SXSW Music: Day Three Recap

For day three of SXSW Music, the Spotify House was again the place to be. With a lineup featuring Powers, Lapsley, St. Lucia, and CHVRCHES, lines were long and fans were excited.

Jean-Philip Grober, known as St. Lucia, transported a crowd of sweaty, tired fans, who had waited in lines up to two hours long, to a breezy Caribbean island with his synth-pop sounds. Serotonin-inducing beats and soaring melodies crashed like a wave over the audience until thousands of hands were waving in the air as Grober threw his arms out and jumped into the crowd. His energy belonged in a European nightclub in the middle of the ocean, and would have seemed effortless if not for his preppy beach shirt being soaked in sweat (“I think this is the most I’ve ever sweat in my life”). “Dancing On Glass” even motivated the mass of people waiting for free drinks to turn around and dance. A few girls climbed onto a makeshift bar and politely ignored the yelling security officers. “Elevate” closed out the set and stayed true to its name as business professionals and college students alike basked in the Texas sun and bathed in the free-flowing beats of St. Lucia.

Just when people thought the day couldn’t get any better, Lauren Mayberry and the rest of CHVRCHES took the stage around 7PM. As the sun set to the beats of Every Open Eye, CHVRCHES’ most recent album, Mayberry jumped from speaker to speaker and spun in circles, whipping the microphone cord with expert precision that could only come from someone who probably tripped on it many times in the past. A beaming 30-something man remarked on her ferocity: “She looks like she has something to prove… and I like that about her”. If she has something to prove, she’s proven it and more. As the female face of a rising pop band, Mayberry has faced a ridiculous amount of scrutiny and inappropriateness from male fans and anti-fans, and has handled it all with the same tenacity that she brings to performances (read her op-ed against internet misogyny here: http://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2013/sep/30/chvrches-lauren-mayberry-online-misogyny).

After Mayberry mentioned having enjoyed an Austin taco a bit too closely to her performance, someone threw a taco onstage which she graciously offered to the photographers in the photo pit (“you must have been working hard today, so you probably need some nutrition”). The perfect mix of polite, cute, and bad-ass, murmurs of “I love her”, “Lauren Mayberry is perfect”, and “queen” passed through the crowd throughout the set. “Clearest Blue” closed out the set, and the crowd lingered in the happy atmosphere CHVRCHES had created before dispersing to 6th Street for nighttime showcases.

Fool’s Gold held a showcase of artists at Vulcan Gas Company on 6th, featuring artists such as Michael Christmas and BOSCO among others. Hip-hop fans enjoyed the intimate performances, with some artists calling fans up on stage to dance along, and the DJ who played songs from various Fool’s Gold artists (such as A-Trak, Kid Cudi, and Danny Brown).

Read the Day One and Day Two recaps.

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