It seems like we’ve been saying “live music is returning” for a year now. For a moment last summer, it felt like it was fully back before a fall variant threw everything out of whack again. There’s honestly no knowing whether another hold is on the horizon, but if there’s a sure sign concerts are back with a vengeance, it’s the return of South by Southwest.
After being forced into a second virtual iteration last year, the long-running music conference and festival returned to Austin last week to once again bring together artists, fans, and industry figures for a celebration of all things live music. We at Consequence couldn’t have been more ecstatic to be part of the activities, reteaming with Brooklyn Bowl and Relix for the third “annual” Family Reunion at SXSW.
Taking place on Friday, March 18th at the Empire Control Room & Garage, Brooklyn Bowl’s Family Reunion meant a lot to us here at Consequence. Not only did it mark a long-anticipated return to live events, it served as the official beginning of our 15th anniversary celebration, Consequence: 15 Years of Sound. This all-day showcase was just the beginning of what’s to come from this year-long birthday party, and it certainly kicked things off in epic fashion.
In addition to a headlining set from folk rock favorites Midlake, the afternoon programming featured former Artists of the Month Pom Pom Squad and Geese. It was immensely gratifying to see these rising talents we’ve long supported take not just any old stage, but our stage, at our party. Our love for these artists has made them part of the Consequence story, so having them show up to help launch 15 Years of Sound was truly special. (It didn’t hurt that they both completely tore up their sets.)
Major shouts out are due to Vista Kicks, who stepped in at the last possible moment to open the show when Ezra Furman had to unfortunately pull out. (Hey, it’s South By, things happen.) With their friends the Hail Maries in tow as backing vocalists, the California band did more than just “fill in,” delivering a rollicking set to start a day that also happened to mark the release of their new Sorry Charlie EP.
They weren’t the only replacements on the bill, either, with Ellevator coming aboard after Barrie was sadly forced to cancel. The Canadian trio launched the evening portion of the showcase with a killer set that surely got the crowd excited for their upcoming debut LP, The Words You Spoke Still Move Me. After all, the core of SXSW is (or at least should be) discovery, something on which Consequence also prides itself.
Which is why we put one of our favorite finds of 2021, Katy Kirby, up next, followed by rising Kentucky singer-songwriter S.G. Goodman. The former took things in an intimate direction with tracks from her Cool Dry Place debut, while the latter showed off the music of her forthcoming sophomore album, Teeth Marks, as well as a knack for dryly comedic banter. (Seriously, Goodman should consider including some monologues on LP 3.)
Another form AOTM honoree, Claud, shifted things into the next gear, driving through a feverish set that welcomed the night’s biggest crowd. That served as a perfect set up for Laundry Day, an up-and-coming New York quintet that hit the stage hot with a blend of ’90s hit radio’s best sounds from pop, to R&B, to indie rock from their We Switched Bodies debut. It all closed down with a DJ set from The Range.
It was a wild day — one that took a lot of work and love to make happen. But at the end of the day, this is why we do what we do, and why we here at Consequence have been doing it for 15 years. We live for live music, the unrivaled energy of a bunch of people sharing a space with artists to create lasting memories. Prior to 2020, South by Southwest may have lost its luster in the eyes of some, but after so much time away, it felt incredible to be back surrounded by what always made the festival great: the music.
Here’s hoping this is just the beginning of much more to come in the live music scene this year in general, and with Consequence: 15 Years of Sound in particular. A sincere, full-throated thank you to all those who came out to Brooklyn Bowl’s Family Reunion at SXSW, as well as the teams at Relix and partners Crown Royal, MiiR, Ernie Ball, PAX, and Liquid Death for making it happen.
Below, check out a complete photo gallery from the Consequence: 15 Years of Sound party at Brooklyn Bowl’s Family Reunion at SXSW 2022.