- March 2, 2017

Is SXSW Leaving You Feeling Overwhelmed? Here Are 20 Bands You Should Watch!


During SXSW, there are literally hundreds of bands to watch and discover, all ending in a fun but exhausting week. Below you can find 20 of the festival’s best acts, both local and national. From up and coming names such as Creepoid and Castro The Band, to local hit makers Night Beats and My Jerusalem, we guarantee that you will find something to your liking on this list.

National Bands

Sun and The Wolf

After moving to Berlin, Germany in 2008, New Zealand band The Haves, renamed themselves Sun and The Wolf and took on an electronic vibe that is dangerously catchy. With a new single titled “Precipice” the track’s infectious bass groove will be stuck in your head long after the song’s end.

Where To See Them: Barracuda (March 13, 10:10 p.m.)


Formed in Philadelphia in 2010, Creepoid plays energetic noise rock which will remind fans of groups such as Refused, Failure, Quicksand, and Drive Like Jehu. With guitars and drum beats that surround the listener fully, Creepoid is a band not to miss at this year’s SXSW.

Where to See Them: Barracuda Backyard (March 14, 10:15 p.m.)
Iron Bear (March 15, 1:00 a.m.)


Originally from South Dakota, Layne Putnam has had dreams since childhood of playing music professionally. Going by a mononym professionally, she eventually moved to Los Angeles where the roots of her electronic music career took shape. Releasing her song “Good” last year, LAYNE performs smooth and refreshing tunes that bring her own stamp to the music industry.

Where to See Them: Buffalo Billiards (March 15, 8:00 p.m.)


British vocalist Findlay is a singer who uses her soaring vocal ability to mesmerize audiences and gain new fans with every song she releases. On tracks such as “Waste My Time” we hear this fully, and we are certain that she will be your new favorite artist by the week’s end.

Where to See Them: St David’s Historic Sanctuary (March 16, 12:00 a.m.)
The Townsend: (March 18, 1:00 a.m.)

The Free Radicals

Based in Houston, Texas and formed in 1996, The Free Radicals have been making statements about different social causes since their inception, and they show no signs of stopping. Bridging together the genres of jazz, R&B, klezmer, and other styles, Free Radicals write catchy tracks that will become lodged in your brain.

Where to See Them: The Elephant Room (March 16, TBD)

Japanese Wallpaper

With a plethora of bands and genres ascending into Austin during SXSW, there are always a few that stick out. One of those is Japanese Wallpaper, an electronic group that makes sultry and warm beats that you’ll keep spinning for weeks. With tracks such as “Forces,” the bands colorful music will make you glad you stumbled upon them.

Where to See Them: Tellers (March 1611 p.m.)

Castro The Band

After releasing their debut EP, Diamond Dreams, last year, sibling trio Castro The Band is slowing turning heads with their soulful vocals and foot stomping hits. While the siblings have had stints on shows such as “American Idol,” the family had never sung together before forming the group, making them an interesting band to watch. One of the best up and coming trios in country-pop, this is a band you absolutely should see at this year’s SXSW.

Where to See Them: 18th Floor at the Hilton Garden Inn (March 17, 10:00 p.m.)

Jonny P

Hailing from Nashville, vocalist Jonny P has released some incredibly soulful songs over the past few years. He’ll be releasing his second EP, It’s Our Time, on April 21st, and we can’t wait to hear more distinctive and rich melodies from Jonny P, so we highly encourage you to see him at SXSW.

Where to See Them: Half Step (March 18, 9:00 p.m.)

Jonathan Toubin

New York DJ and producer Jonathan Toubin will be closing SXSW with an epic dance party at Palm Door on Sixth, which is sure to be a great closing event for SXSW 2017.

Where To See Them: Palm Door on Sixth: March 19, 1:00 a.m.

