Tuesday night at SXSW kicked off with a bang at the Pitchfork showcase at Emo’s. No Joy from Montreal was the first band of the night and the longer they played the more they improved. What started off as a band with weak stage presence quickly turned into a fun set of noisy indie rock meeting bouncy twee pop. Certain songs had a Tennis meets Raveonettes feel to them. The female bass player and guitar player—whose faces were totally consumed by their hair many times throughout the set—had a great dynamic with each other. No Joy blended their pop sensibilities with enough skuzzy rock and roll to create something interesting.
Next up was Weekend from San Francisco, who had a similar indie rock vibe. The set was short, but filled with bright, upbeat songs that got the crowd bobbing their heads and left a good impression. More soaked in reverb than the previous band, Weekend’s music was heavy on melodies and texture, while the lead singer’s voice was pretty enough to break through the noise wall that the rest of the group was creating.
Next, Beach Fossils played a solid set of lo-fi melodic indie noise pop that reminded me somewhat of Tennis and Best Coast. The band maintained the level of energy of the previous groups and had great presence on stage. For music that I typically have no interest in listening too, all three bands kept me interested and engaged.
After a few hours of indie infused pop and rock, I ducked inside to check out an electro set from London’s Gold Panda. Gold Panda’s set was very mellow but totally enthralling and ended up being the highlight of the night for me. His lo-fi beats had an Asian influence that got the packed crowd dancing hard enough to break a sweat. He dropped his bangers early on in the set, but the songs toward the end of his set, although mellow, were just as heavy hitting. After seeing Gold Panda do his thing live, I’d love to listen to this while spending a day relaxing pool side or blasting in headphones.