Houston's one and only Super Happy Fun Land kicked off their annual South by Southwest Overflow Fest Friday night; this is the 14th year the self-described "venue for experimental electronic music, underground jazz, and outsider art" has hosted this event, where many touring SXSW bound bands from all over the country and the world stop by to play. It's a cool event where Houstonians who can't or won't travel to Austin for SXSW can catch some of the essence of it all here locally.
The event continues on through March 21, with more than 50 bands and performers from 17 states as well as bands from Germany, Italy, and Colombia currently scheduled; notably, on March 14th SHFL hosts David Liebe Hart (Comedy Outsider Artist as seen on Adult Swim's Tim and Eric Show).
SXSW Overflow Fest 2019
Oh yeah if you missed opening night of the festival you will have to kick yourself because you missed out on the Wiesn in a Box touring Mobile Beer Garden; they gave out really good German beer and pretzels for free all night long. The good news is they will be back on March 19th doing the same!
Opening night exclusively featured local bands and artists to kick off the event; I'll share my impressions of their performances in order of appearance.
Erasmo & G-Razor
Galveston rappers Erasmo and G-Razor opened the night up strong and basically just opened up a can of whoop-ass; there's really nothing more to say. They just came out and commanded the stage and did their thing while proclaiming their love and pride for Galveston, their home turf. A hip-hop act to keep an eye on for sure.
The Escatones are my favorite local band; it was great to see them perform live again and I hope they continue to do it on a regular basis as this band deserves a big following. They just come out and rock mightily and hard and they have great songs as well. The Escatones remind me of the best of the 90s alternative bands and I can't help but believe if they had somehow been birthed in that decade and had gotten national exposure they would have been huge; it doesn't seem like record labels give bands like this a chance anymore.
I'm ashamed to admit last night was my first time seeing Darwin's Finches and hearing their music; I had always heard great things about the band by reputation and they lived up to my expectations and then some. Like The Esactones, Darwin's Finches are a 3 piece band and they rock hard like the Escatones as well. Lead singer and guitarist Justin is a very powerful presence on stage and this is a band I would like to know better and you should as well; there were a lot of their fans present last night and they got the best crowd reaction out of all the bands.
Fire The Liar
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After the blistering set by Darwin's Finches I was about ready to head back to the house when I realized one more band, Fire The Liar , was setting up to play. They are an interesting band in that they are a duo, which you don't often see in the world of rock; Jacob plays the guitar with Gene on the drums, and they both do the vocals.They are a very solid punk/alternative band and their performance was a great ending to a great night of music.
In the future I'd like to get to know the members of both Darwin's Finches and Fire The Liar better and share some more detailed information about them in feature articles as I have done with The Escatones in the past. In the meantime please go check out all of these bands live for yourself; you'll like it.
SXSW Overflow Fest 2019 continues through Wednesday, March 21 at Super Happy Fun Land, 3801 Polk. Check out their Facebook page for all the details