As they say, the third time’s a charm. After trying to see Royal Blood twice before, we made it our sole mission of this music-packed Saturday to see the band. After flubbing it the day before, we at least knew exactly how to get to Cedar Street, and we basically bee-lined it from the hotel. If we’ve learned one thing from SXSW it’s get there early. So we hit Cedar Street at around 2:30 and had plenty of time to listen to some great music. Asgeir really struck me with their dark melodies that would build to a crashing crescendo, whereas Gardens & Villa had a more poppy sound with dance beat that got the crowd moving.
But really, we were there for one band: Royal Blood. It’s almost impossible to describe the huge sound these two guys can make with solely a bass and drums. In particular, it was just so great to see them out there having fun and enjoying the gig. My husband made sure to get to the front pretty early and could touch the drum set he was so close. I hung back to get the full sound, but loved seeing him up on the big screen. He was buzzing all night afterwards, and it was the highlight of his trip to Austin for sure.
After the Royal Blood show, we decided to try to get into Dub FX. I had only seen a handful of youtube videos, but have been fascinated by this Aussie busker turned soloist. Knowing how tiny Maggie Mae’s is, we again arrived really early. We caught the first act, D.D. Dumbo, who live loops various musical instruments to create a full band sound. Definitely the updated version of a one man band, and a real treat to watch live.
Dub FX though really blew my mind. I was right up front and could see him working all the pedals when setting up his loops for the show. He is in constant motion, and it really is fascinating to watch him create new sounds and voice pitches from the pedals and controls. Everyone should try to see this guy at least once, and hopefully close up, to really appreciate his craft. I posted a few youtube videos (below the photos) to show what I mean.
With Dub FX and Royal Blood under our belt for the day, we pretty much felt sated in our SXSW hajj. So we looked at the schedule to see if there were any other bands of interest. We were tired of the crush of people on 6th Street, so we walked back down to Rainey to catch Troker again.
We caught part of the act of Mon Laferte, a Chilean powerhouse band, which sported pop tunes that would build into near-metal closings. Really interesting, but not really the kind of music I was into that night. Troker was the only band we went to see twice at SXSW. We stumbled across them on the International Day Stage in the convention center and just fell for their sound. So they were the natural choice when we wanted to have a chill last show experience. Troker didn’t disappoint, as they put on another tight set of their jazz/funk stylings. A perfect end to our SXSW extravaganza.
Day 5 photos:
Videos of Dub FX: