by Andrew Calvio
Levitation Fest 2023 has come and gone for another fantastic weekend of eclectic music bringing together fans from all genres. The threat of rain loomed overhead everyday, but the music gods kept it at bay until late Sunday evening. Diehards never gave up as they stood their ground and braved the elements in order to finish the festival strong. Centered around the Red River district in downtown Austin, Levitation utilized ten venues and eleven stages to keep most of the music within walking distance making it easily accessible. The exception was two newly added venues in South Austin, Far Out Lounge and the Concourse Project.
Thursday’s highlights included a sold out show at Parish featuring Slow Pulp. The indie rock powerhouse had the entire venue captivated as they moved through their setlist for the night. Slow Pulp delivered what was needed for this young crowd. Possibly my favorite set of the weekend came from Washington DC based goth/industrial band Vosh. The driving beats and general dark aesthetic kept everyone engaged. Empire Garage hosted Austin’s own Font, fresh off an ACL weekend 2 AMEX set.
Friday had Warmduscher at Hotel Vegas. These guys were a blast bringing tons of energy to the crowd. Over at Parish was a sold out show with Bully. We last saw her in Austin opening for The Pixies. She never disappoints with her raw punching lyrics. Another really good set was Alan Palomo at Empire Garage. Bringing with him a strong fan base from Neon Indian, Palomo, decked out in a pink sport coat and tie, led the crowd through an entertaining set. Closing the night at Elysium was Crack Cloud. Fronted by drummer Zach Choy, they brought high energy post-punk rhythms that you couldn’t help move to.
Saturday was a humid evening at Stubbs! Local Austin favorites Die Spitz got the show going. It’s always a pleasure being at one of their shows. This is a band that very much feeds off the energy of the crowd. There is never a shortness of stage antics with these ladies. So much fun! I missed Militarie Gun due to another commitment but I was back in time for the headliner. Amyl and the Sniffers were the perfect cap on the night, bringing high energy punk rock from down under. The crowd never lost interest and kept moving the whole night with some attendees leaving soaked in sweat.
Sunday was cold and wet as a cold front blew in. This didn’t stop the dedicated music lovers from braving the elements. Beach Fossils closed out Stubb’s with a very dreamy chill vibe. Their set was a good send off after a very busy weekend. Opening the night for them was local Austin band Being Dead and Turnover out of Virginia Beach. The promoters did well with this lineup as the whole night had the same vibe of being in the feels. Over at Mohawk was a much different atmosphere. Austin group F*ck Money started this show with raw upfront punk rock. This show is something you need to see for yourself! They are full of energy. UK based Demob Happy toned it down just a little but still had the crowd bouncing as the light rain continued to fall. Closing Mohawk for the night was Canadian rock duo Death From Above 1979. Kudos to the fans who stuck it out until the end, by this time the temperature had dipped into the low 40s. DFA did a good job keeping the crowd going. The only flaw in their show was when drummer/vocalist Sebastien Grainger compared the Austin crowd to Tampa. It was meant as a compliment but it was not received well.
Check out all our photos from Levitation Fest 2023 on Austin 101 and get ready for the 2024 fest y’all!