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SXSW 2013 Reviews: Dave Grohl’s Sound City Players, Sky Ferreira, Divine Fits

on March 15, 2013, 1:41pm


A little more worse for wear, Consequence of Sound saw the sun rise on Friday morning, signaling we’d made it through yet another day of South by Southwest. While our latest trip to this plentiful musical buffetsaw fewer big-name acts then Wednesday (sans the almighty Sound City Players, of course), the acts we did manage to catch proved to be just as entertaining and thought-provoking. Check out our full coverage, and be sure to check back in tomorrow for more of our madcap adventures. And if you don’t hear from us again by 1 p.m. tomorrow, please call our mothers and then the authorities.

Thursday, March 14th


Photo by Jeremy D. Larson

Rhye – 1100 Warehouse – 12:40 p.m.

I think it was when the cellest played a trombone solo that I really started to fall in love with Rhye. Okay, it was the Fender Rhodes solo right at the onset that had me. I had imagined Rhye, project of Toronto singer Mike Milosh, to step out behind a laptop and slither under some reverb, but instead he had a whole Quiet Storm soul band behind him: organ, drum kit, bass, cello, violin. No other band is going to match that instrumentation. The ghostly Sade vibe happening for the entire set was tempered with the kind of goofy mania that comes with not having slept for 40 hours after flying straight from Berlin (“I’m starting to see things,” said Milosh). Rhye laid down one of the more understated performances of the festival, but it brimmed with the velvet, ivory sounds no one else is trading on. The most impressionable set of the day. -Jeremy D. Larson

waxahatchee sxsw2013 larson SXSW 2013 Reviews: Dave Grohls Sound City Players, Sky Ferreira, Divine Fits

Photo by Jeremy D. Larson

Waxahatchee - 1100 Warehouse  - 1:00 p.m.

Waxahatchee was once the solo project of ex-P.S. Eliot member Katie Crutchfield, whose 2012 debut, American Weekend, was a packed with devastatingly-honest confessionals powered by Crutchfield’s evocative wail. And while the project’s expanded into a full band for the recently-released Cerulean Salt, Crutchfield still shines bright as the emotional core, especially live. On record, Crutchfield reveals personal truths without a hint of trepidation. The appeal of the stage show, then, is finding little nuances in her performance: the look of relief or agony as she unloads years of pent-up angst, the tiny cracks of uncertainty in her otherwise-flawless voice, the layers of subtext her voice lends depending upon her mood and relation to the song that given day. ”It’s OK, her vocals are more important anyway,” said bassist Sam Cook-Parrot during soundcheck, confirming that it’s just fine to heap all the praise on to Crutchfield. -Chris Coplan

Mikal Cronin – 1100 Warehouse - 2:00 p.m.

mikalcronin sxsw2013 larson SXSW 2013 Reviews: Dave Grohls Sound City Players, Sky Ferreira, Divine Fits

Photo by Jeremy D. Larson

If Ty Segall is John, then Mikal Cronin is Paul. I don’t know how long that metaphor can hold up, but hang on with me for a brief moment: Cronin’s sun-burnt pop always goes down a bit smoother than Segall’s, and together their symmetry creates brilliant fuzz gems, but separate they seem to want to gravitate in different directions. I’ll abandon the comparison for now, but what I’m saying is Cronin’s musical personality is too big now to just be “plays in Ty’s band.” With a brand new outfit of long-haired men and women (plus concurrent Ty Segall bandmate Emily Rose Epstein on drums) and a sophomore album in the can, Cronin didn’t give too much of a taste of his new material. But “Apathy” still has as much stick as it ever did (missed opportunity for someone from Rhye to play that flute solo on “It’s Alright”), and the one new jam they played — a grunge cum power pop firestarter — spurred the band on to the finale of “Gone”. I can’t say for sure, but I’m pretty positive Cronin’s next album is going to rock harder than Ram. -Jeremy D. Larson

parquet 2 p4k sxsw2013 kaplan SXSW 2013 Reviews: Dave Grohls Sound City Players, Sky Ferreira, Divine Fits

Photo by Heather Kaplan

Parquet Courts – 1100 Warehouse  - 2:30 p.m.

