Sean’s SXSW Coverage

Posted: by Sean Gonzalez

Hey all! Henderson made a fantastic list of bands to see at South By Southwest this year and I really think he nailed the hammer on the head (except he should have consolidated Pope with D. Wolf, I forgive him). I have spent the last six days in Austin, Texas making sure to cover the greatest of the unofficial showcases that happened that week. Instead of doing a day by day, let’s just recap some of the best, better and absolutely amazing lineups I was able to see. This will also go over the best live acts I witnessed and even what made me cry.

be mindful of my terrible, TERRIBLE pictures, I am in no ways a photographer.

Donovan Wolfington

I saw this group twice. They freaking rule, by far some of the more electrifying sets of the entire festival. Whether it be “Ollie North” or “HxC Punk,” every song they played was tight knit and bursting with energy. After chatting with the group and befriending them, I am convinced that whatever next record they make will be one for the ages.


Seeing this garage punk rock queer duo really opened my eyes. I have been diving into the gender conversation more and more thanks to musicians like Liv Bruce and Ben Hopkins. This was another group I caught more than once and I was in awe both times. The two combined have a raw talent that intertwines with their clever songs and hilarious stage presence. I recommend the entire world listen to their record Ugly Cherries and spend time feeling as free as PWR BTTM make me feel.

Julien Baker

I was not actually aware that Julien Baker would be there, or that she would eventually become a friend or that even I would be able to witness her play. Not only did I cry a few times watching her songs live, but I was able to see her twice. Twice! Once acoustic at a secret show (how intimate) and then live with a whole crowd and excess noise (less and more intimate). What an amazing musician that has done big things in big ways.


I have been kicking myself in the head for somehow not knowing about this band. While they played like 37 different showcases (maybe actually 12), I was able to catch two of their performances. This band is like the screamo I have always been in love with. I love this act and purchased a CD because I was constantly amazed watching them. Emotional, passionate lyrics are urgently screamed over fucking amazing drums. Seriously, listen to this band. I beg you, please? Okay. Cool.


Awkward Pop Songs has been stuck in my head for what feels like months. The one set I caught of Philadelphia’s JANK was kind of a mental release of all the catchy anthems that have been ingrained in there since November. Seeing “Ouran High School Toast Club” and “Wut I Liek Abt U” and “Caitlyn” live were fantastic. The vocals, the guitars, the drumming, the bass! Everything about their live set was perfect, including the energetic as hell crowd that was rambunctious as hell.


I didn’t get a proper picture, but everyone knew this band name would in here somewhere. I saw Pinegrove steal the show at the Run For Cover showcase (which had Turnover AND Citizen) and then in a living room with an acoustic guitar. One thing is still for certain, Evan is a mastermind at making beautiful music, and I hope nothing for the continued best for him.

other bands I saw included; Pope, Diet Cig, Sorority Noise, Prawn, Sinai Vessel, The Cardboard Sword, Greyscale, All People and Kississippi


At one point during the week, I was in the middle of this wild fucking group of bands. It was Greyscale, All People, Pope, Donovan Wolfington and then Sorority Noise. What an amazing lineup, right? That was an exciting three hours of my life.

Best Showcase

I think the best showcase across all of South By Southwest had to be the Funeral Sounds / Broken World Media showcase. Almost every current band in the scene played there within the two days that it went on, and I enjoyed every second of it. While there were some technical issues (mics that shocked, crowded room, P.A. was a bit weak at times), Mark Garza and company put on a fucking amazing two day showcase that everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY made appearances at. P.S. that is where I saw that crazy lineup above. Let it be known how amazing it was.