WRBB @ SXSW: Top 5 Performances

Graphic courtesy SXSW.

WRBB’s Martin Gutierrez was down in Austin for SXSW last month. Here’s his take on some of the great music the festival had to offer!


There are a lot of great things to say about South by Southwest in Austin, but nothing is more special than having the chance to see so many impressive musicians leaving their hearts and souls at the different stages around the city. As a first timer I was overwhelmed at all the different acts I got to see during seven days, so choosing the top five performances is not an easy task. Nevertheless, here they are, in no particular order:

Suzan Köcher (Germany)

March 16, Victorian Room at The Driskill

Suzan Köcher. Photo courtesy WDR.

This was the only show I saw sitting down in a room of no more than 50 people in the prestigious Victorian Room. It was actually great to be sitting down for once; it gave me the chance to admire the complete set of the talented musicians that form Suzan Köcher. The beautiful yet haunting melodies that make up their psychedelic folk-rock rumbled gently while the singer’s ethereal voice filled the whole room with pure delight. Best song of the performance: Peaky Blinders

Toro y Moi (USA)

March 9, The Native

Singer-songwriter Chazwick Bradley Bundick aka Toro y Moi performs in concert at Emo’s on May 20, 2015 in Austin, Texas. Photo courtesy Rick Kern for WireImage

The first live show I got to see was from Toro & Moi, who played in an outdoor space right next to the highway. From groovy funk tunes to slow hip-hoppy songs, the American and his multi-talented band created a perfect ambiance for everyone in the crowd. Best song of the performance: Ordinary Pleasure

The Bright Light Social Hour (USA)

March 12, Cheer Up Charlie’s

The Bright Light Social Hour. Photo courtesy World Cafe.

From all the venues in Austin, the outdoor stage in Cheer Up Charlie’s had the best sound system, and the local band Bright Light Social Hour took full advantage of this. Their mesmeric and spacey rock generated nothing but joy and good vibes. With numerous twists and turns, all of the songs they performed had something very special in them, and they played them with pure energy. Best song of the performance: She Wanna Love You

CHAI (Japan)

March 14, Cheer Up Charlie’s

CHAI. Photo courtesy Adorno Hates Jazz.

Just when I told myself it was time to get some rest, I saw a big group of four girls wearing the same pink top and pink pants getting on stage with their guitars. I said I would hear one song to see what their music was all about and leave. Believe me when I say it was impossible not to stay for the whole set. Their sound and technique were so good that they had everyone at the palm of their hand dancing to their electric and heavy mix of pop and rock. Best song of the performance: Fashionista

The Black Angels (USA)

March 11, Empire Garage

The Black Angels. Photo courtesy The Black Angels.

Strobe lights, a lot of smoke, and never-ending hard psychedelic rock blasting on the speakers of a murky venue. What else can you ask for? Best song of the performance: Entrance song

About Martin Gutierrez 7 Articles
Hailing from the very, very warm city of Barranquilla, Colombia, Martin Gutierrez is currently doing his graduate studies in Music Industry Leadership at Northeastern. He is a musical curator and founder/organiser of the Timeless Festival. You can spot him walking around with headphones playing air bass-guitar trying to act cool.

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