SXSW 2015 Recap

Mew kicked off their 2015 tour with a week-long return visit to the South By Southwest (SXSW) Music/Film/Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, where they’d last played in 2007. SXSW is an enormous festival held each year which showcases music from over 2000 artists from across the globe. Like many festivals of this type, artists often play multiple smaller showcases across several days, with sets generally lasting from 45 minutes to one hour. It’s more of a sampling of what the artist has in store than a proper concert, but for die-hard fans there’s nothing stopping them from seeing their favorite bands day after day!

Over the course of six days, Mew played a whopping five shows and a number of private sessions with media outlets such as Daytrotter, Consequence of Sound, and Rhapsody. An additional show on Friday the 20th was unfortunately cancelled due to rain, an unprecedented occurrence in the normally dry Texas climate. Mew made something of technological history with their first set on Thursday evening, which was livestreamed by The Fader / Converse / Dell / Intel worldwide in 4K resolution, the first time this has ever been done for a live concert series. Despite flight delays, Mew managed to get on stage on time and break out a set that stopped people dead in their tracks. Twitter was alight with exclamations from both people who had been waiting years to see the band play live and those who had just dropped by to check out a band they’d never heard of. Thanks to technology we can watch people become fans in real time!

Here is a stunning video of “Water Slides” from Mew’s SXSW session with Yahoo! Music:

The song selection was a consistent mixture of new and old, with Satellites, My Complications, and Water Slides representing the new material from +- and the return of classic transitions from Special to The Zookeeper’s Boy and Am I Wry? No to 156. Beach was the single offering from No More Stories… in these abbreviated sets, so it seems as though they are favoring their familiar tunes while promoting their unreleased tracks. For the time being, “No More Stories” may take a back seat, but is sure to return for longer shows on the upcoming tour. Silas Graae drummed his way through his birthday during their final show on the 21st of March and received a shout out from his bandmates both on stage and across social media.

In the midst of the chaos of SXSW, New Zealand pop artist Kimbra formally announced that she is singing on the track The Night Believer as well as providing background vocals for several other songs from “+-“. You may recall that Jonas Bjerre contributed backing vocals to her song The Magic Hour from the deluxe version of her album “The Golden Echo”, which was produced by Rich Costey (who also worked with Mew on “No More Stories” and “Frengers”.) The collaborative spirit is very much alive between them.

Unsurprisingly, those Americans who were unable to travel to Texas for this festival cried out for a proper US tour, which at this point is rumored but not yet confirmed. We can cross our fingers that we hear something about that sooner rather than later. Keep your eyes on our Events page for details as soon as they are known.

While we wait patiently, enjoy StubHub’s SXSW interview with Jonas Bjerre.