Best of SXSW 2015: South by South Death (with Photo Gallery!)
Asking me to choose favorites of the bands that played this year’s South by South Death showcase is like asking a parent to choose favorite children: straight-up rude! All the bands killed, the house was packed, and the energy level was at a fever pitch throughout.
I’d never seen four of the seven bands prior to this event: Myrone, Archspire, Elder and Allegaeon. In Myrone’s live debut, the #softshred pioneer turned more than a few heads and inspired some OOC dance moves by a few Zubaz-wearing jackoffs up front, the perfect way to kick off the night. Archspire’s super-srs grooves ran completely counter to Myrone’s light vibes, but they got the crowd going in a serious way and ratcheted up the intensity in the room. Elder provided a much-needed antidote to the bill’s death metal-centric theme with their groovy, soulful, doom, and Allegaeon followed with one of the tightest live sets I’ve seen any band play in a very, very long time.
The night’s main attractions were the more familiar names. Everyone knows that Nobody Beats The Byz, so let’s not even go there; OJ and co. were in absolute top form, with superfans Vince Neilstein and Greg Burgess from Allegaeon leading the charge in the front row. Fallujah positively mesmerized and sounded like a million bucks, the audience in the palm of their out-stretched, interstellar hands. Norma Jean capped the night off by proving why they’re one of the most enduring bands in metal: their live show is utterly intense and completely undeniable.
Below, check out photographer Maclyn Bean’s photos of every band on the bill. More where these came from on his Flickr page.