Concert Review

Sunday at Austin Psych Fest 2023

todayMay 4, 2023 43

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By McKenzie McGuire

Assistant Music Director


Before this year I had never heard of Austin Psych Fest. After seeing the eye-catching lineup and watching The Black Angels play at SXSW, I knew I had to find a way to attend the festival. The Black Angels were on the ticket for Saturday of the festival so unfortunately I didn’t get to see them again, but I was still thrilled to get to experience a day of the festival and see some of the familiar artists playing on Sunday.


I wanted to take advantage of the day and soak in all the festival had to offer so I arrived shortly after the doors opened. There were lots of merchandise booths around the venue with vinyl, apparel, and posters so there was a lot of cool stuff to look at before the music started.


Posters at the merchandise booths
Posters at the merchandise booths. | Kenlie Golleher


My favorite part of the festival was honestly the setup at the Far Out Lounge. There were two stages, the Willie stage and the Janis stage, which I thought was a charming way of representing Texas music with artists from all over the world playing at the festival. Each set alternated between the stages immediately after the other, being a perfect distance away allowing you to hear every set throughout the venue for the entire day. There was also just the right amount of people in the venue so the crowds were never overwhelming leaving ample dancing space whenever you needed to express yourself. With all of these factors in mind everyone was just… happy is the best way to describe it. Everywhere you looked people were sharing, dancing, and laughing. I strongly believe that a good setup in a festival plays one of the biggest roles in allowing this harmony to happen.


Father holds daughter on his shoulders at Austin Psych fest
Father holds daughter on his shoulders at Austin Psych Fest. | Kate Vita


On that note, the role that takes the cake at a festival is certainly the music, and the artists I heard did not disappoint. One of my favorite sets of the day was the first set, Little Mazran. I am a sucker for some clear twangy female vocals. Lindsey Verrill delivered this alluring voice that matched all of the instruments alongside her. Accompanying herself with a banjo along with a harmonium played by Jeff Johnston and a standing bass player, adding an ideal ambiance to start the day.


After Little Mazran, the energy picked up with vibrant acts that had the whole crowd moving. Some of the standouts were the Korean group ADG7, Malian musician Vieux Farka Touré, and fresh girl band, Los Bitchos.


Los Bitchos play on the Willie stage at Austin Psych Fest / Grace Waterman
Los Bitchos play on the Willie stage at Austin Psych Fest. | Grace Waterman


The week prior to the festival I wanted to familiarize myself a little more with some of the artists’ discographies. Melody’s Echo Chamber released two studio albums in 2022, Unfold and Emotional Eternal.  Emotional Eternal is probably what got me most excited going into Sunday. Her records paint a picture that reminds me a lot of the late 60s scene that I adore. I always fantasize about the late 60s psychedelia and what it was like to experience the decade, so I love artists like this that can further and modernize that experience in a way. This energy translated sensationally in her set. Something about her French voice and her cool energy during golden hour was the perfect combination.


Melody’s Echo Chamber performing at Austin Psych Fest / Grace Waterman
Melody’s Echo Chamber performing at Austin Psych Fest. | Grace Waterman


Wrapping up the weekend, the Mexican American sensation, Cuco took the Willie stage. Cuco and the band entered the stage wearing cowboy hats after a five-minute trippy sound and visual intro. I think this set did a really great job of capturing the essence of the festival and was a dazzling way to end the day.


Cuco wraps up the weekend at Austin Psych Fest / Grace Waterman
Cuco wraps up the weekend at Austin Psych Fest. | Grace Waterman


Written by: Preethi Mangadu

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