Shamir Brings His Revelations To SXSW THOUGHTS+PHOTOS: SHAMIR @ MOHAWK | SXSW 3/12/18
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 Shamir: I last saw Shamir perform back in 2016 after he had released his much acclaimed debut album “Ratchet”. That album was a pretty stellar debut of fun pop/dance music that had critics comparing Shamir’s music to early Prince and Grace Jones’ albums.
Shamir’s sophomore album, “Revelations”, was a pretty stark departure from what I was anticipating. It is a lo-fi album that lacked all of the production sparkle and polish of his debut, but there was something oddly intriguing about it. Since he was scheduled to perform right before Bully at Mohawk, I decided to arrive at the venue early to see how much he and his music has changed.
What I Thought Of Shamir’s Performance: I think that if I hadn’t done my research about his music, and really delved into the lyricism of the compositions on “Revelations”, I would have left the show feeling a little dumbfounded. If all you know is his work on “Ratchet”, then his performance featuring his “Revelations” cut may not be your cup of tea. But when you learn about his own history (his recent diagnosis and treatment for bipolar disorder), the words that he sings, and the way he sing them on stage, really leave a lasting impression.
There was much more loose and easygoing feeling on stage when Shamir performs. With a guitar strapped around his shoulder, he had an air of confident nonchalance about him, taking a smoke break during the middle of his set, and then passing the cigarette to a fan in the audience to finish. The music, with its rough edges, evoked punk and garage rock vibes, and seemed filled with emotion expressed through personal narrative.
It’s a new look (and sound) for Shamir, but it sounds and looks as authentic as Shamir during his “Ratchet” days.
— Derrick K. Lee (@methodman13) April 30, 2018