Welcome to The Set List. Here you'll find the latest concert recaps for many of your favorite, or maybe not so favorite, artists. Our bloggers will do their best to provide you with every detail of the show, from which songs were on the set list to what the artist was wearing to which out-of-control fan made a scene. Hey, it'll be like you were there. And if you like what you read, we'll even let you know where you can catch the artist on tour. Feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your concert experience. Oh, and rock on.
By Brent Burns
South by Southwest is one of the world’s biggest music events, and definitely the largest spectacle to hit Austin, Texas, each year, drawing filmmakers and IT savants from across the globe. In this mass of music fans, industry veterans and the constant search for a charging station, it can be near impossible to find a place to just relax and enjoy the amount of talent surrounding you. On March 15 at the Avenue on Congress I found my refuge, the official SXSW showcase presented by Bond Music Group and Vitalic Noise, with a lineup so stacked there was nowhere else in all of Texas I would rather have been.
Walking into the venue, downstairs there was a dancehall paradise packed with fans fixated on the superstar maestros of indie dance and electronic disco. Viceroy, a talented San Francisco-based DJ/producer, took the stage right after I arrived and the crowd instantly fell under the spell of his shimmering sun-drenched sound that mixes high-energy disco with massive pop melodies.
Next up was Los Angeles producer duo Classixx who provided the tasty meat in this all-star DJ sandwich, but RAC was one of the more anticipated acts of the evening. Taking to the stage with a glowing wall of lights that pulsed and moved to the beat, there was an instant rush of energy from the crowd. RAC brought their sound to life, starting with the infectiously bouncing disco remix of MNDR’s hit single "Feed Me Diamonds." Their energy was contagious and the entire club moved in unison to their sound.
Meanwhile, music fans could escape upstairs to the real oasis in the middle of downtown Austin, with 360-degree views of the capital’s skyline in all directions via the rooftop stage. While the best disco DJs kept everyone dancing downstairs, the upstairs stage was showcasing the best party bands at SXSW. The lineup featured talent from all over the United States: Washington, D.C.-based electronic group Volta Bureau, Los Angeles-based producer Goldroom and Chicago-based indie-electronica quartet Gemini Club.
The lineup built up to the brightest stars of the night, showcase headliners Avan Lava, New York’s best-kept party band secret, until now. The band took the stage in matching outfits, custom made for them on a trip to perform at the W Hotel in Singapore, and emerged highlighted by a lighting setup that made the stage lights envious. It all might just have to do with the band’s co-producer Ian Pai touring with the Blue Man Group and Fischerspooner, or it’s just their mutual love for all things Prince, Michael Jackson and Daft Punk, but whatever their inspiration, Avan Lava brought a truly theatrical experience and energy to their live show, the perfect pairing to their party-anthem sound.
Austin’s iconic Frost Bank Tower created an epic backdrop for their show, which kicked off with the bass-heavy, '90s R&B infused track "Tear It Down." For the next 45 minutes the entire rooftop was transfixed on the stage and the five members of Avan Lava dancing in unison, their flashing lights and unstoppable energy. Avan Lava proved that the rest of SXSW has some very large dancing shoes to fill.
Avan Lava Set List:
"Tear It Down"
"Pure As Love"
"It's Never Over (Remix)"
"Take This City"
"Somebody To Love Me"
"End Of The World"
"It's Never Over"
(Brent Burns is the dance/electronica GRAMMY.com Community Blogger.)