SXSW 2017 Day 4 – The Drums, SURVIVE, Priests, Downtown Boys, Thee MPVs & Nef The Pharaoh

Big names such as Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz drew the crowds today, nonetheless, the smaller acts again prevailed with politically charged points to prove.

The afternoon began with the excellent Brooklyn Vegan showcase at Cheer Up Charlie’s. Angry, politically fueled bands dominated the bill. None more so than Downtown Boys. Their sax ridden, very dancey, punk sound went down storm with the daytime revellers. They were followed by the Washington DC four-piece Priests. Singer Katie Alice Greer donned a fantastic Rihanna ‘throwing the middle fingers up’ t-shirt, which paired perfectly with their aggressive, catchy punk vibes.

At Hotel Vegas, the Levitation party was headlined by SURVIVE. The group shot to fame after two of their members scored the brilliant ‘Stranger Things’ soundtrack for the hugely popular Netflix series. Playing the outdoors stage, the quartet’s experimental synth set fit perfectly with the starry night sky. Inside, English four-piece Thee MPVS again showed why they’re a force to be reckoned with. Their manic guitar riffs flooded the tiny room, drowning all attendees with their phenomenal garage-punk rock.

Bay area rapper Nef The Pharaoh – who recently featured on a VICE episode of Noisey – played the rooftop bar at 512. It may have been the cramped venue, but Nef didn’t shine, and definitely didn’t live up to the hype that’s surrounded him in the past year. At Maggie Mae’s, also performing on the roof, Japanese quartet Otoboke Beaver played a devilishly delightful punk-rock set. The band is named after a local ‘Love Hotel’ in Kyoto, and they’re part of a host of new feminist Japanese acts who won’t take shit from anyone. Their boisterous set proved that fact as the guitarist climbed one of the giant ten foot monitors and performed half a song kneeling on top.

At Elysium on Red River St, The Drums finished off the night with a dancey, surf-rock inspired show. There wasn’t a waist not twisting as the fourth track on the set, ‘I wanna go surfing’, radiated throughout the room. The concert concluded with the group’s founder and frontman, Jonny Pierce, telling a disturbing story of being called a “fag” at a previous show that day. Pierce said he took revenge by taking a photo of the man and posting it on social media. If Day four proved anything, it’s that there may be an overwhelming amount of division and hate in America right now, nonetheless, artists are determined to hit back when punched, and stand up for the vital causes that are being exasperated by the country’s current leader.

 

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