By Lillian Jones
Bluekeys Magazine is a teen led art magazine based in Austin, created by high school students Brooke Ellisor and Peyton Priest. The magazine encourages all things creative including music, cartoons, writing, films, sculptures, fashion, drawings and more. Last year, the publication had their first release party for the third issue where The Point, Sub-T and Favor played at Antones; since then they’ve had a few more events booking bands. On Friday, March 3rd, they threw an epic rager at the Electric Church in Austin for the release of their fourth issue “Quixotic”. Being the first to arrive at 7pm, I got a first look at what was about to go down. Outside there were vendor tables lined up with handmade shirts, stickers, prints and of course – zines, with DJ Oblivion setting up for their set. Inside is where Elegy, Party Van and Die Spitz would be playing as well as where you could find people getting flash tattoos and a singular, sketchy bathroom. Overall, there was a very indescribable vibe as people began piling into the venue in their maximalist attire ready to spend their money and mess up their shoes in the mosh pit.
Thanks to DJ Oblivion, ambient and electronic music was always in the background no matter where one stood around the venue. Throughout the night I would hear fun surprises of Daft Punk and various 2000s party songs. Joaquin, A.K.A. DJ Oblivion, stood outside on a makeshift stage for 5 hours to keep the ambiance going.
At 8pm, people began crowding into the old building to see Elegy’s set. Soon the room would be flooded with the noise of raw vocals, harsh guitar and fast paced drums echoing off the walls and straight into our ears. A mosh pit formed during the first few minutes which I joined eagerly; that is until I was smacked directly in the cheekbone. After that quick blow to the face, I decided it was best to watch and listen from a distance. This noise band is sure to leave your ears ringing — somehow in a good way, but hopefully I can one day see them in a larger, less echoing venue so I can hear more of their actual music and less of my worrying thoughts of developing tinnitus.
Due to the volume of people in attendance, my friends and I journeyed to find an alternative way to listen in on Party Van’s set. We decided to go outside the venue, sit on the curb and press our ears onto the wall connecting to where the band was performing on the other side. Honestly, our method worked well as I could clearly hear the lead vocalist repeatedly saying “sh*t doggy dog” – whether it was part of a song or just to be funny, I may never know. Eventually, we made our way back inside the venue to catch the last of their crazy set. By this time whoever was in control of music had turned down the sound so that it was actually bearable to be inside without wanting to rip my eardrums out. This being my first time seeing Party Van, I had zero expectations of what I was about to see; but I was pleasantly surprised. Some songs were more on the chill side — slightly reminiscent of Title Fight’s first album — and some more chaotic. The set ended with the band being drenched in sweat in front of their exhausted crowd.
Die Spitz ended the night by squeezing any adrenaline left out of the crowd after putting on yet another great performance. By this point, there was barely anyone outside the building as people were packed inside like sardines to see the Austin celebrities do their thing. The band mostly played songs from their latest album, Teeth, that was released in January of this year. Notably, the crowd went crazy towards the end of the song “Slater”, as the band added a breakdown not in the recorded song causing people to pull out their phones and record the intense mosh pit. Afterwards, I wrapped up the night by heading over to get some Die Spitz merch that they quickly set out at the vendor booths. Almost immediately, a line was formed for sweatshirts and underwear with the band’s name plastered in white, black, red and pink ink – created by @eliannasart on instagram.
Overall, Bluekeys Magazine knows how to throw a party. At the end of the night I was tired and my wallet was hurting. Having been following the team since the first issue in 2020, I am so excited to see their success grow. In just a year, the difference between the amount of people at the release parties had rocketed. If you don’t already, follow them @bluekeysmag on instagram to keep updated on upcoming events and buy issue 04!
Written by: Hannah Walls