Lost Weekend SXSW day 2 pics: Leikeli47, Hop Along, Tyler Childers, Hinds, more
After beginning on Thursday, the second of three free BrooklynVegan x Margin Walker Lost Weekend 2 SXSW day parties happened on Friday (3/16) at Cheer Up Charlies in Austin. This one was presented in partnership with Norway’s Oya Fest.
The day began at noon on the inside stage with San Jose emo newcomers awakebutstillinbed, who recently signed to Tiny Engines after self-releasing their debut album what people call low self-esteem is really just seeing yourself the way that other people see you in January. The album is good, but the live show takes absib to the next level. Singer/guitarist Shannon Taylor is a true force who can go from a whisper to a harsh scream seamlessly, and it was even clearer in a live environment how intricately these songs are arranged. As absib were wrapping up, Soccer Mommy began on the outdoor stage, and they sounded great as they ran through favorites from the recently-released Clean, one of 2018’s most enjoyable indie rock records so far.
Up next inside was Ratboys, whose indie rock leans alt-country on record but who were really on the rockin’ side at this day party. Outside was Spain’s Hinds, who were as upbeat, cheery and fun as ever. As Hinds’ set was coming to a close, Ratboys’ Topshelf labelmates No Vacation played an enjoyable set of dream pop inside, and shortly after that, indie pop legends The Wedding Present played outside. The Wedding Present didn’t shy away from playing the classics (songs which helped pave the path for many younger bands on this very show), and they still sound great today.
After The Wedding Present was one of the day party’s most unforgettable sets: genre-defying, mask-wearing rapper/singer Leikeli47. She played a ton of highlights of last year’s great Wash & Set, including the title track, “Miss Me,” “Attitude,” “Bags,” and more, and she was joined on stage at times by various dancers, which only made the energy in the room even higher. The crowd was constantly moving to every song she played, and she was met by massive cheers several times. Not only was the whole thing a spectacle, but Leikeli can really rap and really sing, and that was very evident throughout her performance.
As Leikeli was wrapping up, there was an entirely different vibe going on outside with The Weather Station, the band led by Canadian folk musician Tamara Lindeman. They had just the right touch of psychedelia in their Laurel Canyon-esque sound, which was perfect for a sunny afternoon in Austin. You could sit back, relax, and feel a little more like you’re at Woodstock than at a hectic SXSW day party. It was a perfect transition on the outdoor stage from The Weather Station into Tyler Childers, whose country rock hearkened back to a similar era, and was similarly the perfect vibe for this very warm, very bright day.
As Tyler played outside, the inside stage hosted the opposite of sunny music: Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, the depressive “emotional trap” project of former Tigers Jaw co-frontman Adam McIlwee. He’s one of the co-founders of GothBoiClique (which included the late Lil Peep), a niche collective who blend turn-of-the-millennium emo and modern-day pop-rap and tend to glorify depression with at least a hint of irony. If you don’t “get it,” you probably aren’t alone, but their followers are dedicated. There were a handful of people in front for Wicca Phase who knew almost every word to every song.
Next up inside was Kississippi, the indie rock band who recently released the very promising new single “Cut Yr Teeth,” and who said on stage that the details of their anticipated new album will be out very soon. Kississippi were maybe even tighter live than they are on that new single, with main member Zoe Reynolds joined by a keyboardist/singer, guitarist/singer, bassist, and drummer who all really bring it. They played a few songs off the TBA album, which sounded great, and I’m very excited to hear where they go next. After SXSW, you can catch them on tour with Dashboard Confessional and Beach Slang.
Then the outside stage hosted Norwegian instrumental duo Aiming for Enrike, who sounded way more full than you’d expect from a duo. They were probably the loudest band that played all day, and their musicianship is really next level. They’ve got a complex, genre-defying sound with bits of math rock, jazz, noise and still lots more (they’re a little like Battles), and it’s really impressive to watch them bring it to life. Another Norwegian band, Sassy 009, played the inside stage next. Their sound also defies genre, but unlike Aiming for Enrike, Sassy 009 are rooted in pop music. With three members who all sing, their set included sounds as disparate as dream pop and hip hop, as dance music and jazz, and it all worked.
Then it was crowdpleasing garage pop punks The Frights (whose set included a faithful cover of Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So”) outside, and the highly unique Pan African Quebec-via-Congo musician Pierre Kwenders inside. Pierre sings in four different languages (English, French, Lingala, and Tshiluba), and he and his band combine sounds from all over the globe with ease. Really interesting stuff and truly not like much else out there.
Finally the day ended with Hop Along, who were a perfect band to close out a day full of indie pop, emo, folk, country, pop, and more. Hop Along’s sound has at least some elements of all of those styles of music, especially the songs they were previewing from their highly anticipated album Bark Your Head Off, Dog (due 4/6 via Saddle Creek). Hop Along have had a fully realized sound since 2012’s great Get Disowned, but it sounds like these new songs are taking them to an even higher level. To help them pull off their new and improved, more fleshed-out sound was Thin Lips singer Chrissy Tashjian (who sings on Get Disowned, Painted Shut, and Bark Your Head Off, Dog too), who added backing vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, and keyboards to the band’s already-accomplished live show. With Chrissy, they sounded better than ever, and her individuality was a welcome addition to a band where every member shines in their own way. Joe Reinhart adds complex, classic rock-inspired lead guitar; Mark Quinlan pounds the hell out of his drums and is a real showman who rises to his feet while drumming, Lars Ulrich-style; Tyler Long’s sturdy bass playing is the band’s never-faltering backbone; and Frances Quinlan’s voice is one of modern-day indie rock’s true treasures. There seems to be no limit to what she can do with that thing, and there really isn’t anyone else who sounds like her. Now as a five-headed beast, with all the appeal that Hop Along already had plus more, they ran through a mix of old favorites and not-yet-released new songs, and sounded fantastic the whole time. It was as much of a treat to hear their most beloved song “Tibetan Pop Stars” as it was to hear them bring recent single “Not Abel” to life. If the day party didn’t have to end, they could’ve played twice as long and I don’t think a single person would have minded.
If you’re not there, you can stream several sets live. In case you missed it, you can watch archived streams of a couple sets below and see even more at PressureDrop.tv. Also in case you missed it, check out pictures and a recap of day one.
UPDATE: Day three pics and recap HERE.
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photos by Amanda Hatfield