The day started off with Molly Burch and her band at Barracuda’s. Burch’s sweet, soft country voice is reminiscent of Loretta Lynn. Besides the band’s obvious country aspect, they also brought a mellow jazzy feel to the show and occasionally a southern-rock guitar solo gave the act some real punch. Burch and the band members call Austin home, which brought a larger crowd than normal. The band played a lot of great songs, including a rousing performance of “Try.”
We then headed over to Girlpool at Container to catch the end of their set. The band lived up to their reputation, as the two vocalists – Cleo Tucker and Harmony Trividad – brought powerful vocals. Songs would often go from very sincere to these powerful harmonies. The crowd, decked out in St. Paddy’s day gear, was as pumped as the band was making for a great atmosphere.
After Girlpool, we headed next door to Clive Bar to see Cameron Avery of Tame Impala, Pond, and The Growl. Avery came on alone at first and played “C’est Toi,” the most intimate of all the songs he played, most of which were love songs. Avery’s set, and his solo music, is very different than the other projects he’s worked on, which have tended to be psychedelic rock. Avery’s solo stuff is reminiscent of the more tender, soulful music of the 40s, 50s and 60s. The set contained mostly music from Avery’s new album, Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams – released on February 13th of this year. For most of the show the band kept the beat while Avery proved his rock star status. However, it was an unbelievable performance for people looking to celebrate St. Paddy’s, so perhaps the love songs weren’t the best fit for an extra riled up crowd. Avery closed out with “Dance With Me,” and walked off the stage.
We then headed to Canada House to see a couple bands from the homeland. I.D.A.L.G. was up first and they really packed a punch. They brought a wall of loud, messy, sound – and it was great. The six-piece band filled up the stage and stayed true to their garage rock brand. The next band at Canada house was Best Fern, we were able to catch their last song. The band had an interesting setup – they both worked on an electronic board while one of them sang, the one song we saw sounded great.
We headed back outside for We Are Wolves, who really brought the heat. Their hard rock style oozed from every pore, it was incredible to see their drummer – Pierre-Luc Bégin – standing for the whole set, jumping around behind the kit but never missing a beat. Their sound reminded me of The Vines, or similar early-2000 rock, but with a little more spice. The crowd really thickened as they started to play “Wicked Games” off of Wrong, which was released in 2016 to critical acclaim.
We left Canada House and headed to The Mohawk, catching the last bunch of songs The Pooches played on the indoor stage. The Pooches, out of Glasgow, Scotland, brought their pure indie rock sound, with gentle vocals and bouncing guitar. The band treated the audience to a slew of new, unreleased songs for the end of their set. The crowd venue really started to fill up for SOHN, who was playing on the outdoor stage following The Pooches. SOHN brought his brand of dark synths and rolling beats, highlighted by his incredible voice, opening with crowd favourite and hit single, “Conrad.” Moreover, most of SOHN’s set consisted of songs from his new album Rennen, which was released February 13th of this year. It was a great atmosphere as SOHN kept the solid beat moving.
The next band that performed was the Lemon Twigs, who have risen to prominence as of late. Their revision of classic 50s and 60s rock is a delight to watch. They opened with “I Want to Prove to You,” their hit single off their latest release, Do Hollywood. Their set consisted of a selection of more songs off the album, with multi-instrumental brothers, Brian and Michael D’Addario, switching between guitar, drums and vocals. Michael, the younger of the two, entertained the crowd with numerous splits and kicks, which really hammered home their homage to rock stars of the past.
Another great day at SXSW in the books.