On Friday, I did a quick post on Noah Gundersen, who was definitely the highlight of this year's festivities for me. Not only did he give me chills, he silenced a bar. I mean, straight up silenced a crowded mother fucking bar. People were sitting on the floor, beers forgotten, mouths agape, totally enraptured with his performance.
I'm kind of in love with this picture so I'm posting it again.
It blew my mind.
Though he might have been my favorite live show of the week, there were quite a few more who put on some fantastic shows and really brought all their talents and creativity to the forefront of their performances.
Of Monsters and Men - This band hails from Iceland and their indie/folk sound was both very original and very captivating. With dual vocals and great deal of instruments ranging from percussion and guitars to the glockenspiel, they're songs are full and heavy with emotion.
They're so good, I actually found myself dancing a little when they played Little Talks.
And I never dance.
Futurebirds - Not only are these guys tight and talented musicians (somehow that just sounds dirty to me but whatever), they also put on an incredibly energetic and lively show. There is something about watching a band who looks like they are truly enjoying themselves on stage that makes it that much more fun to see.
Steeped in a country-rock style, Futurebirds add some great reverb and distortion, bringing a whole new sound to a somewhat old-style kind of rock. Throw in some amazing three and four-part harmonies and a ton of energy and these guys captured the essence of what live music (or music in general) is really about.
I have seen Futurebirds at least four times now and strongly suggest you check them out. It'll be worth it.
Bass Drum of Death - Admittedly, when I was making my schedule for SXSW, this band caught my eye with their name. I had only heard one song before I saw them play at the Aquarium Drunkard show but I was insanely impressed with them.
They somehow manage to put together a gritty, garage-band punk-esque style with a mild surfer undertone and it's a great combination, full of fast beats and manic riffs, accompanied by some occasionally snarling vocals.
There you have it! For now, anyway. I'm still in the process of recuperating from a week-long party and trying to make sense of my drunken (and occasionally beer-soaked) notes. There will more reviews later on.
As always, if any of you went to SXSW, please let us know what you saw!! Or, if you just really like a band or musician, tell us about it in the comments. Let's spread the wealth!!