SXSW Music: UO Live in Austin
Collegiate hipster establishment proffers headliners for hangovers
10:45AM, Fri. Mar. 18, 2016
Urban Outfitters’ newly renovated Space24Twenty on 24th Street and Guadalupe in the heart of the University of Texas hosted a jam-packed lineup of headliners for lucky SXSW freeloaders on St. Patrick’s Day. Their first UO Live in Austin program attracted tots, festival registrants fighting hangovers, and mankind’s best friend.
Early afternooners Thao & the Get Down Stay Down flooded the stage with the same energy and angst found on latest album A Man Alive. During the set’s finale, a song Thao wrote in support of sexual assault survivors, the San Franciscan ditched her guitar and went past performing into an intense vocalizing backed by a band intent on a team effort to get her message across.
Proffering a special sans-band set, New Yorker Frankie Cosmos made the back lot of an Urban Outfitters feel like a cozy living room. Accompanied only by her pastel purple guitar and a supporting vocalist, she gave one of those rare performances where the crowd can do nothing but to stay quiet. Stand, listen, appreciate the magic happening in front of you.
Drums front and center, all-male Chicago quintet Whitney set expectations for variety before they played a note. Thanks to their vivacious and contagiously upbeat set, horns and Everly Brothers cover included, the indie soul rockers proved the afternoon’s highlight.
Lo-fi garage rockers Car Seat Headrest, as serious as they could get, sung angst tales soundtracked by sunny grunge and misunderstood vocals. Their tunes called for a mosh pit, but there’s only so much to be expected in the back lot of a collegiate hipster establishment.