SXSW Music: Bands I Regretted Missing

SXSW has thousands of wonderful bands to see over the course of a week. The only downfall? It’s impossible to see all of them. So while I got to see many bands that were phenomenal, I also missed many equally phenomenal bands. These are the acts that I regretted having to miss:

Gold Fields. “Dark Again” was my jam the entire drive down to SXSW, but sadly my schedule was not to align to catch this up-and-coming electro pop act. Next time!

Usher at Fader. The rumor was that Lil Wayne was going to put in a surprise SXSW appearance, but a sudden hospitalization meant he could not make it to Austin. Instead, Usher surprised at the Fader Fort and dedicated his performance to rapper Lil Wayne in hopes for a quick recovery. Word was not only was this a big surprise appearance, but a very moving tribute. Bummed to have missed it.

Haim. Indie rock sister act Haim was on a lot of “must-see” lists and the girls were said to have a pleasing throwback sound. And though they played plenty of sets at the fest, they were another one of those acts that I could just not make in time to see.

Marnie Stern. Marnie Stern is noted for her guitar wizardry, but my friends that saw her perform said the real reason to see her was her wizardry with her tongue. Marnie’s stage banter is tough to contend with and I’m sad to have missed hearing it in person.

Justin Timberlake. While JT may not be my usual musical cup of tea, I respect what the guy is doing. This was the first time that JT was performing many of the songs of his latest album live, but the real reason I’m bummed to have missed his SXSW set is the intimacy of his performance. Those lucky few hundred that won MySpace tickets to see him got the chance to see the superstar up close and personal. Considering that he is pretty much an arena-only performer these days, that SXSW set was truly a once in a lifetime performance.

Diarrhea Planet. If the band name isn’t enough to get you curious, these Nashville punk rockers gained more buzz out of nowhere than any other SXSW act. Their live show was earning them rave reviews for being “fiesty” and “crazy.” Sadly, I caught wind of Diarrhea Planet a little too late to make it to one of their sets, but they’re touring a lot in 2013, so hopefully I’ll be seeing them soon.

Sound City Players. Sound City Players played one SXSW performance and it sounds like a truly magical experience. This super group was assembled by Dave Grohl and featured members of Fleetwood Mac, Nirvana and more. With many so many superstars on stage, they band bounced around playing new twists on members’ songs from other projects to playing brand new pieces. Sadly, since this was a special project for a documentary film, the chance of seeing Sound City Players together in quite the same way is pretty slim, though that does make the SXSW performance all the more special and something that I’m heartbroken to have missed.


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