Kosha Dillz

Los Angeles based emcee Kosha Dillz is a Jewish rapper always looking to make himself known at every SXSW he attends. Known for becoming friends with everyone he meets, Kosha Dillz not only brings a culturally Jewish flavor to his music, but his rock influenced beats will certainly have his audiences turning heads.

Where to See Them: TBD

Local Bands

Moving Panoramas

As they’re becoming well known throughout the Austin indie scene, Moving Panoramas will be a band that everyone is talking about very soon. With tracks such as “One,” the duo’s smooth vocals are that something that fans will become lost in. Check them out for yourself.

Where to See Them: The Main (March 16, 9:00 p.m.)

My Jerusalem

Playing heavy and crunchy doom pop is My Jerusalem’s specialty. However, it’s not all darkness and somber tones for this group. With a rich musical pallet throughout their songs, it’s surprising that My Jerusalem hasn’t gotten more press. Hopefully, SXSW will be able to help them out.

Where to See Them: The Main (March 16, 9:00 p.m.)

Calliope Musicals

Calliope Musicals are a fresh and funky pop band that are rising the ladder in the local scene as a group that needs to be heard. With the bouncy feel of tracks such as “Echo of the Whoos,” you’ll be shaking your hips in no time to their refreshing sound.

Where to See Them: Maggie Mae’s Rooftop (March 14, 11:00 p.m.)
Continental Club (March 17 1:00 a.m.)

Night Beats

With heavy beats and wailing guitars, Night Beats is a band that makes the Austin music scene vibrant in the midst of its current struggles. With huge songs such as “Puppet on A String,” Night Beats has infectious vocals from front man Danny Lee Blackwell that will get stuck in your head in no time.

Where To See Them: Barracuda (March 15th, 1:00am-1:50am)

Palo Duro

With an indie rock flavor that will get you talking, Palo Duro is another popular band that Austinites love. Recently picked up on KUTX as “single of the day” for “Darken The Glow,” this group is getting people talking around town so make sure to put them on your “do not miss” list for local acts during SXSW. Listen to Palo Duro’s latest single “Darken The Glow” here.

Where to See Them: Tellers upstairs (March 17, 1:00 a.m.)

Peggy Stern Octet

Peggy Stern Octet has performed in various cities throughout the United States and Europe, while eventually making a mark in jazz, classical, and now country music since moving to Austin. With her latest album, Z Octet, featuring every type of music imaginable, Stern is one of the most varied artist that you will hear during SXSW.

Where to See Them: The Elephant Room (March 16, TBD)

Quin Galavis

Austin’s latest noise rock musician, Quin Galavis, is gearing up to release his new album, My Life of Steel and Concrete, and while its dark undertones won’t be for everyone, Galavis’ music is certainly a test in dealing with your emotions.

Where to See Them: The Main (March 15, 9:00 p.m.)


Voted the best world music band in Austin for two years in a row, Rattletree plays some of the most colorful music in town. Ringing in their 10th year as SXSW performers, you are surely missing out if you’ve never heard of Rattletree before now. Filling every note with splashes of color, Rattletree creates music that delights all the senses, making for a satisfying listen throughout their entire performance.

Where to See Them: Russian House (March 15, TBD)

The Reputations

Performing laid back pop-rock sounds that features heavenly vocals from female singers Rockyann Bullwinkle and Jenny Carson, The Reputations just might be an undiscovered band that makes it big after performing at the festival. With tracks such as “I Only Hurt Myself,” you’ll see immediately what makes the group so likable and their music so refreshing.

Where to See Them: Hotel Vegas (March 15, 10:45 p.m.)

The Reputations by The Reputations

Scott Collins

Scott Collins plays all over the Lone Star State with a few well-known bands, performing an addicting blend of tunes that you won’t be able to stop listening to. Pulling you in the from the beginning, Collins excites his listeners and makes them want more.

Where to See Them: Ten Oak (March 17, 8:00 p.m.)

Featured photo: Jonny P

Listen Here Reviews

If you would like to read more of Lauren Gribble’s features, you can check out her website Listen Here Reviews.