BV-SXSW Saturday @ Red 7 in pics — Mew, Pop Group, Frank Turner, Iceage, Lees of Memory, Screaming Females & more
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
Mew / Iceage @ BrooklynVegan SXSW @ Red 7 - 3/21/2015
The three 2015 BrooklynVegan SXSW day parties at Red 7 wrapped up on rainy Saturday (3/21) with a multi-genre lineup across the venue's inside and outside stages. Check out Friday pics HERE and HERE. Thursday is HERE and HERE. Saturday is in this post.
Kicking the day off inside was the hyped, XL-signed UK electronic artist East India Youth who played solo with a variety of synths and drum machines. He was followed by a rare US appearance by Vietnamese rapper Suboi (with Fool's Gold-signed DJ Sammy Bananas). She was the first Vietnamese artist to ever play SXSW, the BV show was one of only two sets she played in Austin this week, and it definitely seemed like an excited crowd came out specifically to see her. Before SXSW she played San Francisco, and since SXSW, was in NYC (last night).
Then it was Philly's Alex G whose DIY indie rock was as entertaining as his deadpan stage banter. Following Alex was The Lees of Memory, the current band of Superdrag singer John Davis and guitarist Brandon Fisher, who were joined by four other musicians. Their album is shoegaze, but the live show was more like the '90s alternative of Superdrag and (in this writer's opinion) one of the day's most enjoyable sets.
Things got darker and more intense after The Lees for Ex-Cult, whose abrasive psych punk was loud, in your face, and full of attitude. That kind of intense attitude didn't go away when post-punk pioneers The Pop Group followed. It's easy to throw around the phrase "ahead of their time," but The Pop Group's set even sounded radical in 2015. Frontman Mark Stewart praised the US for having a great underground music scene, which was pretty amazing coming from a person still embodying underground music over 35 years after his band's debut album. Iceage, a comparatively much newer band who owe much to the scene The Pop Group helped start, wrapped up the day on a high note.
The Pop Group / Screaming Females @ BrooklynVegan SXSW @ Red 7 - 3/21/2015
The outside stage began with Australia's Jack Ladder & the Dreamlanders (who also played NYC last night), a quirky crew fronted by the Nick Cave-like frontman Jack Ladder and featuring a cast of backing musicians (Kirin J Callinan included) who all looked like very different genuine weirdos (in a good way). Their set of baritone-fueled new wave was great, and Jack's stage banter was funny too.
They were followed by Public Access TV, the new-ish New York band who hearkened back to the city's early 2000s garage rock revival. They've since gotten some very bad news while still out on tour.
Then it was soulful singer Gabriel Garzon-Montano, whose voice first caught our ears on the new Drake album and sounded great live too. The filled-in-trying-to-stay-dry crowd was into him too. Things then changed pretty drastically as UK folk punk Frank Turner played solo acoustic, which was a pretty great laid-back set to hear outdoors mid-afternoon. He was followed by a band who weren't laid back at all, the shredding punk trio Screaming Females. We caught them back in NYC only a few weeks prior, but no matter how many times we see them their shows never fail to be totally intense. Then came Ceremony, the ever-changing punk band who played an excellent set with material from most phases of their career. They also played songs off their new album coming out this May, which had serious Joy Division vibes.
Frank Turner @ BrooklynVegan SXSW @ Red 7 - 3/21/2015
Then wrapping up the day was my personal favorite set of the BV day parties (and maybe of everything I saw at SXSW): Mew. The proggy, dreamy Danish band paired stuff off their new album (like "Satellites") with older favorites (like "Am I Wry? No" into "156"), and all of it sounded great. The fact that this year was a very rainy SXSW was unfortunate, but it started coming down pretty hard during Mew's set and that whole atmosphere was perfect.
Thanks to our sponsors MailChimp, Dropkloud, and Esurance (who let 30 people skip the line each day) for helping make it all possible. If you unlocked our party playlsts on your phone with the DropKloud app, you can go listen to them now. If you're still in Austin, you can still unlock them when at Red 7 with the app installed on your phone. Thanks also to Sailor Jerry for supplying drinks to our bands.
More pictures from the whole day, below...
Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders
East India Youth
Public Access TV
The Lees of Memory
The Pop Group