The Heavy

SXSW showcase reviews

Live Shots
Photo by John Anderson

The Heavy

Elysium, Thursday, March 13

Donning black suit, white v-neck, and crisp red Pumas, Heavy frontman Swaby emerged to the sound of fire engines ringing and a band riding one dirty-ass bump. From there, full speed ahead as Britain's most otherworldly act laced feedbacked guitars and a torch-fueled drum rig with an amped-up Curtis Mayfield croon, "big bad wolves" howling at the moonlight by band and crowd alike. Tonight, we were all wolves in a feeding frenzy for any filth and swagger we could get from the Heavy's guilty, unforgiving trance and horn-laden samples. Already in fifth gear from gems "That Kind of Man" and "Coleen," lead guitarist Dan T dialed up Hendrix tonality and plugged in his Les Paul, "In the Morning" chugging while Swaby jumped into a crowd of newfound believers. The singer first lost his jacket then microphone before leading his followers in one hell of another howl at the moon. Music done right can often flirt with dark forces, and tonight the Heavy summoned that demonic swagger and lived up to their name. There's nothing left to say but that they absolutely brought the house down.

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at Sign up for our South By-specific newsletter at for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

SXSW Gaming: Noclip Says Love Your Developers
SXSW Gaming: Noclip Says Love Your Developers
Danny O’Dwyer wants you to understand who is making your games

Tucker Whatley, March 16, 2019

SXSW Film Review: <i>The Day Shall Come</i>
Film Review: The Day Shall Come
British satirist Chris Morris takes aim at security theater

Richard Whittaker, March 16, 2019

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Hi, Gene!
In the Valley (Record Review)

Libby Webster, March 22, 2019

Texas Platters
Goodnight, Plum (Record Review)

Elise Barbin, March 22, 2019

More by Chase Hoffberger
Revisiting the Railroad Killer
Revisiting the Railroad Killer
Local journo Alex Hannaford’s Dead Man Talking podcast investigates the case against a man on death row

Nov. 16, 2018

EMS Union Set for Leadership Contest
EMS Union Set for Leadership Contest
Association to cast ballot between incumbent Tony Marquardt or challenger Selena Xie

Nov. 16, 2018



One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle