Thoughts and Photos of Daiistar, Frankie and the Witch Fingers, La Femme, The Black Angels, L7 and Cold Cave at Levitation 2022
AUSTIN, TX- Levitation is an independent festival and is held in the Red River Cultural District in downtown Austin. TX, in the city’s best venues including Stubb’s, The Mohawk, Empire, Hotel Vegas, Parish, Antone’s, and more featuring a variety of musical acts that have roots in psychedelic/experimental rock. Our contributor roamed the streets of Austin to find the acts that spoke to her.
The Austin-based band Daiistar brought their shoegaze and psychedelic groove to kick off night 4th at Stubbs. The audience seemed beyond pleased with their melodies and refreshing and understated cheerfulness.
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Frankie and the Witch Fingers is a Los Angeles psych-rock band that unleashed in an electrifying set that proved to be equally charismatic and highly skilled, They’re a hard-to-ignore, very talented assembly of performers. After successfully playing LEVITATION 2019 and 2021 it was no surprise their set was so well received, and they didn’t fail to impress fans old and new alike.
La Femme: The Parisian collective’s energy built rapidly as their set progressed. The slick performance and presentation included a not-so-serious approach to their dynamics, as evidenced by their back-and-forth interactions with the crowd.
The Black Angels: Austin’s owners and founders of the festival performed an immersive set heavily bathed in trippy lighting in fitting with their shoegaze psychedelia and the particular style of the LEVITATION visuals. The group’s dynamic guitar and keyboard work, precise drumming, and moody and loud vocals combined for a rewarding experience for the diverse crowd.
The defiant all-female legendary grunge L7 band smashed Mohawk with their raw and edgy set. Ferociously hissing at misogyny and gender inequalities as they’ve done for over 3 decades, L7 played to a predominantly female and queer audience without a homogenous fashion style that sang joyfully along to some of the band’s most well-loved songs. The middle of the set had a sightless man crowd surfing who was gently carried to a safe place on the floor in the kindest and most generous way I’ve seen a rock audience interact in a long time.
Cold Cave delivered a well-executed performance where as usual, Wes Eisold served as the centerpiece of the entire presentation. While a noise and darkwave band standing on stage might not sound very appealing to look at, it’s quite the opposite. Musicianship and showmanship coexist beautifully in their doomy and obscure aesthetic without ever becoming flat.