SXSW Music Festival has officially kicked off in Austin and we spent our first day with The AV Club at Mohawk.
Fontaines D.C. (Dublin) @fontainesband
This five-piece outfit from Dublin brings the newest wave of post-punk to another level, fusing it with a gritty, slightly manic, garage rock noise that’s unlike anything we’ve heard. Pacing wildly around the stage, biting his nails and pulling on his hair, lead singer Grian Chatten emanated energy just as intense and mysterious as their sound. In one set, the roaring group has caught our attention and we can’t look away.
Sweet Spirit (Austin, TX) @sweetspiritband
Local group Sweet Spirit-filled every inch of the space (at six members) and exuded energy that is perfect for fans of GGOOLLDD and Sylvan Esso. Swinging more rock than pop, the group carried a tune with strong guitar and drums, while expressive lead singer Sabrina Ellis danced around the stage—complete with spins, twirls, leg-kicks, and any other dance move you could think of—and through the crowd, nearly ripping the microphone cord off the stage in the process. Our first local group of the week has started Austin off strong.
The Beths (New Zealand) @lizstokedstokes
All the way from New Zealand, The Beths blew us away with their smooth technicality, clean harmonies, and sweet stage personality. Their first performance for SXSW felt like a home show. The room was at capacity, energy was high, the crowd knew the lyrics, and everyone was moving. Frontwoman Elizabeth Stokes sang with a summery air that was a perfect, refreshing twist of pop-punk. Having been on our radar for a while now, they did not disappoint.