Okkervil River Riles Up The Hometown Crowd At SXSW THOUGHTS+PHOTOS: OKKERVIL RIVER @ STUBB'S | SXSW 3/14/18
AUSTIN, TX- For most of our SXSW artist coverage, we’ll keep it relatively short and sweet. We have over 80 artists to cover, so cut us some slack! 😉 We’ll basically be formatting each post into two parts: (1) Why our contributor wanted to see this act and (2) what our contributor thought of the performance”. Easy peasy. If you want to learn more about the act, make sure you click through to their social media links to get in the know. You won’t be disappointed!
Why I Wanted To See Okkervil River: Day 3 of SXSW for me featured only one band originating from Austin: Okkervil River, as part of NPR’s Stubb’s Austin showcase. It’s headed by lead singer Will Sheff, who has throughout the years had a cavalcade of different band members play alongside him. It’s always a special concert experience when a band performs for their hometown, so I was looking forward to their set. It appeared that the venue reached max capacity by their show time and you could feel the anticipation in the crowd.
What I Thought Of Okkervil River’s Performance: Okkervil River was one of the more unique acts from my week at ‘South By.’ Their style of music took a few different forms throughout the set, so it was hard to pinpoint a specific genre they could be classified into. They started off with a very country tune including a prominent acoustic guitar, yet it contained some indie-rock vibes as well. However, those sounds shifted to feature rock, jazz, and even some electronic elements as the show continued. The collection of instruments on stage wasn’t as wild as I’m making this out to be, but the saxophone player was an unexpected touch and he happened to absolutely kill his solos. Overall the band’s performance was a fun one that had the audience really engaged and happy to see their hometown artists perform.
Okkervil River played songs from their pretty vast discography that spans almost 20 years. They also introduced the audience to some fresh new music that hadn’t been released yet at the time, and one song in particular stood out to me called “Famous Tracheotomies,” simply for the name. It’s a quite funny and interesting song about celebrities who’ve had tracheotomies in their careers.
It, along with a few others played during the set, are featured in Okkervil River’s recently released album titled Famous Tracheotomies. The album displays the band’s diverse music range and is definitely worth checking out. I’d also recommend going to see them live in concert as they’ll provide a show full of fun sounds, unique musical transitions, and interesting lyrics.