SXSW, the well-over-a-week-long music/film/interactive festival, is coming up fast! The music portion of SXSW, which kicks off on March 12, has long been a highlight of the year as hundreds of bands descend on Austin, Texas, to perform on a variety of showcases and get some much deserved exposure.
As always, The Hideout helps properly send off a chunk of Chicago’s own musicians down to SXSW the best way they know how: by having a party and raising some cash for the bands! The Annual SXSW Send Off Party takes place on March 10 and will highlight some fantastic local bands ready to take over SXSW! Check out this year’s lineup below and go support these fantastic local acts!
James Swanberg – 4:00pm
Where do you start with James Swanberg? Undoubtedly he is a madman genius, crafting so many irresistible songs that I imagine even he has lost count. Working under projects like the Lemons, Today’s Hits, Tripp Tapes, his own name, and so many more, Swanberg has taken the song-a-day approach to creating music to heart and the results are genuinely amazing. Sweet bubbly melodies that just feel right nestled in your ear.
Varsity – 5:00pm
Pop music doesn’t get as pristine and enjoyable as Varsity’s excellent sounds. Their songs are insanely catchy, instantly becoming ear-worms with their incredibly sweet melodies working in tandem with soaring guitars laid under beautiful vocals from Stephanie Smith. Each of their tracks feels like a concise story full of all the emotions you could hope for from a band with a name taken from a high sch0ol sports team term.
Moonrise Nation – 6:00pm
When it comes to SXSW, you always expect to hear about breakout bands poised to make it big. Moonrise Nation is assuredly one of the bands. The trio of Emma McCall, Arden Baldinger and Eva Baldinger have steadily been honing their craft and are only a few months away from releasing their debut full-length album Glamour Child. The band’s sensational voices are a standout in their folk rock leanings, which encompasses striking guitar lines, sparkling keys, and impressive cello and bass to round it all out for amazing songs.
Bunny – 7:00pm
Bunny creates music perfect to get lost to. Their dreamy pop melodies bring layered lyrics to the surface while luring you deeper into their ethereal sound until that’s all you ever want to hear. While they maybe cracking jokes about just how far off their debut album is, you can hop over to their Bandcamp and listen to everything they currently have available. Or if you’re a Spotify user, be more than content with the wonderful “Not Even You” on replay all day (seriously, I did this and had a pretty stellar day).
Waco Brothers – 8:00pm
Seriously? Do you really need a confusing and spiraling description of the Waco Brothers, a local musical institution fronted by Jon Langford, that has been mixing those traditional country vibes with a straight up punk aesthetic to create a beast of an alternative sound that has been going on so long that their stage presence is the stuff of legend, tearing through sets with a rollicking and reckless abandon that energizes everyone, no matter the crowd or venue as they weave songwriting that is both personal and political into explosive songs? I didn’t think so.
Pixel Grip – 9:00pm
Pixel Grip makes the music that synthesizers dream about when they’re not in use. Duo Rita Lukea and Jonathan Freund have been expanding their lush sound since 2014 and have produced excellent results. It’s all delectable synth-pop with a twinge of Goth undertones that combine for some of the most fun electronic music you’ll hear today. It music made for dancing your ass off while you look and feel your most glam.
Ariel Zetina – 10:00pm
Things don’t get as eclectic or as fun as Ariel Zetina’s unique take on the typical DJ sets. Taking notes of Chicago’s varied DJ history of house and footwork, Zetina adds her own personal flair of glitchy sounds and downright danceable jams to her hybrid live/DJ performances. If you aren’t dancing seconds into her sets, you may want to get that checked out.
Don’t miss out on this fantastic SXSW send off! Doors open at 2:00pm and entry is only $10 at the door! Proceeds go to the bands to support their treks down to the Lone Star state.