Ultimate Roundup: SxSw 2nd Half Update

Wait. What? Where are we? Ah…the office. OK, yeah we’re back home in the office…

Before we go any further, if you missed our SxSw Mid-Week Update on Thursday, covering our first three days in Austin, CHECK IT OUT HERE.

OK, you’re back? Good…let’s move on.

Thursday = It’s a Marathon, Folks

This is the point where your training comes to bear. If you don’t have your game tight you’re going to suffer from a lack of efficiency, missing bands, nursing sore feet, fighting off the sniffles, etc. But we here at BigChampagne are professionals and were ready to keep scouting this incredible scene.

The weather was warming up, making the cool vibes of the Music is Universal showcase at legendary Antone’s just perfection. Tei Shi classed us up with her beautiful vocals, it was like soul AC. Next we were privileged to enjoy March Emerging Artist of the MonthMaggie RogersOn + OffDog Years, and, of course, Alaska sounded terrific live! Maggie makes our charts go pitter-patter.

In the evening it was all about the Polyvinyl Records showcase at Cheer Up Charlie’s, where the parachute awning and rock wall backdrop were awesome. Jay Som gave us proper Alternative Rock vibes and Louisville duders White Reaper just straight up brought it. Good stuff.

One of our favorite acts from SxSw 2016 was PWR BTTM and it was soooooo cool to see how far they’ve come since then! It is hard to describe the beautiful blur of energy that they are up on stage; definitely do yourself a solid and catch them live when you get the chance.

We couldn’t refuse a second time around with Beach Slang, who had already rocked us on Wednesday night. They were incredible once again, leaving us with big, fuzzy guitars vibrating our hearts as we caught a ride back to our beds.

Friday = St. Paddy’s Day, SxSw Style

There were definitely green-colored festivities abound, but we were just all about the acts…so much to see and hear.

The day kicked off with quickly-rising Swedish singer Skott, who’s lovely, flowing energy instantly cooled us off from the heat of the Texas afternoon. Almost concurrently, Montréalaise chanteuse Charlotte Cardin drew us in hook, line, and sinker with her deeply soulful songs of love and heartbreak. A super-cool rendition of Post Malone’s Go Flex was the cherry on top.

Now we were On the Run South Down Red River (feature film coming 2018) to complete our International Daytime Triple-Threat (patent pending) by catching  20-year-old Norwegian, Sigrid. Nothing was going to stop us. Nothing. Except…a, excuse us, a DAMN fine cup of coffee and pie from Twin Peaks‘ Double R Diner. Back on track and properly caffeinated and sugared we caught the Don’t Kill My Vibe singer’s set and were flying high on positive pop energy, pondering where she keeps that VOICE!

In peak form at this point, but definitely feeling the heat, we decided to grab a grounded, soothing break with Hamilton Leithauser, who put on a terrific set at Antone’s, before regrouping.

Evening was upon us and we were laser-focused on one mission: Mastodon‘s first live performance in 6 months. J.A. and #MondayNightStephen linked up, we hustled, and were rewarded with a great set from Seattle’s Chastity Belt, and of course you know we weren’t mad at a third helping of some Beach Slang! Then the  wildlings from Atlanta bludgeoned the boiling crowd with some favs as well as new cuts like Andromeda from the Emperor of Sand album.

All we had to do next was cross the street and go from seeing an Atlanta band to one from Athens, GA, how appropriate! We got to catch the end of a set from Mothers last year and were happy to get them in this year at Barracuda Backyard before another mega-tight set from Minus the Bear.

Saturday = Still Standing

The final full day of SxSw is not for the faint of heart, many have departed or are heading to the airport at this point. We get it, they have things to do and what not…just kidding. We don’t get it at all! Look at all the amazing live music left to be had!

The weather was beautiful. A perfect day for some South by San Jose action right down the street from our house on South Congress. Deep, groovy vibes from Austin funk distributors Khruangbin were just what the doctor ordered to combat the sunscreen-evaporating rays. DAMN they were they cool!

Next on the bill was the ever-fabulous PWR BTTM, who put it all down for their last set of the week. We were 1000% on board. Everyone in attendance was. Cherry Glazerr provided a perfect follow…we laughed, we cried, we banged our heads…and we might have been a tiny bit scurred by Sasami Ashworth’s dolls and Clementine Creevy’s roaring intro. So good.

Sustenance was needed so we took advantage of the very unique setup to enjoy sushi across the street while still soaking in the sounds of Merchandise and Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears.

We book-ended the festival by heading back to Latitude 30, the British Music Embassy, to close things out. The energy was so high that the power reset! No joke. That didn’t stop Aquilo from taking us soaring into some beautiful songwriting with their heartfelt performance.

SuperGlu gave it their pop-punk all for their final performance of the week and the crowd was with them. Sundara Karma helped remind us all that the world is ours with a terrific set. And finally, in an unexpectedly apropos finale, Hull, England punx LIFE TORE IT DOWN!!!

Snacking on slices of ‘za as we walked back across the Colorado River, it was hard to imagine that we had just seen THIRTY-NINE sets in 5.5 days. Ingesting slices of ‘za for breakfast before heading to the airport we were a bit melancholy to leave it all behind, but content with another year of AMAZING LIVE MUSIC! This is why we dig through the data!


Be sure to check out all of our charts, including Emerging Artists, Top Tours, EDM, Latin, and Country at http://www.ultimatechart.com