SXSW 2019


Photo: Michael Coleman

MC Bravado Raps for the Thinking Every Man

MC Bravado arrived in Austin for SXSW with one of the more compelling stories of all the artists pouring into the city for the biggest music industry event in the world. Until just last year, Bravado was an English teacher in a Baltimore city school. After trying to break into the rap game while teaching […]

Photo: Michael Coleman

Buck Meek Brings Solo Work to SXSW

Buck Meek, a Texas native who made his name as the guitar player for Brooklyn folk-rockers Big Thief, stepped away from the band momentarily last year and released his self-titled debut album. We caught Meek’s acoustic showcase in midtown Austin on the final day of SXSW. A captivating songwriter with an unusual but inviting vocal […]

Photo: Michael Coleman

From Virginia to Vanderbilt, Amy Wilcox’s Star Is Rising at SXSW

Arlington, Virginia native Amy Wilcox always loved to sing. But when she got to college, she immersed herself in the craft and eventually commanded a prestigious residency at Nashville’s 3rd & Lindsley Bar & Grill – a breeding ground for up-and-comers. Garnering stellar word-of-mouth in Nashville’s competitive music scene, Wilcox landed opening slots on bills […]

Photo: Michael Coleman

Australian Pop Artist Holiday Sidewinder on Owning Her Sound, Sexuality

Yes, Holiday Sidewinder is her real name. Proclaiming “no gimmicks,” the Australian-born singer confirmed the authenticity of her moniker toward the end of her enthralling set at SXSW’s Australia House on Friday afternoon, surely answering at least one question on everyone’s mind. Cloaked in an orange leotard, stilettos and a cheetah print overcoat, the platinum blonde does seem […]


Jared & The Mill on New Music, Growing from Regrets and Embracing SXSW Chaos

When I met Jared Kolesar of Phoenix-based indie folk band Jared & The Mill, we were about 20 minutes behind schedule. I blamed our inability to share our whereabouts and locate each other on mercury retrograde. It’s also what I’d blamed for the great Instagram and Facebook outage earlier in the week, but Kolesar insisted “that […]

Photo: M.K. Koszycki

It’s Broken Social Scene Versus All The Scooters at SXSW

I had a lofty idea in my head that I’d go on a mission to see Canadian supergroup Broken Social Scene as many times as humanly possible at SXSW. The first and only set I caught, however, was so weirdly wonderful that I’m afraid a second stop would ruin the charm of the first. I […]

Big Joanie // Photo: Michael Coleman

Friendly Priests, Weed Rice Krispies + Seven Eclectic Acts: First Night at SXSW 2019

You know you’re back at SXSW when within an hour of wandering through the music festival showcases, you’re offered weed-infused Rice Krispies bites and greeted by a rock ‘n’ roll-loving priest. Sounds about right, and it’s good to be back. SXSW 2019 marks my second consecutive year covering the music festival, and I’m coming back […]

Photo: Mike Coleman

Award-Winning Austin Native Jackie Venson Takes SXSW By Storm

To say Jackie Venson is having a moment is a bit of an understatement. The Austin native and Berklee College of Music graduate, who opened for blues-rock superstar Gary Clark Jr. last year, won the highly-competitive Best Guitar Player award at the Austin Music Awards earlier this month, making her the third woman and the […]

Photo: Michael Coleman

Waco Brothers Keep Crowd Alive During Late Set

The clock crept toward 1 a.m. Thursday morning after a long day at work and a full night rocking SXSW. Sleep beckoned, but the pesky festival app on my phone wasn’t having it. At 12:45 a.m., the app dinged and reminded me the Waco Brothers – cowpunk pioneers and Bloodshot Records legends – were due onstage in […]

Photo: Michael Coleman

Barrie Has the Best Time at Ground Control Touring Showcase

The first set I caught upon arrival in Austin, Texas happened to be Barrie, and I regret to inform all the bands I’ll see in the future, that they have big shoes to fill. I’ve only been keen on Barrie for about three weeks now, thanks to the modern miracle of the Spotify algorithm. While […]

Photo: Michael Coleman

DC Locals Gather at WeDC House in Austin

On the opening weekend of Austin, Texas’ international musical extravaganza known as SXSW, DC was definitely in the house – the WeDC House. Some of DC’s hottest musical acts joined city officials, unofficial city ambassadors and hundreds of curiosity seekers for a three-day party celebrating not only the unique musical identity of the nation’s capital, […]


WeDC House Rocks SXSW in Austin

City officials tout pitch nation’s capitol as center of “inclusive innovation” at SXSW tech conference on March 10 in Austin, Texas with the help of a raucous WeDC partyPhotos: Michael Coleman 

