Most people that attend SXSW think they need to spend in upwards of $1000 on a special badge so they can catch all the greatest bands that come through the festival. But honestly, what the hell is the point. Instead of spending all that money you can just wait for them to tour through your home city, buy a ticket for 50 bucks, and go see them. The whole point of SXSW is to find music that you would otherwise never hear before who come from places that you have never been before. Not to listen to bands that you already hear on the radio every day. Out of all the music I saw (FOR FREE) over the week of music I present to you the best of the best.
I saw this band late one night kind of on accident. A girl I met previously that day at work told me about her band that was playing on the 18th floor of The Hilton Garden Inn at 1 a.m. She was really cute so of course I agreed to go.
First of all, this was pretty much the most random concert venue I had ever been to. I hesitantly walked into the main lobby of the hotel and made my way to the elevators. Who the hell has a concert in a hotel? I thought to myself. The doors opened and I followed the music to large room with a small stage at the front and a small bar area at the very back. In front of the stage there were uneven rows of chairs with maybe only a dozen people watching (probably because this was such a random place to have a concert no one could find it).
I stood towards the back and let the music drench over me. The smooth folk voice of the lead singer paralyzed my ears into a state of oblivion. Listening to their music became an emotional almost spiritual experience. They finished their set with a song called, “Hold on.” This song was so powerful it felt as if I was going to cry listening to it.
Once they finished, I went up and gave the singer a hug and thanked him for making such beautiful music. I can only hope that one day I get to see them perform live again.
Balancer is a band like no other. It’s quite difficult to categorize their specific genre. They’re kind of like Radiohead meets MGMT. I first heard of them when I stumbled upon their show last year during SXSW and from then on I was in love. Their music is like if your soul could talk, this is the music it would make.
I’m not really sure where to continue with this post, all I can say is listen to them and experience some of the greatest sounds your ears will ever encounter.
Much like every band I find at SXSW, I come across it usually by accident. I found myself randomly walking through 6th street around 1 a.m. trying to catch one last show before everything closed. My friends and I walked into the Chuggin’ Monkey just as the final band was taking the stage.
They opened with a cover of Nelly’s song ‘Hot in Here’ which really got the crowd bumping. To be honest, it was actually a better version than Nelly’s original song. They then led into some of their original stuff which had an incredible flow to it. Smooth as silk and cold as ice. That kind of music you put on to make love to. Hell, one of their songs is called “Sex Jam.”