Live Review: SXSW 2019 12.03.19 – ft. Black Midi, Fontaines D.C., Terminal A, Spooky Mansion & Ezra Collective

Friday, March 15, 2019

Not even the rain and wild winds could stop the masses at SXSW from flocking to venues around town to enjoy tunes from across the globe. The queues for the night were longer than last night, with Joan Jett’s exclusive performance at Stubbs and the British Music Embassy overflowing with fans desperate to get inside. We take you through some of the highlights yesterday brought us.

Terminal A at Barracuda Backyard 
If you ever see Terminal A live, just know that you’ll be treated to more than your standard punk show. This energetic duo treated everyone to freestyle dancing, spoken word poetry and a few up-and-close encounters. Though the room wasn’t as full at the start of the show, by the end of their set, their room filled up and they had everyone eating out of the palm of their hands. If you’re keen to get into Terminal A, ‘Chloe’ and ‘A Solution’ are good places to start.

Spooky Mansion at BB Riley’s 
This group from California filled the Irish pub with sunshine and their buoyant energy and it was a joy to watch. Their tunes are designed to be playing in the background whilst sipping on something fruity. Along with their effortless confidence, Spooky Mansion also brought the grooves and it was a pleasure to watch them do what they do best. 

Ezra Collective at the British Music Embassy
We may have been stuck in the huge queue outside of Latitude 30, but that didn’t stop us from gazing through the window at this utterly talented collective. Along with the hundreds that were already packed into the British Music Embassy, there was another hundred outside in awe of these talented humans. Note to self: go see them from the inside sometime this week. 

Fontaines D.C. at the British Music Embassy 
Finally, we made our way inside the British Music Embassy and it was great timing since it was time for Fontaines D.C. to dominate the stage. It was hard to fault them and in a room full of industry people, they had everyone amped up with a mini mosh pit forming at the front of the stage. Next month, they’re set to unleash their debut album Dogrel into the world and we’re eagerly waiting to hear what they have in-store. 

Black Midi at the British Music Embassy 
After meeting quite a number of music folk from the UK over the last few days around Austin, literally every single one of them mentioned the ever-so-enigmatic Black Midi as an act not to be missed — so naturally, we had to go see why, and we weren't disappointed. Existing purely as a live act at the moment, there’s no trace of them online on social media and you won’t find any of their music readily available to stream (except for a couple of live videos you’ll find floating about on Youtube). Black Midi’s only officially released track is ‘bmbmbm’, which can also be challenging to find online. They might be young, but their on-stage demeanour oozes the poise and confidence of a band who have been playing together for years. 

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)
Photos by Kristy Smolcic