Saturday is normally a quiet night, so throw in the wet weather and you’d expect to have the pick of the showcases. Maybe as people were making up for lost time after Friday’s washout, but every venue was slammed.
The people on the door of Empire not knowing what they were doing didn’t help, but at last we got into the venue just in time for Vérité. So triumphant compared with the stripped down acoustic performance we saw on Friday, Vérité owned the stage with their emphatic electro-indie-pop. Though they sometimes go a little too poppy, singles Wasteland and Weekend really got the crowd going, the silky smooth bass providing a backline that’s impossible to not get into.
Cathedrals were up next and the Californian duo gave an energising performance. Their silky electro is influenced by guitar music to produce an intoxicating sound, Harlem is their standout track, and while others slow things down a bit, they’re equally smooth. Cathedrals are one to watch with their debut album due later in the year.
Changing pace, we headed to Latitude 30 for Spanish four-piece, Hinds. Normally a venue exclusively for British performers, Hinds slotted nicely into the line-up. Playing riff-laden lo-fi rock, it was the all-girl band’s 16th SXSW show, but you wouldn’t have known it. Hinds are pretty rough and ready but it works, they’re lively and fun, and fill out the empty spaces between tracks with funny quips.
With things starting to wind down and our bodies failing us after a long SXSW week, we geared up for one last push at Main II.
We were excited to see Juce after hearing good things from other festival-goers since Wednesday and they didn’t disappoint. With parallels to Jungle – they actually have a song called The Heat too – the London three-piece have a funky sound with disco influences that really come through. Playing most of their stellar EP, Taste The Juce, plus a lot of new material, the all-girl act could be a real breakout in 2016.
Our last show of SXSW Music 2015, Beat Connection were next on stage. The Seattle four-piece have matured since their early releases, and their new material is a much fuller sound, influenced by tribal and experimental beats. Full of energy on stage, Beat Connections’ strong melodies shone through, with the crowd giving a big roar for last year’s Another Go Round.
And that was it for another fantastic SXSW. We saw more films than ever and had a fantastic Interactive conference, though Music was not to be outshone. The weather threatened to cut festivities short but we still caught a huge number of bands, with just as much racing across Austin from venue to venue as ever before. We’ll be back again next year, that’s for sure.