If you don’t pace yourself at SXSW then you’ll be burnt out by day 3, so we had an easy going afternoon on the second full day. Heading into town for the evening’s shows, indie pop rock duo Thumpers kicked off our night at Latitude 30. Fleshing out their live performances with a couple more touring members on stage, their sound is quite anthemic, feeling fresh evening with a similarity in style to Two Door Cinema Club.
Food in Austin can be pretty spectacular, but in amongst the glorious BBQ was our best meal of the week. Stopping by the food truck park off Cesar Chavez, we had a Garbo’s Lobster Roll, which even at $15, the rest of Austin will have to go some to top.
Continuing south to Clive Bar, next up we caught Jetta (above). With her powerful, sultry and slightly gruff vocals, Jetta’s moody electro pop impressed the audience as the venue started to fill up. Kurt Vile was up next, but the better known artist was thoroughly disappointing.
Normally backed by three other members, Vile took to the stage alone and put on a stripped down performance but he badly missed the rest of the band. Vile’s voice isn’t good enough without fuzz to pack out the sound and there wasn’t enough subtlety in the guitar.
Three rocks bands at neighbouring Bar 96 were a change of pace for the rest of the night. First up, Skaters were a four-piece skater rock band fresh from putting out debut album, Manhattan, in February. Really tight on stage, their addictive riffs culminated in the breakneck and boisterous This Much I Care. They come highly recommended.
Back for their second SXSW, Parquet Courts play lively indie rock. Though their music feels a little slapdash, that unpredictability is all part of their charm. The riffs could be a little stronger, and at times the Brooklyn four-piece are a bit too grungy and quite monotonous, but the touch of surf does make them interesting.
Real Estate finished the night off at Bar 96 and blew the packed crowd away. The five-piece jangly indie rock band just released their brilliant third album just this week, although it took a little while for the venue to get the sound balance sorted. Once they got it right, however, old and new tracks alike got the crowd moving and they were a fitting end to second day. More good stuff over the next couple of days too.