Austin Psych Fest Live (Saturday): Capsula

Bilbao trio gorges on instant converts

Capsula’s Coni Duchess
Capsula’s Coni Duchess (by Richard Whittaker)

Directly under a flight path so low you had to duck to avoid the constant stream of jetliners gliding in overhead, Capsula won the sonic battle first on Saturday’s mainstage. By the time the Bilbao-by-way-of-Buenos Aires trio finished its 45-minute set in a squall of feedback, they’d tamed Austin-Bergstrom International Airport’s rocket rides.

A South by Southwest phenomenon several years running, the Basque-based Spanish threesome cooks up a classic rock Paella so buenissimo that all the instant converts were still flash-mobbing the band’s merch table five hours later during Boris’ space age throwback.

Coni Duchess’ full-bodied bass lines fall into earthshaking lock-step with drummer Nacho Sólimo as her husband/frontman/guitarist Martin Guevara steps right out of Jim Jarmusch’s Mystery Train as a rocker in glam Western garb with a David Bowie yelp. That’s what must have led to the band’s Thin White Duke front-to-back tribute, Dreaming of the Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars, off which sprang Psych Fest’s nervy cover of “Moonage Daydream.”

Capsula’s dark wave rock – surfing basslines, needling leads, and kit-crashing propulsion – pushes the motoring thrust of early Black Rebel Motorcycle Club with its own distinct pulse. These aren’t musicians playing at a band, they’re a fabulous gilded snake, writhing on a big stage while plying seismic garage rock.

And forget the Raveonettes’ Scandinavian Spy Who Loved Me Sharin Foo, Capsula’s Coni Duchess remains the face of North America as chiseled into another millennia’s sacred pyramids with low-end magic to match. Penultimate spasm “Communication” flowed molten a la Primal Scream, rising up on its hind legs to look you square in the eye with the fried glow of a grinning archangel.

More Capsula
SXSW Music: Capsula
SXSW Music: Capsula
Latins' full-length cover of Ziggy Stardust shoots the moon

Alejandra Ramirez, March 16, 2016

The Food Issue: Moonage Daydream
The Food Issue: Moonage Daydream
Baked goods + Austin Psych Fest = cookie monster

Raoul Hernandez, June 13, 2013

More Austin Psych Fest
Austin Psych Fest Announces Lineup
Austin Psych Fest Announces Lineup
APF 7 goes global

Kevin Curtin, Dec. 4, 2013

Austin Psych Fest Live (Saturday): Spectrum
Austin Psych Fest Live (Saturday): Spectrum
Sonic Boom to Spaceman 3, sweet dreams are made of this

Michael Toland, April 28, 2013

More by Raoul Hernandez
Texas Platters
Lödarödböl (Record Review)

Nov. 24, 2017

Sound on Sound Review: Cannibal Corpse
SOS Review: Cannibal Corpse
Into the pit

Nov. 11, 2017


Capsula, Austin Psych Fest, Coni Duchess, Nacho Sólimo, Martin Guevara, Jim Jarmusch, Mystery Train, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, David Bowie, Primal Scream

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)