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The Drums // Mazda Studio @ Empire Garage presented by Stereogum // SXSW 3/14/2017. Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq. (@Methodman13) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
The Drums // SPIN @ Mazda Studio – Empire Control Garage // SXSW 3/14/2017. Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq. (@Methodman13) for www.BlurredCulture.com.

For every artist we decided to catch at SXSW, we decided to review each performance with our own version of “Five Ws and One H” answering the questions: 1) Who are they, 2) What kind of music do they play, 3) When did they play, 4) Where are they from, 5) Why did we decide to catch them play and 6), How was their performance.


WHO: The Drums.

WHAT: New wave, post-punk revival goodness.

WHEN: SPIN @ Mazda Studio – Empire Control Garage 3/14/2017.

WHERE: Brookyln, New York.

WHY: Ever since I saw The Drums perform at FYF Fest in 2015, I’ve been hooked. I attended Beach Goth last year with the hopes of catching their set, but inclement weather messed everything up, and they were moved to an indoor stage, which reached capacity even before I was notified of the venue change. The Drums had several scheduled performances at SXSW, and I marked this one as the one I would not miss. I was going to shoot and enjoy their set. I. Would. Not. Miss. It.

HOW: When I arrived at the venue for this performance, there was a brief moment of terrifying deja vu. Apparently, even though locations may be an official SXSW venue, certain sponsored showcases may not necessarily be officially recognized as SXSW events. The press tags on my cameras? They meant nothing here. Apparently, I needed to be approved by the sponsor to shoot the acts during the day.

Without getting too discouraged, I ran over to the registration table, and turned on as much charm as I possibly could to get the necessary credentials to shoot The Drums. As I batted my eyes, and pleaded my case, I could hear The Drums start their set. I guess I had enough charm for the moment, because they slapped a photo sticker on my chest before I ran through the packed crowd to fight my way up to the photo pit, and with just a song and a half left for photographers to shoot in the pit, I snapped away (see my results below).

As for the performance, all I can say is that Jonny Pierce can do no wrong. He’s got this cool, nonchalant swagger up on stage. When he dances to the music, his body sways in a way that compliments the dreamy aspects of his songs’ lyrics; hypnotizing the audience into a carefree and romantic state.

Though I didn’t notice any of their new material performed at this gig, I was still content to hear fan favorites like “Days” and “Let’s Go Surfing”. But with a new album on the horizon, and another scheduled performance at FYF Fest later this year,  I can hardly wait to see them perform again with some new songs in their arsenal.

Follow The Drums on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


If an image below is pixelated, please click through the “view full size” link for a better view.