The Vaccines @ AOL’s Pop-Up Show Series at the First Baptist Church :: Damn the Vaccines look tired. Kind of seems like maybe entering into the major label circuit was a bit of an oversight. Having done two UK tours, a small US tour and a Europe tour back-to-back-to-back prior to SXSW was a bad idea. This was for some kind of stream that you could watch online (hope you saw me!) so they made us do some fake clapping and stuff which was pretty lame. They played well compared to the ill-fated Spaceland show in January. Their four big singles are damn good (that would be ‘Blow It Up‘, ‘Wrecking Bar‘, ‘If You Wanna‘, and ‘Post Break Up Sex‘), and Justin’s voice was booming (although towards the end of the Festival it went out — and now he has to have surgery – we wish you well Justin!) but the rest kind of fell flat. We did get treated to the longest set of the festival and I had ‘Post Break Up Sex‘ in my head the whole time so there’s that….
Bass Drum of Death @ I’m An Alcoholic And I Hate You at Club Deville :: I had been extremely, extremely excited to see BDOD. I had gotten a copy of their debut LP, GB City, and so I wanted to see how much they could rock my face off live. Let me just say, they totally fucking did. It’s kind of amazing how loud they are for just two dudes, but John and Colin were blasting — and the fact that they let the songs speak (read: no banter, but lots of presence) for themselves just added to their fucking incredibleness. If I was a guitarist, I would headthrash just like they did. Highlights (from the set AND the album) include the impossibly catchy, eponymous ‘GB City‘, the rough and tumble ‘Heart Attack Kid’ and the incredibly accurate and jangly ‘Young Pros‘. Check out some really great video below. And if you don’t already have your copy of GB City you should head to Fat Possum and get that shit.
Mellowhype @ I’m An Alcoholic And I Hate You at Club Deville :: So, I would probably classify myself as a pretty big OFWGKTA fan. Just ask the Boys whose house I play them in for about 10 hours a day. Consequently, they’re all fans. So I was really excited to see Mellowhype at the Fat Possum party. I was super surprised to see that it wasn’t that packed, but amongst the chants of “Swag!”, renditions of “FUCK THE POLICE” (joined by Tyler, The Creator! SWAG!) and tweets about Aziz Ansari, Mellowhype (Hodgy Beats + Left Brain) left the crowd with no doubt that Tyler, The Creator is not the only member of OFWGTKA destined for greatness. Playing the hits from their forthcoming reuisse on Fat Possum, BLACKENDWHITE, but the most special moment was when they played Earl Sweatshirt’s soon to be classic ‘Earl‘. It was fucking SWAGGED OUT. Can’t wait for more.
Hunx & His Punx @ Waterloo Records :: Big time Hunx and His Punx fan, first time seeing them live. Although I would’ve much preferred to see them in a small venue, the Waterloo Records stage looked and sounded amazing. Hunx is the consummate entertainer, wearing a man thong, tights and a see through sort of tuxedo shirt and Russian style hat. He intermingled hitting on men in the crowd (‘Hey sexy gay man in the beard, stop talking about me!’), giving people who left the set the finger, and rocking it the fuck out. They played lots of new songs from their forthcoming second album, including the great ‘Lovers Lane‘. I thought it was a really great set, but it just made me want to see them in a tiny venue where Hunx was way more drunk, stripping way more, and being 1,000x crazier. But I can’t really complain, they’re coming to the Echo in the beginning of April. Best be there.
Davila 666 @ Nuevo’s :: I don’t really know what to say about Davilla 666 other than that they ripped so fucking hard. Having been told to listen to them like, at least a thousand times, and not really knowing where to start, I figured this would be it. They played to a really small crowd at 8pm at Neuvo’s which was a shame but they did NOT hold anything back. The entire group looked a little squeezed onto the stage but it worked really well as their sweat was flying, angry Spanish was shouted and they fucking ruled. Time Magazine even agreed that they ruled super hard, so you can’t really argue with them and us, right?
The Growlers @ BD Rileys :: I’m pretty sure this was my 25th time seeing the Growlers (no shame whatsoever) and it was just as good as it always was — maybe even better. Having gone 4 months between seeing them, I rejoiced when I saw their laid-back swagger and their ridiculous spectacle (covering themselves in tin foil), I was reminded of exactly why I adore them so much. Every single song they have is a definitive classic, as you well know if you read this regularly, so I was happy to jump around to ‘Old Cold River‘, ‘Sea Lion Goth Blues‘, and ‘What It Is‘ — it’s hard to keep writing the same things about them — they’re always good live, I never get tired of seeing them (obviously), they always bring something new and endearing and compelling to the table, even if it’s just ridiculous outfits or wigs — but it never overshadows the fact that they write incredible songs and love what they do. If it makes any difference, two Brits that I took to see them loved them, even though one was gonna make $15 bucks if he didn’t. That’s a damn good band.