Last week in Austin, BrooklynVegan teamed with Resound for two of our Lost Weekend day parties, with help from our friends at M For Montreal and Cloud Water (who supplied attendees with free non-alcoholic drinks). We already posted pics from day one at Mohawk, and here’s pics from day two (Thursday, March 16) at Empire Control Room & Garage.
The bigger Garage stage kicked off at noon with Y La Bamba delivering their infectious blend of indie folk and Latin pop. Then it was Bartees Strange, who played in a stripped-down duo format. He said on stage that it’s not something he does often, but even without a rhythm section, he had the crowd in a daze. Tomberlin did the same thing right after him with a great solo acoustic set of her own. Then it was Protomartyr, fresh off announcing their new album Formal Growth in the Desert, and they were as great and powerful as ever (new song included). Protomartyr were followed by Hannibal Buress‘ rap alter-ego Eshu Tune, backed by a full live band, and as we said in our review, he did tell a few jokes but he mainly stuck to music, and his distinct voice and persona comes through in his rapping, just as it does in his comedy. Nigerian-born, London-based artist Obongjayar was up next with a rare US show, and his genre-blurring music thrilled in a live setting. And finally, Ric Wilson–fresh off announcing a collaborative EP with Chromeo and A-Trak–wrapped up the day with a fun set of hip hop and soul.
On the entirely indoor Control Room stage, Manchester’s noisy industrial post-punks Mandy, Indiana kicked things off on a very intense note. Then the impossible-to-pin-down rap/industrial/post-punk/more artist Debby Friday (who paired very well with Mandy, Indiana and whose debut album Good Luck came out today via Sub Pop) kept the momentum going with a great set that included her jumping into the crowd and dancing with audience members. Kiwi Jr brought their trad-style indie rock to the Control Room stage (directly before Protomartyr brought similar vibes to the Garage), and then Cheekface lightened the mood with their extremely fun geek rock. Singer/songwriter Sunny War played a duo set of great songs and witty quips with her guitarist Anthony da Costa who jokingly told the crowd that he knows SXSW is a competition and they are aiming to be crowned best folk duo. They ended with album highlight “No Reason” before rushing off stage to get to another show across town. The inside portion of the day ended on a darker, heavier note with deathrockers Poison Ruïn and screamo/metal trio Portrayal of Guilt, which was a nice contrast to the sunnier sets from Obongjayar and Ric Wilson happening at the same time outside.
Read 23 great sets we saw at SXSW 2023 for more. Check out more pics from Empire (by Chris Stokes, Devin Carrillo, Dominick Martinez, and Ian Clennan) below…
Day one pics HERE.
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