In 2022, the grand return of South By Southwest also marked the return of the annual Brooklyn Bowl Family Reunion shindig at the Empire Control Room & Garage. Now in 2023, Consequence once again returned to SXSW for the fourth edition of the Brooklyn Bowl event to highlight some of music’s most compelling acts — both up-and-coming and longtime favorites. We took things a big step forward this year, too, connecting with fans from across the globe to launch Hometowns of Consequence.
The exciting new initiative from Consequence seeks to shine a light on the best local venues across the country that make culture happen. We talked to hundreds of fans about their favorite spots to catch a show, listening to passionate stories of good times and strong communities. Like us, they all wanted to show their love for the places and people that bring us all together; if you feel the same, make sure to nominate your favorite local venues at the Hometowns of Consequence page.
As for the Brooklyn Bowl Family Reunion itself, it went down on Saturday, March 18th, with our friends at Relix handling the showcase on Friday. While we chatted with our fellow show-goers, the power of a great venue was playing out just a few feet away. Brigitte Calls Me Baby kicked off the festivities with their classic indie sensibilities, getting the dancing floor nice and warm for what would prove to be a day full of lively movement. Why Bonnie then took the stage to bless fans with cuts from their standout 2022 debut album, 90 in November, as well as a few new songs that bode quite well for their second LP.
Following the strong start, Barrie finally made the Family Reunion appearance we’ve been anticipating ever since she was forced to cancel her scheduled performance last year. Moving in synchronicity with her backing vocalists and keyboards, Barrie proved well worth the weight with her captivating show. Sunflower Bean and The Nude Party then closed out the first stretch of the day, with the former (a two-time CoSign!) somehow exceeding the lofty expectations they’ve set with past shows and the wonderful Headful of Sugar, and the latter nearly burning the place down with bluesy, psychedelic riffage.
As the sun began its descent, the second leg of the party was just getting started. Arcy Drive filled the Empire Control Room & Garage with passionate, tuneful indie jams. It was a vibe that was only elevated by The Moss’ sing-a-long worthy set and Ron Gallo’s overdriven, in-your-face swagger.
Thee Sacred Souls then took complete control of the audience, commanding the packed venue with their impressive chops, undeniable charisma, and soulful energy. Singer Josh Lane may have mentioned losing his voice as SXSW ’23 was winding down, but he put so much passion into his performance — frequently getting up on amps and entering the crowd — that it seemed like he was at the top of his game. Piano rocker Low Cut Connie closed out the party with an energetic romp of a performance, frontman Adam Weiner literally tearing his shirt to shreds as he stood, stomped, and wailed on the keys. No doubt he inspired at least a few fans in the crowd to trade in their guitar for a grand piano.