Day shows are quickly becoming the best place to catch the latest crop of SXSW buzz bands, as well as established, but under-the-radar acts like the Shout Out Louds.
Meanwhile, SXSW itself has doubled-down on the the sort of big event, small room idea that results in long lines of badge holders who will never get in, even if they get to the venue hours in advance.
That was the case with Iggy and the Stooges performance Wednesday night at the Mohawk Patio. A little publicized express pass got SXSW veterans like the Lincoln Journal Star’s L. Kent Wolgamott into the show, but the small outdoor stage was packed quickly with other badgeholders hoping to see the Detroit proto-punk legends.
The line nearly repeated itself with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds showcase at Stubb’s, which was scheduled almost at the same time as the Stooges. While I did get in to catch that set, I think I’d rather wait to catch a Nick Cave show in closer confines.
After leaving Stubb’s for a music and standing respite, I returned to a line back at Stubb’s for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. This time, the Stubb’s line didn’t move. These three bands would have made for a special Auditorium Shores show, instead SXSW chose to make a choice for fun for a few and waiting for most.
On a sidenote, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Nick Cave and Iggy and the Stooges also sounds like a killer bill for a local indie music festival. Even two of the three would really seem like a big win.
So most of the day’s music was found in the daylight, including a fun set from indie buzz act Foxygen, whose take on glam rock incorporates a light MGMT-styled psych pop. Indie pop weirdo Mac DeMarco cut an image of Jay Reatard, if the Memphis garage icon had been raised on power-pop and bedroom pop.
Dawes were special and show why they may just be the next in alternative music to break through commercially with their take on this new folk-rock sound that’s put the Lumineers, the Avett Brothers and Mumford & Sons on the Grammy Awards radar.
What sets Dawes apart is their connection to smooth, pop-minded 70s AM rock. Laurel Canyon hangs in the heart of their songs and sometimes its hard not to imagine them covering a few Jackson Browne tunes.