SXSW 2019 – Wednesday

On Tap went big on our first night of the SXSW Music Festival taking in one DJ and seven bands at six venues. From the dissonant and quirky sounds of British band Big Joanie to the blazing cowpunk of Chicago’s The Waco Brothers to the funk-infused Latin rhythms of Cuba’s Cimafunk and the hippie-folk stylings of Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, Austin’s legendary music festival has a little something for everyone. Photos: Michael Coleman

SXSW 2019 – Thursday

Thursday, March 14, of SXSW festival started with a bang – make that an explosion – as DC’s Priests blew a packed lunchtime crowd away at Mohawk, one of a slew of outdoor venues in downtown Austin’s Red River entertainment district. A mesmerizing set by Philadelphia’s Japanese Breakfast followed. Marlon Sexton, son of Austin guitar hero and Bob Dylan bandmate Charlie Sexton, brought his crew, Marfa Surprise, to Cooper’s BBQ downtown followed by rocker Jackie Venson, fresh off her win as Best Guitarist at the Austin Music Awards. Garrett T. Capps of San Antonio put on entertaining set of experimental country – he calls it NASA country – and Meghan Thee Stallion of Houston threw down a ferocious but short set of highly-charged sex raps at Cheer Up Charlies. Phenomenal music all day and all night – that’s what makes SXSW magic. Photos: Michael Coleman

Walker Lukens at SXSW

Austin native Walker Lukens energized a midnight crowd at the iconic Continental Club on Thursday. He lept around the stage and stared into the eyes of show goers, daring them to be anything but transfixed, surely waking up anyone with heavy eyelids from a long day of showcase-hopping at SXSW. His band’s incredibly tight sound laid the framework for Lukens’ soulful voice to shine through, pairing well with bandmate Mackenzie Griffin’s equally impressive vocals. While it would have been easy for Lukens to rest on the laurels of his retro-50s inspired sound, he previewed new songs from his upcoming album Adult that had a modern twist while still paying healthy homage to his musical predecessors. Don’t miss Lukens and company in DC at Songbyrd Music House and Record Cafe on May 1. Photos: M.K. Koszycki

SXSW 2019 – Friday

Chicks ruled Friday at SXSW. Whether it was the sensual alt-pop of Australia’s Holiday Sidewinder, the passionate country rock of Arlington, Virginia-raised Amy Wilcox, or the retro Motown soul of Austin’s own Charlie Faye & The Fayettes, the ladies in Friday’s lineup showed us that women often surpass the best male performers at Austin’s international musical showcase when it comes to musicianship, stage presence and ambition. Photos: Michael Coleman

SXSW at The LINE Austin

Much like its Adams Morgan counterpart, the LINE Austin provides a cultural hub with award-winning cuisine, craft coffee and cocktails in addition to being a hotel. The cavernous, grey design feels like an extension of the lake it sits on. It’s brightened by hanging gold air plants throughout and the low ceilings are offset by sweeping high windows and natural light. L.A.-based Alfred brings its famed matcha to Austin (don’t miss the $10 latte with locally made raw almond and cashew milk) and Arlo Grey’s craft cocktails and small plates by Top Chef winner Kristen Kish are a great choice for festivalgoers burnt out on taco trucks. You may even see a special guest or two – we spotted musician Andrew Bird wandering the bar leading up to one of his many SXSW showcase appearances. Photos: M.K. Koszycki 

SXSW 2018


Photo: Trent Johnson

Ghost Twin Talks Scary Tech and Moody Synth Pop at SXSW

Ghost Twin, made up of Karen and Jaimz Asmundson, originally got rejected when placing a bid to play at this year’s iteration of SXSW. That is, until they were booked for a show, and then another, and another. And now that they’re here in Austin, the synth pop duo from Winnipeg, Canada has taken in multiple […]

Photo: María Fernanda Molins

Mint Field Brings Dream-Like Feel to Music at SXSW

The voices in Mint Field songs sound like echoes you hear in dream sequences that are often found in films, just barely audible over the ethereal music backing them. This sensation is liberating, allowing your brain to explore the shifts in pace and delicate vocals, often for six to seven minutes at a time. The […]

Photo: Trent Johnson

Action Bronson Lights Up SXSW

I shouldn’t have been surprised to see Action Bronson climb the stairs to Bangers’ stage with something other than a microphone in his hand. This is a guy who previously had a television show where he discussed the ridiculous claims of Ancient Aliens with his friends over copious amounts of food and weed, while it played on a […]

Photo: Monica Alford

The Breeders’ Kim Deal Gets Technical at SXSW

The highlight for me on day two of our SXSW adventures was getting to sit in the same room as the iconic Kim Deal as she fielded questions from audio engineer and frequent collaborator Steve Albini. Deal, the former bassist for the Pixies (her backing vocals on “Where Is My Mind?” are among the most memorable in the […]

