SXSW 2016: Friday’s Box Score

SXSW Saturday Night Thunderstorm

It was just another day at SXSW until a severe weather warning caused the cancellation of several outdoor shows just past 7pm.  Things never got as bad as predicted, and after about two hours, most, but not all, shows resumed.  The photo above was taken out of my hotel window at the height of the storm.

Here is Friday’s box score of bands.  There are nine this time around.

Band Comments
Chvrches Scottish synth trio with inspired female vocalist. Not exactly rock, but the music fits in with rock nicely.
The Heavy Soul and funk from the UK.  This is not retro anything; the band is taking the genre forward; but anyone who time traveled here from the 60s would smile and approve. A hit.
Lydia Loveless The schedule I saw had Lydia’s start time a half hour later than what her start time turned out to be.  So I got to see only two songs.  But they were kick ass high octane rock n roll coming from Lydia’s next album.  Even with just two songs, this was a hit!
Lucius Lucius (not to be confused with Uncle Lucius) is fronted by two women who sing amazing harmony vocals.  But the music of the band is heavy on drums and bass and skimpy on everything else.  For me that is a fatal flaw and makes Lucius a miss.

Update: A friend of mine who knows the band told me that Lucius had set up problems at SXSW and that the gigs they played there were minus much of their instrumentation.  So what I heard is not the way they really wanted to present their songs.

Hinds Four young women from Madrid playing in classic rock band formation.  Their sound hearkens back to some early to mid 60s top 40.  Some of Hinds’ songs have frequent changes of melody, while others are pretty straight forward.
The Cactus Blossoms A duo from Minneapolis playing songs that echo 50s rockabilly. They sound uncannily like very early Everly Brothers.  A hit!
Jay Nash Well written and played folk.
Eleanor Friedberger Mix Patti Smith and Erika Wennerstrom (of The Heartless Bastards), add a full band including keys and you have an idea of what the atmospheric rock songs or Eleanor sound like.  There are a couple of songs where there are too many words, but that’s a quibble.  Without a doubt, a hit!

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