SXSW 2015: Twerps, Zella Day, Jacuzzi Boys, Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts, 3/19/15

photos by Chad Elder | words by Cassie Purtlebaugh | Saturday, March 21st, 2015

On Thursday, March 19th, we started a bit late, as we slept in. Around 2 o’clock in the afternoon, to kill some time, we headed to the east side to check out Hype Machine’s Hype Hotel showcase, located in a huge warehouse. Shortly after arrival, Australian lo-fi rock band Twerps took the stage. Despite the fast-paced, upbeat music, the five members put on a incredibly relaxed performance to a youthful crowd.

Next, we rushed over to the enormous — and largely empty — Austin Convention Center to catch a few miscellaneous acts. First on the docket was Arizona pop act Zella Day. The whole ambiance was rather awkward (the space featured a large stage, rows of seating, and a lonely kiosk bar in the back), Day took the stage with a smile and her guitar, despite the fact that all those in attendance were seated. And unfortunately, when she and the backing band started, only photographers stood to line the stage. Regardless, I found her to be impressive, and enjoyed her cover of The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.” I have read some analogies likening her to a “happier Lana Del Rey,” and I think that’s very accurate. She’s a take-home find, and I can’t wait to witness her in a more natural setting in the future.

Afterward, to further kill time at the convention center, we walked around and enjoyed some Pakistani music in the international room. We also stumbled on the Tumblr IRL (in real life) showcase and were blown away by the various artists. Many of the pieces were inspired by concert bills and artist names.

Later we caught the Jacuzzi Boys, a lo-fi garage rock band from Florida. This trio played to a small room full of couch sitters, but they rocked on with their ’60s flare, keeping things energetic and fun despite yet another lethargic crowd.As the first portion of our day approached its end, we rushed back upstairs to the main hall to catch Scott Weiland and The Wildabouts. As Weiland took the stage, the growing audience finally showed enthusiasm as attendees crowded up to the stage.

It was neat to see Scott use a megaphone in the first song for vocal effect, rather than relying on a pedal, as most would nowadays. He moved around the stage with ease and engaged the audience with finesse that only comes from 30 years of experience.

Chad Elder is a Los Angeles-based photographer who focuses on live music and band portraits. Cassie Purtlebaugh is a writer and musician in Los Angeles.

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