisted of a legendary Austin recording space, it made you feel like you were behind the scenes at the coolest party in town.
Visit Fort Worth Activation on Rainey ‘Into the Modern West’:
The container bar was transformed and noted Great drinks from TX whiskey, 1883 props and and all around great music. Live music highlights were Fort Worth native Abraham Alexander hip-hop artist Lou Charles as well as Houston rapper Paul Wall. An added bonus was the Hotel Drover experience which showcased a piece of the Fort Worth stockyards’ newest western boutique hotel.
BALTHVS was invited to their first SXSW showcase this year – shot here at House Nasdrovia. Hailing from Bogota, Columbia they bring an international funk psychedelic soul sound to the stage reminiscent of a Tarantino soundtrack and flowing their calming groove out into the audience.
Atlanta garage rockers Black Lips brought a progressive ‘southern fried’ sound to this year’s festival – including an appearance at Luck Reunion – to promote their latest album “Sing in a World That Is Falling Apart”. Among several larger shows, Rainey Street Idle Hands enjoyed a more intimate set with the band.
Just named Austin Music Awards’ Best New Act, Pussy Gillette showed SXSW how they earned this title and will grow it into something much bigger. The female-fronted 3-piece punk rock band turned up the Dillon T. Pickle event at Rainey Street’s Idle Hands alongside a handful of festival dates in the midst of their tour supporting Surfbort.
Dead Tooth brought a high energy stage show to the Spin Magazine showcase at Stubb’s. These Brooklyn boys illuminated the banks of Waller Creek with their powerful stand out set that captured the attention of the audience and put their name into their mouths for the rest of the festival.
Dr. Martens showcase at The Container Bar on Rainey Street welcomed alt-pop duo Faux Real to the stage with songs from their “United Snakes of America”. The French-American duo played up the stage with their theatrical show fusing art and rock with that which is beautifully undefined in between.
Rolling Loud -the world’s largest hip hop music festival brought the best rappers – many new and up-and-coming to SXSW this year for their 2-day showcase at iconic Stubb’s. The festival will be held in Miami in July, 2022 with huge headliners Ye, Kendrick Lamar, and Future.
I was totally impressed this bunch of young, fresh talent and fans that were lucky to get tickets to this super show were super stoked to see them. The best artists I saw were:
Mt. Joy at Lady Bird Lake stage for the free public show on Saturday night was one of the highlights of the fest for me. Seeing legend Michael Jackson’s daughter Paris Jackson perform with her band at the historic Scoot Inn was special.