SXSW 2017 Day 1: Photos and Recap

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SXSW 2017 Day 1: Photos and Recap

The music portion of SXSW 2017 is officially underway, and in addition to filling our bellies with BBQ and breakfast tacos, we’ve already caught plenty of bands we’re excited about. We’ll be posted up at Same Sky Productions all week recording sessions and streaming them live on our Facebook page. In the meantime, check out Sad13’s from yesterday here and click here for a complete schedule of everything we’ve got lined up or the rest of the week.

But even with all that going on, we’ve still got boots on the ground. Check out images from Day 1 in the gallery, and read about some of the sets we caught on Tuesday below. And of course, stay tuned for more SXSW coverage all this week.

Alex Napping

The focal point Tuesday night at SXSW seemed to be the Father/Daughter Records showcase at the Sidewinder, where bedroom-pop signee Alex Napping gently rocked the venue’s backyard. Performing wistful cuts from their forthcoming sophomore effort, Mise En Place (out on May 5), the Austin-based troupe, led by guitarist-vocalist Alex Cohen, rolled out such confessional singles as “You’ve Got Me” and “Living Room,” no doubt appealing to every romantic in the room. — Rachel Brodsky

Eric Slick

At one point during his set, the Dr. Dog drummer semi-apologized for playing tracks that sounded too much like Everclear (like that’s even a problem?!). He needn’t have atoned for much, though. The Philadelphia-based singer-songwriter seamlessly drew in audiences at the Sidewinder Outside with laid-back yet detailed folk-rock melodies like the chugging single “You Became the Light,” plus other delights from his forthcoming solo debut, Palisades (out on April 21 via Egghunt Records). — Rachel Brodsky

Idle Bloom

For such a placid-sounding band name, Nashville’s Idle Bloom sure can slam the distortion pedal. All sonic cognitive dissonance aside, the four-piece, which released its debut LP Little Deaths in February, has a serious knack for noise. Frontwoman Olivia Scibelli in particular holds her own against thrashing percussion and squealing, James Iha-worthy guitar licks. Their vociferous set definitely blew out some eardrums, but when the energy’s that palpable, rest assured, the hearing loss is worth it. —Rachel Brodsky


Seeing Spoon play in Austin is a rite of passage of sorts. Aside from Willie Nelson, there’s hardly a more ubiquitous Austin act these days than this four-piece fronted by Britt Daniel. Tuesday’s 1am set at The Main—formerly “old” Emo’s Austin, and unofficially re-named “Eno’s Austin” for a 3-day SXSW Spoon residency, after current drummer and founding member, Jim Eno—was an epic kick-off for many attending the music portion of the festival.

Daniel’s live delivery could easily be mistaken for a studio recording; his voice is uncanny and he masterfully lost himself in tracks from Spoon’s eight album discography (“Don’t you Evah”!), equally as much as he did in tracks from the band’s ninth studio album, Hot Thoughts (out this Friday via Matador.) While 2014’s They Want My Soul, was often spectacular, it still had an aura of experimentation, and seeing the band enact the new material on stage felt like Spoon has now fine-tuned those experiments into a fully-formed sound that could only belong to them.

South by Southwest was the best place to enact these new concepts, especially in front of a hometown crowd. The band seemed to exude a certain comfort in letting loose in front of a familiar locale, in a seemingly controlled environment. While their curated set of openers, in A Giant Dog and New Pornographers, can easily serve as the peak of a crowd’s attention for the evening, Tuesday night was all about Spoon beginning to unleash Hot Thoughts to the world, in Austin’s buzziest week. To be able to do that in an environment where every detail was exactly as Spoon had planned out, is a powerful place to be as a band, especially when they’ve been one of the tightest, most well-executed acts in independent rock and roll for more than 20 years. —Adrian Spinelli