The Best Shows at SXSW This Year

Categories: SXSW

This year Rocks Off and DC-9 at Night, the music blog at our sister paper Dallas Observer, teamed up to bring you only the choicest moments from last week's SXSW madness.

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Photo by Craig Hlavaty
John Fogerty: Creedence Clearwater Revival survivor John Fogerty gets overlooked as a riff-happy rocker, with most people concentrating on his good-time Americana rock and roll instead of the volume addict in flannel that he is. Saturday night Fogerty and his band ran through nearly every CCR hit, and even played 1985 solo hit "Centerfield," complete with a guitar fashioned after a baseball bat. Or was it a baseball bat fashioned into a guitar?

Either way, I saw a cloud of smoke erupt during "Lookin' Out My Back Door", a sight that would make Jeff Lebowski smile that beardy smile. And honestly a show with True Believers (Alejandro Escovedo's lost '80s band), Junior Brown, and Bobby Bare Sr. as support was just a slice of all right. By the way, True Believers were delightfully loud, and their return to the stage is welcome. CRAIG HLAVATY


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Photo by Craig Hlavaty
Not In The Face: Not In The Face closed out my SXSW week at the Blackheart on Rainey Street, Austin's less shameful counterpart to the bastard Sixth Street, with a sound best described as Queens of the Stone Age mated with the Temptations. The trio is coming into their own around these parts, playing with ZZ Top and Reverend Horton Heat, solidifying their Texas rep as the new what's hot. Their new Walk EP shoves it on home. CRAIG HLAVATY


Reignwolf: Reignwolf is a one-man band, mostly, when Jordan Cook isn't aided by bass and drums. His Friday night showcase woke me from my SXSW sniffles and aches and actually made me jam out for a change.

He'll probably have to contend with lazy Black Keys references, but give him time. Blues-punk with a dark slant, the likes of which I've only seen Dax Riggs pull off. Plus, Reignwolf is hella acrobatic onstage, so he's tailor-made for sweaty, smallish venues. CRAIG HLAVATY


Sheepdogs: I slept on this Canadian act when they were being feted by Rolling Stone for a cover contest, when in fact I should have been getting in on the ground floor. Shades of Grateful Dead, Moby Grape, and Neil Young abound. They brought a raucous - yet polite - Canadian crowd with them to Sixth Street. There was even a trumpet solo. CRAIG HLAVATY

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