South by Southwest 2023: Day One Music Recap
Written by Alina Velasquez on March 13, 2023
The music could be heard from blocks away as every venue in Downtown Austin, TX had their volumes all the way up. There were even performers entertaining from the middle of the streets, proving that the party is nonstop. Every genre, from hip-hop/rap to pop to musical comedy, could be found just from simply strolling down 6th street. Here’s a look at a few shows from SXSW Music Day One.
Porsche X The FADER: Where Genres Collide
Sadie, a Brooklyn-based producer and songwriter, opened the showcase at Porsche x The Fader, later followed by Kelela. Sadie’s performance was filled with melancholic vibes and catchy tunes featuring her latest single “All Night” as well as “Nowhere” and “Where You’re Not” from her EP album Nowhere. The songwriter uses autotune and distorted basses to elevate her music and draw elements from hyperpop. The audience could feel every word as she sang and moved to the music.
About thirty minutes after Sadie left the stage, Kelela Mizanekristos, an American singer, had the audience on edge waiting for her to come out. When Kelela finally did come out, the audience went wild. The performer captivated the audience with her movements and piercing gazes as she performed songs from several of her albums including Raven, Cut 4 Me, Hallucinogen and Take Me Apart. The audience was was completely mesmerized as she danced across the stage. One fan couldn’t contain his excitement as he jumped for joy and was practically in tears at the chance to touch her hand.
Performing at Esther’s Follies, Nick Thune and several other musically inclined comics gave what can only be described as a unique collection of eccentric performances through music and comedy. Nick Thune opened up the show playing a soft melody with his guitar telling a story about the time he hired an investigator because he had always wanted to “lose someone” after a chase. Nick Continued to tell jokes in between performers.
With the assist of Nick and his guitar, Jessica McKenna entered the show who performed improve songs based on questions she asked the audience, including one particularly emotional song about the upcoming movie Cocaine Bear.
Reggie Watts‘s performance was an absolutely phenomenal impression based performance. Reggie did several impressions of nameless artists and genres using a loop machine, sound poetry and his amazing beatboxing skills.
Christina Catherine Martinez serenaded the audience next as she walked up the audience from the back of the show, dancing on any man that would allow her. Throughout her performance, she revealed she had “shrimp for eyes” had a volunteer “supporter of women” eat them, poured ketchup, and various other materials, on herself. Her performance has been described as “conceptually highbrow and physically slapstick“. Let’s just say, you had to be there.