First Thursday, then Friday, and finally the BrooklynVegan / Sound on Sound-presented Lost Weekend wrapped up on Saturday (3/18) at Cheer Up Charlies in Austin during SXSW. Like both previous days, a ton of bands played the Red River St venue's indoor and outdoor stages from noon to 6 PM.

Saturday kicked off outside right at noon with Sad13, the solo project of Speedy Ortiz singer Sadie Dupuis. Sad13 were a four-piece band for this show, and they sounded great. The live show is a little more "rock" than the record, and not a million miles away from what Speedy does (less dissonant riffs, more poppy choruses). About halfway through Sad13's set, Montclair, NJ indie rockers Forth Wanderers got things started on the inside stage.

Then, both Girlpool and Dams of the West simultaneously took to the outdoor and indoor stages (respectively) at 1 PM. Girlpool used to be just Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad as a duo, but they've now got a second guitarist and a drummer, and they sound great as a full band. Their upcoming album (and first for ANTI-), Powerplant, was recorded with a band as well. Going by Saturday's show, it's a record to look forward to. Dams of the West is the new-ish project of Vampire Weekend drummer Chris Tomson. They're also a full band live, and they sounded super tight. We might know Chris best as a drummer, but he's got no problem fronting a band.

Really all of Saturday was great, but my personal favorite may have been Alex Lahey, who played the inside stage right after Dams of the West. Her B-Grade University EP was one of the best debuts of 2016, and the songs were just as addictive in a live setting. She also played three new songs off her upcoming full length (which is still TBA but coming out this year via Dead Oceans), and those sounded very promising. BrooklynVegan is thrilled to also be presenting her first two NYC shows, which happen later this week.

Merchandise was next up on the outdoor stage, and their Smiths-y post-punk sounded great as ever. They were supporting a new record and played some of that, but they reached back for some real early cuts too. Then it was garage punks Death Valley Girls on the indoor stage, who played a totally wild set that had one of their singers running all over the place, including to the window to sing to the people watching from outside.

Big Thief followed on the outdoor stage. They played a BrooklynVegan SXSW party last year on the indoor stage, but they've really come a long way since then, and their crowd this year was significantly larger. They deserve it -- their live show is better than ever. Up next on the indoor stage was Half Waif, the art pop project of Nandi Rose Plankett, whose backing band includes members of Pinegrove. Half Waif recently signed to Cascine and released a synthy new EP on that label. This was my first time getting to hear those new songs live, and they came across very well.

One of the craziest sets of the day happened next on the outdoor stage, Cherry Glazerr. Band leader Clementine Creevy has a much different lineup now than when they first started, and the new band does wonders for their sound. Keyboard player/backup singer Sasami Ashworth is about as wild on stage as Clementine herself, and their new rhythm section gives them a very strong backbone. Clementine really is a sight to see. She's got zero inhibitions and does whatever it takes to put on a memorable show. On Saturday, that included mooning the crowd.

Phoebe Bridgers was up next with a folky set on the indoor stage. Phoebe's worked with Ryan Adams and toured with Julien Baker, and her own sound is in a similar realm to both of those artists. Also, like Julien, she's a young newcomer but has the confidence of someone who's been doing it for years. Closing out the day was synthwavers S U R V I V E on the outdoor stage, who set a very nice horror flick soundtrack-style mood, and the legendary Robyn Hitchcock inside. Robyn remains is always a highly entertaining performer at his shows, and his set on Saturday was no different.

Pictures of Saturday are in the gallery above. Pictures of Thursday are here and pictures of Friday are here.


Big thanks: Bell’s Brewery as a premiere sponsor. Brand new to Austin, the award winning craft beer was on tap all week at Cheer Up Charlies. There was also a variety of Deep Eddy Vodka cocktails and some Thunderbird ‘Hard Citrus Brew’ available to purchase for those 21 and over.


photos by Amanda Hatfield

More From BrooklynVegan