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My SXSW 2023: scooters, Killer Mike and so much music

Hermanos Guitérrez performing at the Radio Day Stage on March 17, 2023 at the Austin Convention Center.
Patricia Lim / KUTX
Hermanos Guitérrez performing at the Radio Day Stage at the Austin Convention Center.

It's been a few days since I returned from an exhilarating adventure at SXSW 2023 in Austin, but I'm still buzzing. The annual event draws thousands of attendees from around the world to experience the latest and greatest in creative industries, and I was there representing Radio Milwaukee during the music portion of the festival.

It was an absolutely crazy week that took me all over the city, usually traveling by scooter (SXSW tip: don't bother trying to get an Uber). I listened to bands and solo artists, and even managed to squeeze in a viral moment with Killer Mike (thanks to Jessica from co-sign and the team at Concord).

While I won't be able to cover everything I saw and heard, I must say this year's music lineup was particularly impressive. The festival featured a wide variety of acts across multiple genres, and there were many standout performers.

Girl Ultra opened her set with an upbeat performance that showcased her powerful vocals and unique blend of R&B and Latin music. Cuco, another rising star in the Latin music scene, delivered a dreamy set that transported the audience to another world. Debby Friday, a Canadian experimental electronic artist, blew everyone away with her intense and powerful set. Her combination of dark, industrial beats and soaring vocals were mesmerizing, and her stage presence was unforgettable.

Debby Friday performing at the Radio Day Stage at the Austin Convention Center.
Patricia Lim / KUTX
Debby Friday performing at the Radio Day Stage at the Austin Convention Center.

Hermanos Gutiérrez, the Ecuadorian-Swiss brothers, electrified the Radio Day Stage with their blend of traditional Mexican music and smooth Western sound. Aoife Nessa Frances, an Irish singer-songwriter, captivated the audience with her dreamy indie-folk and hauntingly beautiful voice. Remi Wolf, a rising pop star, got everyone dancing and singing along with her infectious energy.

The festival's electronic music scene was also well-represented with performances from Deadmau5 and Kaskade. Both artists brought their own unique electronic styles to the stage, delivering high-energy sets that had the crowd jumping and singing as they showcased their new collaborative project, KX5, to a live audience for the first time.

However, one of the most remarkable performances of the festival was by Thee Sacred Souls, a Chicano soul group from San Diego. Their signature sound had the crowd grooving along to their smooth, soulful melodies. If there was an award for musicians of the week, the trio would have undoubtedly taken first place.

Thee Sacred Souls performing at the Radio Day Stage at the Austin Convention Center during SXSW.
Patricia Lim / KUTX
Thee Sacred Souls performing at the Radio Day Stage at the Austin Convention Center during SXSW.

Overall, the SXSW 2023 lineup was diverse and impressive, showcasing emerging and established talent across multiple genres. I'm still in a daze from all the excitement and can't wait to see what next year's festival has in store. For now, I put together the playlist below so you can get a taste of all the artists I got to experience up close and personal.

88Nine Asst. Program Director / On-Air Talent | Radio Milwaukee