Photo: Trent Johnson

Okkervil River Comes Home for SXSW

During the entirety of Okkervil River‘s set up at SXSW‘s NPR showcase on Wednesday, March 14, I couldn’t help but think, “Is this band FROM Austin?” To be fair, I’ve never heard of them before, which may be blasphemous to some, but oh well, get over yourself. Back to my thoughts: each looked like a […]

Photo: Trent Johnson

Low an Odd Choice for SXSW

Let’s set the scenario: You’ve been in Austin for a few days, and so far you’ve been staying up all night and getting up relatively early to take care of teleworking, writing or whatever. The point is, you’ve been out late for two straight nights, and on your third, a wall is approaching. The wall […]

Photo: Trent Johnson

Superorganism Gives Something For Your Mind at SXSW

Under shining lights of blue, pink and yellow, Superorganism took center stage at Stubb’s Bar-B-Q for the NPR Music Showcase at SXSW on Wednesday, March 14. Later in the night, established veterans of the music industry grizzled with beards and years of experience would follow them, but this group carried a refreshing newness normally reserved for […]

Photo: Trent Johnson

Bat Fangs Sink Teeth into SXSW

The world works in interesting ways. For our April issue, we were planning to interview Bat Fangs – a duo made up of Laura King and Ex Hex‘s Betsy Wright – for a profile in advance of their April 26 show at the Luce Foundation Center for American Art. And since we all happened to be at SXSW this week, we were able to […]

Photo: Trent Johnson

Queer Guitar Pros Partner Shred at SXSW

People say that I talk like Ellen Page // I guess that makes sense since we come from the same place // But it’s more than just a regional thing // Cause if it’s 50 percent maritime, it’s 50 percent lesbian The opening lyrics to Ontario-based Partner’s “The ‘Ellen’ Page” pretty much sum up this […]

Photo: Trent Johnson

DC’s Rico Nasty Finds Fans in Austin

I don’t know if the guy standing next to me at Rico Nasty‘s set during the SoundCloud showcase at SXSW on Tuesday night was from DC, but I would say that he probably was not. Despite this likelihood (which admittedly is just a hunch), the guy knew nearly every word to every song, sometimes offering as […]

Photo: Trent Johnson

Starcrawler Has Ants in Pants at SXSW

Like exorcising a demon from a helpless child, Starcrawler‘s Henri Cash, Austin Smith and Tim Franco began their SXSW set at The Main II on Tuesday, March 13 making raucous sounds. I can’t say music, because it wasn’t a song. Rather, it was a ritual, a calling to summon the missing frontwoman who would lead […]

Photo: Trent Johnson

Bad Moves, Good Vibes at SXSW

Bad Moves makes the 90s kid in me perk right up, transporting me back to the days of (early, and therefore good) blink-182 and other pop punk guilty pleasures. The DC-based foursome took the stage at Sidewinder on Tuesday night, kicking off the Don Giovanni Records showcase at SXSW. The first thing I noticed as we […]

Photo: Trent Johnson

Tacos and Tech So Far at SXSW

Folks, we have arrived! And although we didn’t actually get to Texas (aka my homeland) until the wee-hours of Monday night/Tuesday morning, On Tap staff (i.e., myself and Monica) decided to kick start the trip with a stop into a legitimate taco joint: Tyson’s Tacos. First off, let me just say that DC has a gaping […]

Photo: Trent Johnson

Check out On Tap’s SXSW 2018 Coverage

Yep, your eyes are not deceiving you! On Tap Magazine is down south in Austin, Texas to cover one of the most celebrated music festivals in North America. From March 12 to 17, our website will feature reviews, photos and more under the new SXSW tab on our website. Plus, we will be keeping our readership […]


Tuesday and Wednesday

On Tap’s first two days at SXSW 2018 were packed with shows, from DC musicians like Bad Moves and Rico Nasty to national acts including StarcrawlerOkkervil RiverPartner and Superorganism. Plus, an interview with DC/North Carolina-based band Bat Fangs, fantastic people watching (Austin is definitely nailing it in the weird department), a brief adventure through the tech expo and much more. Photos: Trent Johnson


On Tap’s third day at SXSW 2018 was packed with a visit to the DC Comics booth and gaming expo. We also ventured out to catch some national acts including rapper-entertainer Action BronsonWavvesThe Frights and Cuco at the StubHub showcase. Plus, we snapped some photos to capture the scene down in Austin. Photos: Trent Johnson


Over the course of four days and night at SXSW 2018, we caught a ton of acts. On our last night in town, we enjoyed the sounds of Topaz JonesThe Wedding PresentMothership and more. And as always, we got a look at some of the people traversing the festival grounds. Photos: Trent Johnson