We’ve seen so much great Nordic music here at SXSW, and each day it gets better. Here’s who we saw on our third day at the Austin, TX festival.
At Half Step bar on Rainey Street the sun was turned up to 13 for Bearson’s DJ set. He kicked it off with his latest hit One Step At A Time and by the time he faded in Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror halfway into his set, the space in front of him was filled with very pleased and smiling dancers. A good time was had by all, and the cheers at the end of his show were genuine.
We made it to the outside patio stage of bar Sidewinder just as SLØTFACE was about to play, found a great place to stand in the crowd, and planted our feet firmly on the stone-paved floor for what we knew we were about to experience: a rocking good time. The band fulfilled this expectation. The Gods were pleased, too, as evidenced by the gorgeous sunrays that pierced through the wooden slats of the wall to illuminate the band in blessed light.
One Week Wonder (IS)
Getting to Speakeasy Cabaret to see One Week Wonder was like a chapter in a Nordic noir book, only with anticipation and excitement instead of anxiety and dread. Through the venue’s alleyway door, tucked in the corner on a long triangle stage, the Icelandic pop band played music from their album “Mars” and my ears got drunk on the melodies.
The amazing show that Danish trio CHINAH played SXSW last year must have caught up with them, because when we saw them at Blackheart this year the crowd that gathered for it were clearly down for the band to do more of the same. CHINAH did not disappoint, and in fact upped their music game considerably. Austin loves this band, and from what we saw the feeling is mutual.
We were a tiny bit worried we’d not get into the Sigrid show at Antone’s, but kindness from the line manager got us to the front of the line and then into the venue with enough time to grab an alcoholic beverage and elbow our way through the massive crowd to get close enough for photos and video. (Reminder to festival goers: ALWAYS be nice to the crowd control and beverage staff, because karma is a bitch and hospitality is long.) If you don’t know Norway’s Sigrid yet, it’s okay because 1) she’s a freshly debuted pop Princess, and 2) her music catalog is small. But look out: this little lady’s pipes, beauty, and Universal Music backing and this means soon she’ll be everywhere all at once. When that happens, the world will have a new pop Queen.
We ended our night with a show from Finnish singer/songwriter Peppina at Shakespeare, a place that has little in the way of English pub vibes save for a 4 foot tall suit of armor on the bar. Outside the bar, on the patio, was an open-air stage where our Nordic siren sang her hits to dedicated “I know all the words” fans. Lots of smiles floated to and from the stage on music notes and Texas wind, which made for a fitting way to sign off on our Nordic music coverage duties for the night.
We’ve got a couple more days of SXSW to share with you, so be sure to connect with us on our social channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube) if you can’t be at SXSW this year, because there’s much more to come. Stay tuned!
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