“We’re trapped in with a beautiful crowd,” Andrew Savage observed amidst his “short and sweet set.” Short, sweet, and a dose of apathy scorched the Texas-turned-Brooklyn post-punkers as they limped through most of their recent debut, Light Up Gold. Blame the heat, or the treadmill athletics of South by Southwest, but they just weren’t on here. It sounded good, though, and set closer “Stoned and Starving” has turned into the band’s “Wasted Days” on-stage, sporting an extended interlude toward the end that gives Savage and Austin Brown some time to flex. If only they stretched beforehand. -Michael Roffman

fidlar roffman 1 SXSW 2013 Reviews: Dave Grohls Sound City Players, Sky Ferreira, Divine Fits

Photo by Michael Roffman

FIDLAR – 1100 Warehouse  - 8:40 p.m.

Some bands can exploit hooks and anthems without shame, and do it quite well. FIDLAR (Fuck It Dog, Life’s a Risk) is one of those bands. The group tore through eight tracks during a brief but convincing 25 minute set. By the end of opener “Cheap Beer”,  the nihilistic skate punks had the crowd’s undivided attention. Frontman and guitarist Zac Carper bore his soul during “No Waves” by admitting he was “Looking for matches just to cook up the score.” His head pounding and hair tugging didn’t go unnoticed then, either. It’s this sort of disaffected So-Cal angst that speaks volumes to youth trapped in a seemingly pointless existence. Later on closer “Wake Bake Skate”, Carper jumped off stage to stir up trouble. Admittedly, it would have been cool to see them perform a live cover of Jackson Browne’s “Cocaine”, but hey, the boys still have a few gigs left. -Dan Pfleegor

Citi Presents Sound City Players Live At SXSW

Photo by Rick Diamond/WireImage

Sound City Players – Stubb’s – 9:15 p.m.

Dave Grohl marked the conclusion of his epic super group the Sound City Players with a rousing three-hour performance at Stubbs on Thursday night, presented by Citi. “Unfortunately this might be the last night we’re ever gonna do this, so we’re going to have to make it extra long and extra special,” Grohl said of his all-star ensemble comprised of colleagues, friends, and inspirations, all of who had spent time recording in the Sound City Studios that’s now the subject of Grohl’s directorial debut. And with that, Grohl and Foo Fighters began their stint as backing band to a cavalcade of musical legends, from Stevie Nicks and John Fogerty to Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen and Fear’s Lee Ving.

Citi Presents Sound City Players Live At SXSW

Photo by Rick Diamond/WireImage

The concert had many high points, specifically Grohl and Nicks’ duet of “Landslide” and a pair of Cheap Trick covers (“I Want You to Want Me” and “Surrender”) featuring Rick Nielson, Corey Taylor, Krist Novoselic, Taylor Hawkins, and Grohl on drums. Lee Ving’s barrage of Fear songs was also a sight to be seen. However, perhaps most impressive was Grohl himself, who remained on stage, without a break, for over three hours. He led the band, played every instrument (guitar, bass, and drums), sang on most every song, and MCed between sets. He’s a “national treasure!” exclaimed Chris Goss. It’s hard to disagree. -Alex Young

follakzoid sxsw2013 larson SXSW 2013 Reviews: Dave Grohls Sound City Players, Sky Ferreira, Divine Fits

Photo by Jeremy D. Larson

Föllakzoid – Hotel Vegas - 9:20 p.m.

All the way from Santiago, Chile, Föllakzoid’s laser-focused kraut rock was — as expected — just great live. The in my humble opinion flatness of the record bounced up into peaks live. The band has been playing together for years, and their insistant motorik (and this was ur-motorik — the kind you would dance to if anyone ever figures out how to dance to krautrock (I have a few ideas)) are latticed tight behind the psych solos and synth lines. The synth player’s 1,000-yard stare out to wherever mirrored what we all were doing in the crowd — really transported to somewhere in their homeland. -Jeremy D. Larson

pissed jeans sxsw roffman 1 SXSW 2013 Reviews: Dave Grohls Sound City Players, Sky Ferreira, Divine Fits

Photo by Michael Roffman

Pissed Jeans – 1100 Warehouse – 09:20 p.m.

