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It’s been nearly a week since our SXSW party with Berklee College of Music, and our heads are still spinning. Ten showcased bands, multiple solo acoustic performances on the side stage, and roughly 2,000 people under the tent at Brush Square Park — with an excessive number of drinks consumed and oysters eaten — all helped shape Boston & Beyond 2015 into one hell of a party. The afternoon showcased a wide variety of sounds coming out of not just Berklee but Boston as well, and in case you didn’t make the trip to Austin or catch the all-day broadcast on VanyaRadio, we compiled some of the highlights into one handy Soundclod compilation.
Check out visuals and sounds from each band below, and start making plans for 2016.
When you need a party started, call Joy Daniels. The magnetic Los Angeles-based r&b and neo-soul singer took on a noon-ish start time and got things peaking like a headliner in no time. Her vibrant mix of uplifting originals and reimagined covers (next time she shouldn’t announce Coldplay’s “Yellow” and see how long it takes for the crowd to figure it out) were a perfect way to kick off our event.
Our friends at the Daily Beast say Avers were one of the undisputed winners at SXSW, and our time together only enforced that claim. The Richmond, Virginia, rock and roll crew are a throwback to the ’90s, when bands mattered, songs mattered, and albums mattered. Sometimes it gets psychedelic, sometimes it gets noisy, but in the end there’s reverb-drenched rock and roll fit for a variety of playlists. Sure, the drummer Tyler Williams is also part of indie folk band the Head and the Heart, but Avers are quickly crafting their own bit of notoriety.
In the 10 years or so that Berklee’s been hosting parties at SXSW, the amount of Austin acts could probably be counted on one hand. Yet this year there was a double-shot from the Texas capital, and it began with a probably-too-loud set from Hooka Hey. When looking at the final numbers who walked through the gates at Brush Square Park, no doubt a large percentage of people waltzed in because they could hear Hooka Hey’s polished-but-assertive brand of rock and roll from several blocks away.