Our SXSW Review

Published on March 21st, 2012

SXSW is always a crazy time for anyone who chooses to venture out into public. Yet, over the course of the week, our team at OVRLD was out and about constantly, with our cameras at the ready. Between us, we hit dozens of venues to see literally hundreds of artists. From that, we’ve put together a slideshow of photographs documenting the myriad musicians that overtook our beautiful city last week. We’re already looking forward to next year. Photos are by Jennifer Noble, Daniel Valle, Mu Sun, and Samantha Perry. Enjoy!

Sorne @ Guero’s

Sorne @ Guero’s

Um, if you’re in Austin and haven’t seen Sorne, you are missing out on one of the best live music experiences. Taken at the ovrld party at Guero’s. -Jennifer

EXITMUSIC @ Lustre Pearl

EXITMUSIC @ Lustre Pearl

When actors are also musicians, the results can be… mixed. Fortunately, this time it works. -Jennifer

Wild Child @ Shiner’s Saloon

Wild Child @ Shiner’s Saloon

Somehow Wild Child managed to cram all of their members onstage during a typically captivating performance at Shiner's Saloon. -Samantha

Fanfarlo  @  The Austin Convention Center

Fanfarlo @ The Austin Convention Center

I finally get the hype around Fanfarlo. I lost count of the number of instruments the band played during their dynamic Radio Day Stage performance. - Jennifer

Chairlift @ Flamingo Cantina

Chairlift @ Flamingo Cantina

April 17th – that’s the day Chairlift will be back in Austin. Do not miss. Seriously. -Jennifer

Blitzen Trapper @  The Austin Convention Center

Blitzen Trapper @ The Austin Convention Center

Anyone who knows me expects long ramblings about my favorite band from the Pacific Northeast. The live set from Blitzen Trapper is always an engaging trip through Americana. -Jennifer

Ben Kweller @  The Austin Convention Center

Ben Kweller @ The Austin Convention Center

Ben Kweller seems to be back – or at least performing everywhere. Admittedly, I’m not the biggest fan, but at this large stage, I was among the few who were not enthusiastic about this performance. -Jennifer

Bear in Heaven @ Flamingo Cantina

Bear in Heaven @ Flamingo Cantina

Bear in Heaven only played new music at their Under the Radar show. While I’m still in love with the older repertoire, I enjoyed the freshness of the latest album. -Jennifer

The Eastern Sea @ Shiner’s Saloon

The Eastern Sea @ Shiner’s Saloon

The Eastern Sea brought their particular brand of emotive folk-rock to a modest crowd at Shiner's Saloon on Friday. -Samantha

Zambri @ Flamingo Cantina

Zambri @ Flamingo Cantina

Beautiful sisters, beautiful pop music – I’ve added Zambri to my list of artists to investigate further after SXSW. -Jennifer

Trust @ Club DeVille

Trust @ Club DeVille

This band wins for best siren song of SXSW. I was drawn off the street to listen to the last three songs of Trust’s set at Club de Ville. -Jennifer

Youth Lagoon @ Mohawk

Youth Lagoon @ Mohawk

Youth Lagoon was a surprise this SXSW. I had just chalked this band off to pure hype; instead, I found myself moved by this heartfelt performance at the Mohawk. -Jennifer

Japandroids @ Mohawk

Japandroids @ Mohawk

How can two people rock so hard? Those crazy Canadians win again. -Jennifer

Black Books @ Shiner’s Saloon

Black Books @ Shiner’s Saloon

Locals Black Books bowled over everyone at the Eye in the Sky Collective party at Shiner's Saloon. -Samantha

Friends @ Mohawk

Friends @ Mohawk

The buzz around this Brooklyn band felt palpable in the crowded Mohawk indoor stage. Enjoyable, sweet pop delivered in a sardonic manner. -Jennifer

Lower Dens @ Mohawk

Lower Dens @ Mohawk

Gaining momentum from last year’s SXSW, Lower Dens is turning into a seasoned touring act. -Jennifer

Purity Ring @ Chevrolet Sound Garage

Purity Ring @ Chevrolet Sound Garage

You missed Purity Ring… how? This duo tops my list of best performances of SXSW 2012. I can’t wait for a real album. -Jennifer

Dr. John @ La Zona Rosa

Dr. John @ La Zona Rosa

Dr. John simply oozed soul onstage at La Zona Rosa as part of a strangely eclectic Warner Brothers showcase, showing why the New Orleans pianist is a living legend. -Mu

The Couch @ Guero’s

The Couch @ Guero’s

Solid, heartfelt Americana – the Couch can rock out. -Jennifer

Zola Jesus @ Elysium

Zola Jesus @ Elysium

The inimitable Zola Jesus held her own in a set that can only be described as soulful, desperate, and frigid. -Jennifer

Voltaire Twins @ The Austin Convention Center

Voltaire Twins @ The Austin Convention Center

I liken the Voltaire Twins to Aussie versions of the Joy Formidable. Substitute synthesizers for guitars and… well, okay, they’re nothing alike. But both bands rock. -Jennifer

