Concert Reviews

Empress Of, Jack Garratt, Hinds, Pumarosa, PARTYBABY at Hype Hotel, SXSW 2016

Next up was a visit to the Hype Hotel, which featured a showcase curated by website DIY. Early on LA-based band PARTYBABY hit the stage, playing intense garage-rock which found singer Jamie Schefman running all around the stage. Their fun, carefree songs were a good warmup for the rest of the evening.

London’s Pumarosa were up next, and another first-time SXSW band, who stated they were surprised by the massive size of the festival. Bringing with them a sound they describe as “industrial spiritual,” the band has some dancey psychadelic vibes about them that got the crowd dancing. Occasional saxophone from band member Tomoya Suzuki was also a crowd favoritge.

The biggest draw of the night may have been Spain’s female act Hinds. The garage rock band seemed like they were having a great time on stage together as they tore through their set with tons of energy. These girls definitely look like they are garnering a lot of attention and may be moving on from SXSW-sized venues soon.

Jack Garratt was next up to take the stage, and also attracted quite a bit of attention from fans that had been eagerly waiting for him. With a large stage set up, you would have thought that all the equipment on stage was for a full band, yet Jack managed to make use of it all and sound as loud as a full band. The mix of hard electronic beats and distortion, the intensity of his drum pad, and his soulful voice are a perfect formula that results in a great live show despite the one-man act.

The wrap up for the night was New York’s Empress Of, the stage name of Lorely Rodriguez. With a synthpop style, the set was a perfect nightcap to the evening. Some of the crowd managed to keep dancing, despite the 1 am set time, which even Lorely proclaimed was what she thought to be the latest show she has ever played. But that is exactly SXSW, with music packed in from the early day until the late hours of the night.

About author

International Concert Photojournalist at Live in Limbo. His work has been published in The New York Times, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Alternative Press and many more.