Watch PWR BTTM’s SXSW Concert For NPR Here! [PHOTOS+REVIEW+VIDEO] REVIEW+PHOTOS: PWR BTTM @ SXSW 3/15/17
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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: PWR BTTM with core members Liv Bruce and Ben Hopkins.
WHAT: A colorfully aggressive blend of punk rock, garage punk & queercore.
WHEN: 3/15/17 at Stubb’s presented by NPR Music with support from Blue Headphones.
WHERE: They say “Sodom and Gomorrah” but I think (guessing) it’s New York, New York.
WHY: Social and political tensions these days has been particularly strained since the presidential election. As The Donald keeps signing executive orders that slowly chip away at everyone’s basic human rights, and makes minorities (racial, cultural, sexual … all of them) “lesser than” we were (I’m asian) than before, bands like PWR BTTM, whose shows focus on inclusivity and being vocal against bullies, was a band I knew I couldn’t miss.
HOW: PWR BTTM is fantastic live. Since adding Cameron West (keys) and Nicholas Cummins (bass), their live sound has really filled out, giving the compositions they play a certain grandeur that their early gigs may have lacked- I mean, c’mon, Cameron plays a trumpet on a couple songs!
Their stage presence reflected the music they played; spirited, playful and unrelenting all at the same time. With banter between songs that ranged from the humorous (i.e. drowning in Topo Chico) to the deadly serious (i.e. standing together against a fascist administration), I was utterly impressed with the way they were able to tip-toe the line to maintain a virtually perfect concert setting. As an added bonus, PWR BTTM invited Alynda Lee Segarra of Hurray For The Riff Raff to the stage for a couple of songs.
But to really know what it was like to attend that SXSW PWR BTTM gig, you really had to have just been there. And if you missed out, or couldn’t get in, god bless NPR for essentially having the entire performance online for you to stream. Do it. Do it, now (see below).
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Derrick K. Lee is a music attorney, blogger, concert photographer and co-owner of Blurred Culture. He goes to a lot of shows and sometimes he writes good. Music is his boo.
All photos are edited with iPhoto. Lightroom edits can be made upon request. For prints and/or approvals for special uses of any photo taken by Derrick, please contact him directly.