Mess with Texas
Reviewed by Luke Winkie, Fri., March 16, 2012
Mess with Texas1100 Warehouse, Thursday, March 15
For lots of attendees, SXSW might as well be Mess With Texas. Curated by local promoters Transmission Entertainment, the three-day minifestival attracts everyone from emerging alt-teens to bystanders. Colorado's Chairlift was the first big-ticket item. Once an Apple-commercial band, it now sports a peppy spunk to go with its watercolor synth pop. SXSW MVP front-runner the Men pummeled its way through sound issues with careening guitars and an unrelenting swath of percussion, the Brooklyn troublemakers making more fans at every show. San Francisco producer Tycho drifted in amniotic rambles, gelling well with the audience and the gentle breeze. The DJ set of France's Yelle quickly morphed into a regular old Yelle show, much to the ecstasy of its gathered disciples. However, the biggest act was undoubtedly Girls, whose 3pm headlining slot made the 1100 Warehouse feel like a stadium. After a hefty touring schedule, the San Francisco duo may be at the peak of its powers. The psychedelic shock of "Vomit" bounced off the walls and needled the ears, a problem it could only dream of when it was playing house shows. It's hard to argue when cataclysm is so pretty.