SXSW 2023 – Wednesday 03.15.23

Beware the Ides of March!

ACL Radio Live @ Hotel Van Zandt

The Bright Light Social Hour

This band has been through so many changes since I happened upon that magical show about a decade ago in the backyard of Domy Books on Cesar Chavez. For one, they have a woman in the band! Curtis Roush’s influence of desert psych rock is definitely there and Jack’s bass is still carrying the beat but everyone else is new to the band. The sound is different than “In & Out” but we’ve all matured right? Well, so has the music. In my opinion it is aging like a fine wine. (Andee)

Agreed that this band has definitely changed since the first time that I saw them at what I am almost certain was an ACL Radio Live performance many years ago. And while I agree with Andee that we’ve all aged and that I love that they have a woman in the band now, I miss “Back & Forth” and “Detroit” from their eponymously named album. The first song they played didn’t wow me; I’m not saying it was bad, but it didn’t get me. That said, I really liked their second song “Not New” and I liked it enough that it made me want to see them again (and we did on Sunday, our final day, and they delivered with all the songs that I love from that album that I love). (Jenn)

Paste Party @ High Noon

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness

This guy is certainly loved. You could see it in the crowd. This wasn’t my jam, but my friend Jess, who has good but different than my music taste was excited I saw him. Andrew has a big, strong voice that is reminiscent of musical theater, especially as he pounds out his tunes on the keyboard. (Andee)

Agreed that this was also not my jam, but the crowd was eating him up. They knew the words to his songs and were happy to join in on the choruses; they were quiet and respectful when they weren’t accompanying him and he did bang it out on the keyboards. (Jenn)


I was glad to see this band a second time. Their quirky dance moves and cohesive performance left us wondering, who is the leader of this band? It’s the keyboardist, right? They’re moving to the South of France, so good luck catching them at a show but I can definity see this being one of those bands you could catch during the day at a large music festival. They dancing is fun but the music is actually good. The dance might take away from how great this band sounds but it is so fun to watch! (Andee)

Agreed that I was also glad to see Barrie for a second time on this SXSW2023 adventure. Their harmonies are AH-mazing and I love their synchronized dance moves and the way that they interact on stage. They are lovely and I highly recommend seeing them if you have the chance. They are definitely not my typical jam, but I thoroughly enjoyed both of their sets and fan-girling them afterwards proved them to be just as lovely to talk to as they are to watch. (Jenn)

Kate Davis

Solo performer with some raw lyrics discussing trauma. The packed room made it hard to see but it was a good show. (Andee)

Mellow singer / songwriter singing her truths, as seemed to be the theme of SXSW2023. Meh IMO, but as Andee said the packed room made it hard to see and I do like to be able to see as well as hear. (Jenn)


Was this really the first all white, male band we saw? They were good and I think under different circumstances, I would have really dug their music. Kinda like Dr. Dog, with some harmonies and easy to rock along to tunes. (Andee)

I’m pretty sure we saw some all white, male band (who also sounded like Dr. Dog) at Hotel Vegas on Sunday. I believe their name was Night Cap. That said, it was surprising how few all white, male bands we saw this round of SX. I like to think that it’s because things are changing, but I think the thing that has changed is the choices that we make, like attending Women That Rock. As for Michigander, we were standing outside the venue eating our lunch and there was a lot of talking around us, so they didn’t make a big impression on me. I’ve gone back to listen to the video I have and I liked what I heard AND they are coming to the Bay Area very soon (Cornerstone on Sunday, April 2nd), so maybe I’ll try to check them out for realz. (Jenn)

Canada House @ The Swan Dive

I think one of the interesting things about SX is how you end up seeing the shows that you end up seeing. In this case, we ended up at Canada House because our new friend Phyllis (who *is* Canadian) recommended this Wednesday showcase to us because of Begonia.

Boy Golden

We arrived during their last song (or their second to last song) and I could not remember their sound, only their look — mullets — until I went back and watched Andee’s video clip of “The Church of Better Daze”. I liked them. I would see them again. (Jenn)

For sure would see them again. I love Canadian rock and this is a great example of that with some americana-country tossed in for good measure. (Andee)


Begonia was wonderful and I would definitely see her again. She fit the SXSW2023 trend of women speaking / singing their truth and I liked that. Plus she was Canadian. (Jenn)

As Jenn mentioned, this is who we came to Canada House to see, since our friend Phyllis reccomended her. In the moment, I think I was distracted because going back, I am struck by how powerful her voice is, squint your ears and think of Adele but more jazzy and quirky-Canadian. (Andee)

Haley Blais

This young group of performers handled things like old professionals when Haley’s guitar broke (a string I think). She just put it aside, focused on the singing, and it was great. When the chorus started, she played air guitar. (Andee)

In the best way possible, this band looked like a bunch of high school band geeks and they were quite good. I also enjoyed the air guitar / performance. (Jenn)

British Music Embassy @ The Courtyard (formerly Cedar Street)

In the same way that we got to Canada House, Phyllis was planning to head to the British Music Embassy showcase to see Alaskalaska and we decided to roll with her.

Brooke Combe

The lead singer brought passion to her performance and it was impressive. She was pouring it all out on the stage. It was crowded and I was tired so the preppy drunk kids in front of me flirting and talking through the entire show right up front were not doing it for me. (Andee)

I had a slightly better spot than Andee did for this performance. I could see the annoying preppy drunk kids, but they were far enough from me that I couldn’t hear them. I had a sweet spot, leaning against a pole with a clear view to Brooke Combe. I really thought she was excellent and definitely plan to see her again if I get the opportunity though it doesn’t appear that she has plans to hit the US any time soon. (Jenn)


I listened to this band before seeing them and really liked it so I was looking forward to the show. However, I think I was just really tired by the end of the day and had trouble enjoying it as much as I wanted to. The performance was solid. The lead singers combo of short blonde hair and at times almost yodeling voice made me think of the Cranberries. (Andee)

I had not heard this band first and was going strictly on Phyllis’ recommendation. I may have also been tired and / or this may just not be my jam. As Andee said, they gave a solid performance and I did enjoy the show, but they’re not going to make my list of bands that I plan to seek out again live; I wouldn’t avoid them though either. (Jenn)

The Driscoll Hotel

Not sure who was playing but the beer was good and the place to sit down and chat with our new friend Phyllis was priceless. What a day! (Andee)

And the fact that Jenn’s boss, David, funded our beers for the day made the price just right too! It was a nice place to sit and chillout for a bit and the live background music was just fine. (Jenn)

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