The fifth day of SXSW – another day, another slew of excellent showcases.
With the weekend around the corner and most acts playing their last shows, SXSW is really heating up.
Food truck parks: the lifeline of SXSW and Austin. The city uses a mixture of tacos, barbecue and free alcohol to power itself through the week. Or is that just me?
Girlpool – The Pitchfork Day Party at French Legation Museum
This is Girlpool’s sixth show of the week yet it sounds like their first. The ringing in their ears probably won’t recover for awhile though – at one point the lead singer asks whether reverb can exist when there’s no sound because she had just heard it when they weren’t playing.
The Black Lips – Hair of the 3-Legged Dog at Barracuda
The Black Lips play some sweet songs from an unreleased album. They’ve now also incorporated a saxophone player since last touring Australia.
Fleshlights are a proud sponsor of this showcase.
Lizzo – The Pitchfork Day Party at French Legation Museum
Hip hop artist Lizzo draws maybe the biggest crowd of the day at this event. She dedicates a song about being a motherfucker to Mike Pence and finishes her set with ‘Good As Hell’. She and her back up dancers certainly leave the crowd feeling the same way.
Cherry Glazerr – The Pitchfork Day Party at French Legation Museum
These guys are brilliant from the soundcheck. The bass is so heavy that you can feel your throat vibrating from twenty rows back. Before covering ‘Going Blind’, they announce that, “We’re gonna cover a KISS song which was covered by Melvins which is going to be covered by us, the Dixie Chicks”.
The Spook School – Flowerbooking Showcase at The Sidewinder
Yet another quality band that I just happen across while waiting for other acts. The Scottish indie rock band play to a small but lyric-knowing, head-nodding crowd.
Dreezy – UMG Presents Music is Universal Showcase at Antone’s
It’s normally a famous blues nightclub, but like every other venue this week, Antone’s has been transformed into a stage for all walks of life. Dreezy and her two backup dancers (and at one point, a puppy picked up from side of stage) put blues music to the back of our mind as she cranks her rapping up to a ten.
Did Universal Music compile this intermittent DJ’s playlist? He is visibly reluctantly playing the likes of Justin Bieber and Drake.
Benjamin Booker – StubHub at Banger’s
Benjamin Booker is too busy losing his shit on stage and making love with his guitar to notice the huge crowd that has gathered at Banger’s tonight.
Talib Kweli – StubHub at Banger’s
Not entirely sure why Talib Kweli is here but I could ask the same of a little indie act called Lana Del Rey playing tonight at the Apple House.
D.R.A.M – StubHub at Banger’s
Did you know that D.R.A.M Does Real Ass Music? There’s no denying it, his songs are the turntest of turnt, but does his name really need to express that?
Red Velvet – K-Pop Night Out at The Belmont
I saw a session on “How Korea is Influencing Global Pop” during the day, which really put this capacity venue and super-fandom in the crowd into context. There’s just as much chatting with the crowd, posing for photos and indulging their fans as there is singing, dancing and frilly miniskirts. Even One Direction’s marketing team could learn a thing or two from these huge K-pop acts.
They say SXSW is a marathon, not a race. But I feel like we’ve sprinted an entire marathon and there’s one more day to come.