Recap | Jimmy Eat World, Tei Shi, Lewis Del Mar Close Out SXSW 2017 Day 3

Photo: Vivien Killilea (Getty Images)

As the South By Southwest (SXSW) week progresses, bigger acts and bigger crowds flood downtown Austin so Wednesday is the virtual calm before the (shit) storm.

SXSW 2017‘s day three music line-up also was fittingly its most diverse as it was less about hunkering down at one or two spots to catch a headline act and more about bouncing around Sixth Street to see and hear as much as your ear drums, liver and music badge would allow.

Photo: Patrick Green

My night started out at KCRW’s showcase at Elysium, where rising nu-pop-soul performer Gabriel Garzon Montano took the stage for an intimate throwback performance that delighted the crowd. The Brooklyn born singer/songwriter became famous when Drake sampled his voice for “Jungle,” but his sparkling debut, Jardin (out now on Stones Throw Records), stands on its own for its wide range of classic influences and cutting-edge ideas that caught the ear of KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic’s host Jason Bentley. 

Photo: Patrick Green

Speaking of Bentley, the KCRW music director and resident tastemaker’s manicured fingertips were all over the wide-ranging evening, which also included a rousing performance from Los Angeles band Mondo Cozmo, whose frontman Josh Ostrander was a dead ringer for Adam Levine, but without the douche factor. Mondo Cozmo is a textbook rock band from their denim and all-black outfits to their straightforward rock ‘n roll sound, which runs the gamut from electrified Bob Dylan to ’90s Brit bands such as Oasis and the Verve (even closing their set with a worthy cover of “Bittersweet Symphony”).

Photo: Lorne Thomson (Getty Images)

I ventured over to the Mazda Studio at Empire to catch a couple shows programmed by Stereogum. Tei Shi was one of my own 20 Must See Artists at SXSW 2017 and the Grimes-approved “it girl” didn’t disappoint despite being relegated to the smaller, stuffier Control Room. Playing new songs off her upcoming debut, Crawl Space, the Brooklyn-based artist makes surreal, dream-like music that I would imagine Sofia Coppola putting out if she was a future pop artist.

Photo: Andrew Benge (Getty Images)

On my way out I stopped to check out a few songs from Hippo Campus. The Minnesota foursome sound and act much like a band with a child board game-sounding name, carrying on the torch of self-ironic, indie rock savants like Vampire Weekend and Two Door Cinema Club. Nothing new here, but if you like that sort of thing, definitely a band worth checking out.

Photo: Patrick Green

My last stop of the night was the Pandora musical showcase at the Gatsby where I had spent a majority of Day 1, but had to return to catch Lewis Del Mar. The Queens-band was making a triumphant return to Austin after playing at Austin City Limits 2016 and thoroughly earned their prime time status with an intoxicating set (and I’m not just talking about the free flowing Titos Vodka at the VIP bar) that showed off their dynamic, idyllic soundscape that has earned “future star” status from Rolling Stone, Billboard, Crave ourselves.

Photo Vivien Killilea (Getty Images)

Closing out the night and our SXSW 2017 journey was emo rock heroes Jimmy Eat World who drew a big crowd hoping to recapture their youth, including Silicon Valley’s Kumail Nanjiani who dropped in to check them out. The revitalized rockers didn’t disappoint, banging out ’90s classics like “Bleed American” “Pain” and course “Suffer”, which had me cradling myself into a ball and (almost) drunk dialing exes who’re now someone’s wife/mother. And in all, it was a nice if not progressive set, but sometimes reliving memories is a lot safer and less work than chasing down new ones, especially after some long days and nights at SXSW 2017.