I know you've seen too many "My Picks of SXSW" lists, but you're going to have to suck it up and deal with another one. In all seriousness, SXSW is a huge operation. With so many great bands playing in one place it's impossible for any two people to have the same favorites. There was simply too much to see. Think of the overload of Top 10 lists as aftershock from an insane week, we're just trying to bring SXSW back to the real world.
Without further ado, here are my three favorite live acts of Austin's SXSW music festival.
I stumbled upon Delorean on accident only a few days before leaving for South By. Their unique Ambient/Dance/Indie Rock sound caught my ear. I even listened to their "Subiza" album on the plane. However, I was totally unaware they'd be featured in Texas, much less that I'd be at their show. Next thing I know I'm at The Mohawk saying "I swear I've heard this band before" just to find out it's Delorean. Hands down, they were my favorite show from the festival. The Mohawk is a great venue (it has three outdoor balconies) and Delorean's energy on stage matched that of the crowd. Everyone there was dancing including the band. I highly suggest you catch them any time you can.
He's from Chicago, but I had to go all the way to Texas before seeing him live. What a mistake. A lot of rap falls flat when performed live, but Legit was (somehow) even better in person. His backing band killed it, the lyrics was perfectly placed, and it clearly showed. Every head on the street was turning towards the window he was playing in front of. If you're in Chicago and haven't seen Legit, change that immediately.
3. JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound
Here's another Chicago native who managed to follow me down south. JC Brooks was the only Jazz/Funk/Rock band I saw at SXSW, and possibly the only one there. He's the only one that needed to be there. He played on a patio stage behind a bar. Right after he started playing, the bar emptied out and went to the patio. Everyone wanted a piece of the Uptown Sound. He played at Epitonic's own day party, and if you weren't there JC wasn't the only great band you missed.
This playlist includes these bands, plus some others I enjoyed during my stay in Austin. Listen away.