Pissed Jeans’ Matt Korvette didn’t want anyone at his show. So, he told everyone that David Bowie would be joining Dave Grohl at Stubb’s, where they’d also be serving free beer. When everyone called his bluff, he balked: “I don’t know what to tell you, you’re making the wrong choice.” Not at all: From a bullshit cover of Guns N’ Roses “It’s So Easy” (complete with all of Axl’s over-the-top histrionics) to classics like “She is Science Fiction” and new material off their recent CoS Top Star-earning Honeys, the Pennsylvania hardcore outfit were entertainers whether or not they wanted to be. Korvette fingered his ass, picked up surge protectors, and squeezed his nipples while the band blitzed through “Bathroom Laughter”, “Teenage Adult”, and “Male Gaze”. Still, Korvette stuck to his guns, concluding: “I have to hate this show and I hate all of you secretly.” Nothing but love over here, man. -Michael Roffman

theeohsees sxsw2013 larson 2 SXSW 2013 Reviews: Dave Grohls Sound City Players, Sky Ferreira, Divine Fits

Photo by Jeremy D. Larson

Thee Oh Sees – Hotel Vegas  – 10:30 p.m.

John Dwyer sticks his tongue out live the same way Danny Brown does. The exact same. They are kindred spirits, those two. Also Thee Oh Sees were playing under one of those rent-a-tents that was about to collapse at any given second because people started climbing the tent. “Don’t smoke too much weed because there’s a cop here. But he seems pretty cool,” as pot smoke wafted up into his face from the front row. So, yeah, it was a great Thee Oh Sees show as usual. –Jeremy D. Larson

sky ferreira sxsw roffman 7 SXSW 2013 Reviews: Dave Grohls Sound City Players, Sky Ferreira, Divine Fits

Photo by Michael Roffman

Sky Ferreira – 1100 Warehouse – 10:45 p.m.

A model, idiot. That’s something I kept saying to myself while watching Sky Ferreira on-stage last night. Fact: She’s a professional at bringing physicality with emotion, whether through movements, poses, and glances. So, when she pleaded that she lost her voice to an audience of true believers, she did the unthinkable: She let the physics do the singing. She swayed, clawed at her hair, clenched her shoulders, reached out to the all-too-close audience, and kneeled under the lights. It was like watching an off Broadway monodrama, only more visceral and with far too much applause.

sky ferreira sxsw roffman 3 SXSW 2013 Reviews: Dave Grohls Sound City Players, Sky Ferreira, Divine Fits

Photo by Michael Roffman

Still, one might argue she was too modest, as she hit all the right notes throughout her brand of alternative pop and R&B, especially on “Werewolf (From Waist Down)”, “Lost in My Bedroom” and “Sad Dream”. Prior to “Everything is Embarrassing”, she thanked Ryan Schrieber, adding: “If they didn’t put this song on their website, I’d be sitting at home watching Law and Order.” Well, thank god for that. Extra points: Despite her ailments, Ferreira insisted on playing one more song, which she demanded, only to be cut off by the sound technician: “I tried, guys.” Yep, A++ for one hell of an effort. -Michael Roffman

divine fits roffman 3 SXSW 2013 Reviews: Dave Grohls Sound City Players, Sky Ferreira, Divine Fits

Photo by Michael Roffman

Divine Fits – Lustre Pearl – 12:00 a.m.

Thursday night’s show at Dickie’s showcase marked the fifth of sixth gig since Monday for Divine Fits, but you couldn’t tell by watching them. The band appeared fresh and energized as they sipped cocktails and tore through a host songs off last year’s CoS Top Star-earning debut, A Thing Called Divine Fits. Highlights of the set included “Baby Get Worse”, “My Love is Real”, and a stellar rendition of “Salton Sea”, the latter of which found Britt Daniel and Dan Boeckner sharing vocal responsibilities. The two rockers even snuck in the yet to be released “Trained to Love” (?) which had Boeckner crooning, “You know you’re not the only one, trained to love.” Keyboardist Alex Fischel stepped over to the center stage by the end of the night and took up the bass so that Daniel and Boeckner could focus on punching the necks and loops on their guitars for set closer and Nick Cave cover “Shivers”. -Dan Pfleegor


Photographers: Heather Kaplan, Jeremy D. Larson, and Michael Roffman

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Netan Rosenthal
March 18, 2013 at 7:22 am

So cool! Be sure to Check out the Sound City Trailer. Dope!

March 17, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Man, would have killed to have seen the Sound City performance! sigh

March 17, 2013 at 4:11 pm

This is awesome. I wish I could have been there! If you haven’t seen the trailer for Sound City, peep it below:


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