Thursday, March 20, 2014


Wolf Alice
Wolf Alice play an early show at Holy Mountain during SXSW.
photos by picksysticks
Summarizing my day two experience at SXSW would better be described as my all-star day which consisted of acts I've already seen in the past and wouldn't mind seeing again since I love them oh so much.
Wolf Alice
The previous night I saw Wolf Alice for their first ever U.S. show at Latitude 30's British Music Showcase.  The following morning I decided to catch them again (yes, they were that good!).  Holy Mountain was the location and their set time was noon-ish.  I arrived early, saw Wolf Alice catching some sun out in the patio and chatted with the group  before their set. They were nice enough to take a picture with me and later I enjoyed an early morning PBR while enjoying their performance for the second day in a row.  Led by front woman, Ellie Rowsell and consisting of Joel Amey, Joff Oddie and Theo Ellis, Wolf Alice was recently announced as one of the many cool acts that will be performing at the Reading and Leeds Festival. 

Right after, in Holy Mountain's backyard patio, the crowd mosey'd on over to catch Canadian DJ Lowell. Lowell is like a soft, cuddly wolf that can turn on you at a moments notice. Bathed in the cool, pink and green under the afternoon-shaded sun, Lowell's sun-drenched, synth-pop songs  sneak up on you until ready to pounce.  Tread lightly and try not to fly too close to the sun - the sun. She's feisty under that soft outer shell. Just listen to her songs  "The Bells" and "Cloud 69," which was enough to turn me into one of her biggest fans.  
Dum Dum Girls

The Spotify House was located on east side of the freeway. The Dum Dum Girls and Betty Who were next on my schedule. Unfortunately, the line was super long with about 4 people being let in every 10-15 minutes so I got to listen to The Dum Dum Girls from outside. And they sounded magnificent.  Once inside, I did manage to see Dee Dee posing with fans afterwards.  

This year's Spotify House boasted 30+ must-see acts, free food via food truck provided by CW Network and a music-themed mosaic photo booth created by The Brigade and tons of  freebies including drink and chips peppered the Spotify grounds.  

Betty Who played inside as opposed to the outside patio where I had been waiting,  in what I thought was a prime position.  It wasn't until I started to hear Betty Who start playing was when I rushed inside and found myself towards the back behind a bunch of very tall people.  Anyways, Betty Who, back into the corner, performed to a lively crowd.  

Betty Who
Betty Who performs at Spotify House during SXSW.
photos by picksysticks
With time to kill before my next show I decided to check out The Fader Fort stage presented by Converse, a very popular hangout and very elusive wristband to get your hands on.  Those lucky enough to score a wristband were rewarded with a great lineup of acts in a  really one-of-a-kind venue.  

Fader Fort presented by Converse
It's been known that a lot SXSW attendees spend the whole week at The Fader Fort and never leave, deciding to spend their entire SXSW week there.  And after finally seeing inside, I can see why people decide to stay.  It's not overly too crowded. The acts are top shelf and the atmosphere is so chill and relaxing.  Yep. The Fader Fort.  Definitely the place to be if you can get a wristband. 

Later that night I was off to Stubb's to catch Perfect Pussy, Kelis and St. Vincent.  It was actually a cold night and  when I got there, the line stretched around the block. I didn't realize how big Stubb's was, thinking it was only an indoor venue (later in the week when I finally got to see a show in Stubb's did I realize how big the 'backyard' patio was) and thinking I had no chance to get in and since I didn't have the patience to wait, I decided to check out Pandora's Discovery Den at The Gatsby just around the block where they were hosting Betty Who and Charli XCX. 

Pandora Discovery Den at The Gatsby
Earlier in the day, I saw Betty Who at the Spotify House and one of my goals coming to SXSW was to try and watch Betty Who as much as I could.  

Her EP The Movement was one of the best albums of last year and last year in Los Angeles, she sang new songs off her new album which I loved and had hoped to hear at this year's SXSW - especially her single "Giving Me Away." Unfortunately, she didn't sing that song at Spotify and, as I've come to later find out, she didn't sing it this night as well.  Bummer. But, as usual, she put on a dynamic and energetic show under the stars and lights at The Gatsby.  

Betty Who
Betty Who rocks the Pandora Discovery Den at The Gatsby.
photos by picksysticks
Last year, Charli XCX came to SXSW after writing one of the catchiest songs of the year - Icona Pop's "I Love It"  and to promote her new album True Romance that spawned hits "You (Ha Ha Ha)" and "What I Like"  and a number of other hits.  
Charli XCX

This year, Charli XCX returns to SXSW as she is readying to release her follow up  album, set for release later this year and is, as of yet, untitled. She teased us by singing new songs off that new record like "SuperLove" and the Weezer-esque "Breaking Up" as well as singing her hit singles off her critically acclaimed debut album True Romance.  

Right after the show, as I was walking on 6th St, in what should've been an awesome close to the night, news broke minutes later that an alleged drunk driver drove pass street barriers, four blocks away,  while trying to elude police and hit a group of people, killing four,  near The Mohawk and Stubb's.  Eventually he was arrested and charged but that heartbreaking  incident had put a dark cloud over the festival for the rest of the week.