Festivals, Gigs, Show Reviews, SXSW, The Revue — March 30, 2015 at 8:02 am

SXSW Recap #4

by

Here is the final recap and last round of bands witnessed during the festival. There would have been at least two more recaps if I could have helped it, but life happens and my schedule was cut short because of family obligations which for me as much as I love music, family is first. I loved gallivanting around Austin for a total of 5 days, it was a bit exhausting so I can only imagine how taxing it is for the bands that play multiple shows during the festival.

As per usual, there is never enough time during this festival to see everyone on ‘the list’. Each year, different things happen and sometimes plans change – this year rain decided to make an appearance Friday through early Sunday and some events were canceled or moved to different venues. The best attitude and approach to take is to not get too upset if the perfect plan or schedule was not accomplished, but to go with the flow as things do change everyday.

All in all this was a great SXSW. This year overall the festival was a tad bit smaller compared to last year, not as commercialized probably due to last year’s tragedy. There is still a lot of commercialism going on at the festival, but the spirit of the original SXSW is still there – to showcase and allow really great up and coming but not very well known bands (yet) to play to different audiences and also probably have for artists an unforgettable week that for better or worse, they will not forget. If you want to get an in-depth view from the artist’s favorite things about SXSW 2015, check out our SXSW artist memories part I and SXSW artist memories Part II.

I also want to apologize for not saying hello to many bands at all this year. I did introduce myself to Joe and the gang of Made Violent, and said thanks to The Delta Riggs for finally making it to Austin this year since I was really looking forward to seeing them after they were announced to come last year, but in the end they couldn’t make it. For some reason I felt like being incognito and just documenting a great festival. Now for the local Austin music lovers like myself – the longest time seems to be the end of SXSW until the ACL festival line up will be announced.

 

The Districts

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There has been a ton of buzz around The Districts so of course my goal was to see the super talented boys from PA tear it up on stage, and that is exactly what they did. My only gripe about their live set was that it was too short, but that is exactly how SXSW is with most sets going no longer than 20 or 30 minutes tops. The two words that come to mind is “shred” and “awesome” so I highly recommend catching them live if you can.

King Tuff

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I wasn’t very familiar with King Tuff but was definitely interesting in hearing them live and I’m glad I did. Super fun energy onstage and they have some killer guitar riffs in some of their songs and the onstage presence was really cool. I would definitely recommend seeing their live set.

Viet Cong

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There has been some controversy recently surrounding these guys due to their name. After seeing them live, for myself it’s a mute point because their drummer had his arm in a sling during the entire festival because he broke it before coming to Austin and I didn’t even notice him missing a beat. These guys rocked it live and provided a great set, just as I expected. I highly recommend seeing them live, hopefully when Wallace’s arm is healed so you can get the entire in your face live set.

Dear Boy

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I wasn’t very familiar with Dear Boy but they played at the evening showcase I was camping at. I am really glad I got to see them live. One of my top favorite bands is Jimmy Eat World and they definitely had that emo tinged rock vibe going on. The singer could also be a dead ringer for a young and hot version of David Bowie. I will be keeping my eye on these guys from Los Angeles and I would recommend seeing them live if you can.

  CRUISR

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Just file CRUISR under “infectious indie pop” and if you dig that sound and love fun sing along songs, you need to keep an eye on this band and go catch them live if you can. Very nice live set and very enjoyable and danceable tracks. I also believe black was the popular color for bands this night as well – actually possibly for the entire festival. This was one of the bands on ‘my list’ and I’m glad I got to catch them live.

Frank Turner

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Frank played a nice acoustic set even though he claimed that night to be the longest one ever, he stuck it out and did his best possible set with himself and his guitar, playing to a full house. His banter and commentary is witty and keeps you entertained throughout the set. With many Turner fans in attendance, there were many sing along songs and an all around good time.

Made Violent

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It’s no surprise Made Violent was on my list, I have covered them here, with listing their newest singles and also the quick Q&A I did with them back in January, and they are also included in our SXSW artist memories. So this is a band I had expectations for, as many that I am really excited about seeing live, and they did not disappoint. They were probably no doubt tired as they had played another set earlier in the night and it was almost 1am when they started playing but they didn’t show it one bit. Great energy, and they completely rocked it out. I will definitely continue to follow these guys and I hope they come back to Austin again soon.

Grown Up Avenger Stuff

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I posted the video for “Pins” a while back so that is why I knew they were going to be at SXSW.  I wasn’t able to stay for the entire set but I saw enough to know that this band is stellar live and Deirdre’s voice almost sounds classicly trained, such great pitch and power live. The entire band played awesome live and really did impress me. I will make sure and try to catch them live if they come back Austin’s way and hopefully will get to see a longer set. I highly recommend checking this band out. Awesomely executed rock with strong female led vocals.

SPEAK

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SPEAK is undoubtedly one of my favorite local bands (OK it’s a three way tie with them, Max Frost and Gary Clark, Jr) and after seeing them live almost two years ago during free week, I really do try and catch them when I can. Troupe’s voice is always spot on live and the band as a whole plays so well together. Pedals was an awesome release last year and I highly recommend this band if you dig synth pop/rock.

Gemini Club

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I wasn’t super familiar with Gemini Club but after finding out they had toured with SPEAK, that totally makes sense as they are very similar in the synth/pop/rock genre. They played a great high energy set with danceable tracks and I will definitely be looking forward to more from this Chicago based band.

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