Tuesday, April 7, 2015


My favorite show during the music festival portion of SXSW was the 101X showcase, coincidentally at the same venue (ACL Moody Theater) as my overall favorite show, The Flaming Lips. I was there for Priory, Big Data (who is primarily who I was there to see), and AWOLNATION.

I had never heard of Priory before that night, but they were really fun. Although I'm sure I had probably heard Weekend and maybe even Put 'em Up before and just hadn't realized who it was by. They had a lot of energy, told stories between songs a bit, and the lead singer even crowd-surfed. By the end of the set, I really wanted to be friends with them because they seemed like really cool guys.

The lead singer of Priory crowd-surfing

Big Data, whose music I am a big fan of, was actually a little bit of a disappointment in comparison to Priory. They didn't have as much energy or stage presence. I really expected more, honestly. I still enjoyed their show and maybe had they not been in this particular line-up I wouldn't have felt the same but they were my least favorite of the three.

AWOLNATION, on the other hand, blew me away. Like many others at the show(much to the band's chagrin I'm sure), I only knew "Sail" when I walked in the venue that night. I wasn't sure if I would like the rest of their set but they were fantastic. They had so much energy, lead singer Aaron Bruno's voice has this amazing ability to go from raspy, dark scream to beautiful, smooth melody on the turn of a dime. Plus he jumped/danced his ass off throughout the show. Despite not having the crazy production value of the Flaming Lips, it was pretty epic just based on his performance. Definitely go see them if you have the chance. I will say, though, you can tell they're really sick of performing "Sail" - that was Bruno's least energetic performance and he pretty much left the stage the second he was done singing, despite the song not being over. So do them a favor and don't yell "SAIL!" throughout the whole show.

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