South By Southwest (SXSW), the annual festival which combines film, technology and music, has returned for a ten day extravaganza in the heart of Austin, Texas.
Spread among the many bars of sixth street as well as notable music venues around downtown including Stubb’s, Mohawk and the Historic Scoot Inn, bands seemed to be performing at nearly all hours of the day.
Kicking this week off on Monday night was the Meow Wolf showcase at Empire Garage & Control room just up the street from the infamous “Dirty Sixth.” The venue included two stages, one tucked away into the control room and the other set up in the outdoor portion of the venue.
Notable performers included Nancy Whang of LCD Soundsytem and Golden Dawn Arkestra. The event was a fully interactive art exhibit with light shows strung throughout the entirety of the venue, a relaxation lounge that looked out of this world and role-playing characters that immersed themselves into the audience to invoke impromptu dance parties.
On Tuesday night, smaller evening showcases started to pop up around downtown alongside the larger performances. One such showcase featured a group from Australia known as “Vacations.” Their performance and gratitude to have listeners so far from home was a reminder of the purpose of South By Southwest, to introduce artists to new fans and fans to new artists.
After their riveting performance in a venue that only held about 50 attendees, the band members all expressed their deepest appreciation that people came to see them perform their second show ever outside of Australia.
Wrapping up the midweek performances were a daytime showcase presented by Doc Marten’s at Container Bar on Rainey Street and an evening showcase presented by Bandsintown. At the Doc Marten’s showcase, the performers included Porches, Bully and the rock band that seems to be spreading like fire throughout the festival showcase list, White Reaper.
In the evening, Bandsintown hosted a sizable crowd packed into the cozy Javelina bar on Rainey Street with performances from groups such as SISTERS and The Lagoons. With the goal of connecting fans to music and vice versa, Bandsintown flawlessly provided the intimate performances sought out by so many during the chaos of the first half of performances for this week.