Hailing from New Jersey, Wyland (http://www.wearewyland.com/) was a very cool and worthwhile surprise. Performing at the Big Bang Bar on 6th St. I stumbled upon them while waiting for another band to perform at a different venue. The great thing is they had fans here in Austin that were super excited to see them. So watching a new band with a crowd that is excited to see them makes it really fun.
Stephen Castillo (http://stephencastillo.bandcamp.com/releases) was the next performer I saw, at Touche, right next door. Just a man and his guitar entertaining quite a large crowd. I am not certain if he was part of the RedGuerilla Music Showcase or not, but there he was! Playing some Americana style originals. A little bit country, some back roads, and Johnny Cash, is what Stephen Castillo reminded me of. Not the deep rumbling sound of Johnny, but the story telling and guitar playing while talking to the crowd in his sing song voice. This was very cool! I loved Stephen Castillo and with a bar full of people the applause was right! The fact that he is located in Austin is even better. This gives me the chance to see him again without the insanity of CrazyXCrazy2016. I look forward to catching him again and let me know you heard about him hear when we see each other out!
Lets jump to the last artist I will chat about here. This was my mind blowing experience of the entire week. SIRSY (http://www.sirsy.com/) was my mind OH MY GOD and WOW! moment. On this particular evening, while hanging out with the one and only Dave Prewitt of DaveTV (https://www.facebook.com/davetvtx/timeline) fame, while waiting for another particular band on his hit list, we wandered in to see this duo! OH! MY GOD! This is EXACTLY what the heart and spirit of SXSW has always been about. That unknown artist, at a free to walk in, venue. Pouring their souls, out and rocking the shit outta the crowd, was SIRSY...phenomenal! Even on a simple Instagram picture, I had had someone looking them up, contacting me, and telling me they were planning on catching them at their final SXSW2016 performance.
Oh no! Just check this out. The guitar player is flawless and raw. Clean enough to be enjoyed, and just edgy enough to make you grin. The lead singer/drummer/bass player was stunning. With a great voice and an even better smile, the drummer is the center of attention, as she should be. Singing and playing drums has always been an impressive task. Now throw in the drum machine for the bass tracks and work that AT THE SAME TIME...DAMN! This is the complete package in a fun sized, rock and roll, smiling laughing, have a good goddamn time with your friends, band!
Thrilled to think the next time they are hear, i can go see them on purpose and take my wife for a performance to die for!