CraveOnline's first-ever SXSW music and arts showcase was a magnificent success on Wednesday, featuring rockin' performances from Eagles of Death Metal, Reignwolf, My Goodness, Alain Johannes and many more!
Months of preparation, planning and way too much coffee finally came to fruition in Austin last night, as our day and night parties (sponsored by Marshall Headphones) at Rusty's on 7th (partnered with Swing House studios) came off without a hitch. Fans enjoyed sets from over a dozen musical acts arriving from around the globe, including South Africa (Kongos), the UK (A Silent Film, Turbogeist), Brazil (Black Drawing Chalks) and beyond.
San Diego one-man blues-blast band Low Volts took the stage at 12:30, kicking off the day's festivities with a truckload of dirty soul-grit before The Mowgli's took the stage with their raucous brand of barn-burner rock. Harmonies on high and spirits even higher, the band – who have been making some serious moves lately with TV appearances and a barrage of positive press – ripped through a set of clap-along goodness to a highly receptive crowd.
After a brilliant set from A Silent Film (including a set-closing intensified take on their tearjerker breakthrough "Danny, Dakota and the Wishing Well"), attendees headed outside for a taste of local goodness from Austin's very own The Rocketboys.
Blondfire and Turbogeist each delivered reliably strong sets as the house filled up in anticipation of the day party headliner Eagles of Death Metal. It was packed to the rafters by the time Jesse "Devil" Hughes and friends took to the stage.
As Hughes delivered a powerful dose of his sex-charged tongue-in-cheek ’70s cock-rock pastiche through songs including "Secret Plans," "Cherry Cola," "I Only Want You" and more, guitarist Dave Catching, sporting some lush facial hair, delivered his typically shredding riffery in effortless fashion. Brian O'Connor held the buoyantly thunderous low end on bass as well, as Ween drummer Claude Coleman sat in on drum duties to the extreme delight of more than a few onlookers.
After a short break to prepare for the night party, Black Drawing Chalks blasted through a chills-inducing set of rockers in the vein of Queens of The Stone Age and Black Sabbath, without any of the sludginess. From there, Cosmic Suckerpunch lured fans outside with their earnest introspections and Kongos turned some serious heads before the Herbert Bail Orchestra brought a raucous injection of Americana stomp-folk to the main stage.
Alain Johannes, man of a million projects, delivered a deeply moving performance armed largely with only his signature cigar-box guitar. Pulling from his solo debut Spark as well as his 2012 short release and a Desert Sessions gem, Alain schooled attendees in a taste of true soul with flourishes of classical guitar and an earnest, heartfelt delivery.
Seattle rockers My Goodness took the patio stage next, and blew unexpecting minds with a two-man onslaught that's made them a relentless force in the Pacific Northwest. This, of course, was before the night's surprise headliner, the maniacal fit of rock explosiveness that is Reignwolf.
Jordan Cook's reputation is beginning to precede his arrival, which is why there was very little elbow room in the pit once the Seattle-by-way-of-Saskatchewan monster took the stage. Playing half the set solo and the other half with a drummer and bassist, Reignwolf's ferocity and balls-out passion was a staggering sight as he tore staggered around the stage in a fit of guitar-driven mania. Tearing through live staples "Old Man," "Electric Love" and "In The Dark," among others, the man settled any confusion for those in the house as to why there is such an avalanche of hype surrounding him. As if only to add icing to a teeth-gnashingly awesome performance, Jordan grabed an electric mandolin and proceeded to bitch slap even the highest of expectations with a dynamically glorious take on Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain".
Couldn't make it? Check out a full gallery of pics from the show below, and stay tuned for video recaps, artist photo galleries and plenty more coverage from CraveOnline's SXSW experience!
All photos: Johnny Firecloud