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Austin Sike Fest “It was like having a good time at a funeral.” The Levitation Fest that wasn’t to be

Austin Sike, music
Photos: Mason McDaniels

I was feeling inspired, euphoric and maybe a little bigheaded when I flew into Austin, Texas last week. Not only was I covering Levitation Fest, but I somehow managed to secure an interview with Slowdive before their set.

They’re gods in the realm of shoe gaze and I am their servant. To engage in a conversation with them is something that only happens in dreams. And that is where it will remain for now because Levitation Fest was cancelled at the extreme last minute due to storm warnings by the big-ups of Travis County in Texas.

I could feel a whole city’s heartbreak in the claps of thunder. But we all traveled out there, we had to make the best of it.


Pros: Shows were rescheduled to venues around Austin.

Cons: It was impossible for most people to get an in, as tickets would magically sell out immedietly.

Still, everyone got some piece of experience out of the chaotic distress the revoked festival caused. Austin is really fucking cool and music could be heard from every which way you would turn.

I didn’t get my Slowdive interview in the end. But by way of some major hustling we still got to catch an extremely intimate performance by them right after Brian Jonestown Massacre at a classic Austin venue called Historic Scoot Inn.

Their performance bled over the audience, bringing life back into many broken hearts.unspecified

The next day we ruthlessly snuck into the KUTX radio station at University of Texas to catch a live radio performance of Parquet Courts. I’m a huge fan and recommend them to anyone who can appreciate good quality musicianship. They are a modern-era Pavement, but only because of their extremely calculated wit that flows like poetic prose within the lyrics and back with mathematical guitar riffs.

That evening we caught the Allah-las, but it was the opening band of this show that caught my attention, Mild High Club. They’re LA locals but somehow I’ve always missed them play. Mild High Club emits that similar sexy, jizz-jazz you get from Mac Demarco and Homeshake.

The South’s mixture of comforting performances, frozen mimosas, breakfast burritos, sticky heat and Lone Star’s kept everyone’s spirits high enough through the weekend. I heard someone say it was like having a good time at a funeral. There was loss, but it all turned into one bitter-sweet psychedelic scavenger hunt that we all were kind of forced to participate in. So, that aint too bad.—Asal Shahindoust

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