Amen Dunes @ Elysium

Amen Dunes @ Elysium

The Sacred Bones showcase at Elysium was full of excellent finds. I’d listen to Amen Dunes again. -Jennifer

Kindness @ The Chevrolet Sound Garage

Kindness @ The Chevrolet Sound Garage

Adam Bainbridge makes this white girl want to get up and dance to his neo-funk stylings. His moves aren’t too bad, either. -Jennifer

Twilight Sad @ Red 7

Twilight Sad @ Red 7

I couldn’t tell if James Graham, lead singer of the Twilight Sad, was having a mental breakdown on stage. But if anguish is always this engaging, then add me to the asylum waiting list. -Jennifer

Led Er Est @ Elysium

Led Er Est @ Elysium

The industrial sounds of Led Er Est were perfectly suited for Elysium. Good for the times you miss the Cure a bit too much. -Jennifer

El Ten Eleven @ Shangri-La

El Ten Eleven @ Shangri-La

The post rock duo, whose music is featured in Gary Hustwit documentaries like Helvetica, wowed the audience with advanced loops. -Dan

Astro @ The Austin Convention Center

Astro @ The Austin Convention Center

If you like Caribbean influences in your Latin rock, look no further than Astro. This album is in constant rotation for me. -Jennifer

Breton @ Red 7

Breton @ Red 7

English electronic-based band that also makes films and tweets often? Be still mine heart. -Jennifer

Hard Proof @ Easy Tiger

Hard Proof @ Easy Tiger

Hard Proof demonstrates that Austin is a mecca for bands that celebrate collaboration in musicianship. -Jennifer

Zenzile @ Easy Tiger

Zenzile @ Easy Tiger

Did you know that Angers and Austin are sister cities? This dub electronica band from France was the surprise of a showcase highlighting this connection. -Jennifer

New Build @ Dive Bar

New Build @ Dive Bar

I could barely move during New Build’s set at Clive Bar. Featuring members of both Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem, this electronic super-group captivated the entire over-capacity venue. -Jennifer

Gardens & Villas @ Bar 96

Gardens & Villas @ Bar 96

This band wins for best use of flutes. -Jennifer

The Big Pink @ Lustre Pearl

The Big Pink @ Lustre Pearl

The Big Pink attracted an enthusiastic crowd at Lustre Pearl on Saturday night. The back patio turned into a giant singalong during the rendition of “Dominos.” -Jennifer

Tom Morello @ The Streets of Austin

Tom Morello @ The Streets of Austin

Tom Morello, the guitarist from Rage Against the Machine, hopped around various Austin street corners on Friday night, leading singalongs. Here he is in front of the Swan Dive on Red River. -Mu

The Dream @ Central Presbyterian Church

The Dream @ Central Presbyterian Church

The-Dream, despite starting at 2 a.m., brought the house down, in a set that includes no swear words, presumably due to taking place in a church. -Mu

Taken by Trees @ Hype Hotel

Taken by Trees @ Hype Hotel

Taken By Trees frontwoman Victoria Bergsman, formerly of the Swedish group the Concretes, entranced the audience at the Hype Hotel. -Mu

Shooter Jennings @ Saxon Pub

Shooter Jennings @ Saxon Pub

Shooter Jennings, country royalty, knocked down the Saxon Pub with his brand of alt country rock. -Mu

Beach Fossils @ The Parish

Beach Fossils @ The Parish

Beach Fossils' reverb-drenched melodies bounced around the room as audience members crowdsurfed. -Dan

Of Monsters and Men @ Stubb's

Of Monsters and Men @ Stubb's

The best Icelandic indie folk/pop sextet you may ever encounter, Of Monsters and Men garnered rave reviews across SXSW and seem poised for much wider acclaim quite soon. -Mu

Mikal Cronin @ Beerland

Mikal Cronin @ Beerland

We stumbled across Bay Area punk tunesmith Mikal Cronin rather unexpectedly at Beerland. During an unofficial set that also included the great Ty Segall, Cronin lived up to the hype with his melodic punk. -Mu

Maneja Beto @ Speakeasy

Maneja Beto @ Speakeasy

Local Austin Latin rockers Maneja Beto played to a packed audience at the Speakeasy on Wednesday evening. -Mu

Grimes @ Central Presbyterian Church

Grimes @ Central Presbyterian Church

Cute Canadian Grimes (nee Claire Boucher) filled the Central Presbyterian Church with her layered electronic melodies. -Mu

Gary Clark Jr. @ La Zona Rosa

Gary Clark Jr. @ La Zona Rosa

Hometown hero Gary Clark Jr. stunned the crowd at La Zona Rosa with his electrifying brand of blues-rock, showing why he's poised for a breakthrough year. -Mu

Ed Sheeran @ Stubb's

Ed Sheeran @ Stubb's

Barely legal Brit Ed Sheeran crossed the pond and made his way into our hearts this SXSW. After every performance, the audience was buzzing about what they had just witnessed. -Mu

Deerhoof @ 1100 Warehouse

Deerhoof @ 1100 Warehouse

The veteran experimental rock group blew off the roof of the eastside warehouse. Deerhoof drummer, Greg Saunier, was incredibly dynamic on his 4-piece set. -Dan

-The OVRLD crew

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