By Ashley Farnie
Assistant Music Director
I decided to take my weekend at Levitation easy, only driving up to Austin for Saturday and Sunday sets. I was overwhelmed with music consumption despite only attending half of the festival. With a packed set scheduled for Saturday evening featuring headliner Sunflower Bean, Feels So Good Records quickly and kindly assisted Parish in relocating the show due to an unfortunate electrical fire the venue is recovering from. Consider donating to the venue to help Parish return to the Austin music scene, and if you have plans to attend the venue soon, be sure to double check the show’s location!
Being Dead opened the set at FSG, priming the crowd for a night of psychedelic rock sandwiched by local artists. The mimes took their places onstage, but their locations were subject to change throughout the performance. Drummer Juli Keller, guitarist Cody Dosier and bassist Nicole alternate instruments displaying their diverse musical abilities.
The close friendship shared by the band members is apparent from their onstage presence. Smiles invite the crowd to engage with the performance and laughs fill the transitions of instruments. The band committed to their costumes, incorporating mimetic actions and gestures without sparing their musical performance.
Being Dead allows their creativity and comedy to be expressed even further through their side project, Zero Percent APR, who recently released their stoner album, “Higher and Higher Forever.” Both acts uphold the local Austin psych rock scene, so be sure to follow their social medias to keep up with their live shows – and I’ll see you there!
Following Being Dead’s exciting and charismatic performance, grandma’s onstage presence had the audience reminiscing the previous set. Supporting Sunflower Bean on their headline tour for dates throughout October and November, grandma traveled from Atlanta to perform at Levitation. Their association with the psych rock genre felt parodied atop unoriginal beats and an unprovoked trumpet solo.
The FSG stage was redeemed by Austin’s own Ringo Deathstarr. Playing the local scene since 2005, bassist Alex Gehring, guitarist Elliott Frazier, and drummer Daniel Coborn bring the crowd’s energy up from the stiffness instilled by the previous band. Ringo Deathstarr has established their consistent and reputable presence in the city, proving themselves through every performance.
The band performed sets at South by Southwest this year where I primarily experienced their live sound. The audience’s interaction with Ringo Deathstarr’s performance emphasizes their established reputation and familiar fanbase. Ringo Deathstarr remains active in Austin and you can find their show dates by keeping up with their socials!
Ringo Deathstarr heightened the crowd’s spirits as they excitedly welcomed Sunflower Bean onstage. The band established themselves as the headlining act, amping up the energy dramatically and instigating a mosh pit within the crowd. Bassist and lead vocalist Julia Cumming jumps into the pit herself, forcing her audience into the energy they need to endure their performance.
The crowd eagerly abides, entranced by Cumming’s authoritative presence. Guitarist Nick Kivlen joins Cummings in the pit while drummer Olive Faber holds down the tempo for the band. Sunflower Bean proved their potential as a rock band, gaining followers and fans from their Levitation set at Feels So Good.
My first attendance to Levitation was a ride, existing in a happy middle ground between the commercial invasion of ACL and the overwhelming chaos that is SXSW. Be sure to check the blog for interviews and coverage from this year’s Levitation, including an incoming interview by myself and Local Music Director Avery Viers with Die Spitz!
Written by: Hannah Walls
todaySeptember 9, 2023 27 2
todayMay 30, 2023 245 5