Colleen Green @ The North Door
Colleen Green's set was a case of a good artist playing at the wrong time at the wrong venue. The North Door stage was just big enough to make a solo artist like Green look small with just her guitar and drum machine. Not to mention the semi-indifference and chatter of the crowd, along with the pizza the venue kept bringing out for everyone didn't help with the atmosphere at all. Still, Green powered through as much as she could, playing her garage-pop to view people, which in fact was catchy as hell. Beachy, sleepy, and stoner vibes all persisted through the songs, with just enough of a nostalgic bubblegum-punk flair to them to make them stick in your head. Green is probably what would have happened if Dum Dum Girls had stayed a solo project and moved to California. I just wish I had seen it on better terms.
Nü Sensae @ The North Door
There is no other way to say it other than Nü Sensae's set at The North Door was nothing short of absolutely ferocious. They were an 18 minute blast of catchy but crushing post-hardcore fury that never let up and got better with each passing song. They were smart with their ruckus, knowing just the right moments to let up before proceeding to burst ear drums again. Frontwomen Andrea Lukić jumped between an icy monotone and nails on chalkboard screeches within the same songs, with both styles silenced anyone in the crowd and made them stare at the stage, if her thick as mud bass riffs weren't doing that already. Despite the noise they were creating Nü Sensae's six years as a band shined throughout the set, with them playing tight as hell, despite Lukić saying she had caught the SXSW bug (not that you could possibly tell). And it was that combination, fury matched with focus, that made them so great.
Jacuzzi Boys @ The North Door
Hearing Jacuzzi Boys play on Friday, it struck me that they hadn't changed at all since I caught them a little more than a year ago when they opened for King Khan and the Shrines. And that isn't really a bad thing. They still play a very awesome brand of garage rock, touched with bits of sunshine and surf from their native Florida. They debuted a bunch of new songs, which sounded just as good and catchy as their older catalog. And they still rocked on stage, just like they did a year ago. Jacuzzi Boys were just a nice, fun, non-life changing set at SXSW. Sometimes, amid all the chaos of the event, that's OK.
Divine Fits @ Auditorium Shores
I don't know if it was because of all the touring, or the five shows they had played before this one, but the Divine Fits did one of the impossibles and sounded better then when I saw them live at Stubb's. Britt Daniel's and Dan Boeckner's interplay has been updated from tight as hell to flat out impeccable. Sam Brown's drumming, and the band's secret weapon, was just bombast, crashing and ringing through out the dusty fields of Auditorium Shores. The band didn't show an ounce of exhaustion, instead beaming and practically jumping around the stage during every song. As unindie as it is to say, Divine Fits were meant to play gigantic stages like this, and they owned this one. The one possible slight against the set was it being too short due to time constrictions, but that didn't stop closer "Shivers" from still sounding as goosebump inducing as ever.