It’s been years since I’ve had to excavate around the SXSW schedule and only highlight the events that are all ages, and as the festival has expanded, I can only imagine it’s become more difficult for underage music fans to see their favorite bands play. Underage local band favorite Residual Kid managed to put on a stacked lineup for their Biggest Little Day Party at Frank on March 17 that was not only all ages, but free to the public.
We arrived as Residual Kid took the stage and set the stage for the rest of the day. For what they lack in age, they make up with raw energy. Sounding like a young Nirvana but much more refined, the trio tore away through their set. They’d stop with minimal banter sincerely thanking everybody for showing up and introducing songs with things like “this song is about jocks” or “this next song is called etc” and transitioned right back into their songs full power. Despite their age, the band are seasoned pros and it shows in their performance.
Where Residual Kid is reminiscent of Nirvana, the next band, Yuck, reflects a similar sound to Sonic Youth if Sonic Youth abandoned the fuzz and focused on clean melodies. The London quartet put on a great show matching musicianship with warm vibes. The stage only rose about a foot high, the performance was more intimate as the band is singing right in your face.
Beach Slang closed out the day party with a powerful set that showed why they’ve become the darlings of the indie world. Keeping with the unofficial theme of the showcase, Beach Slang evokes aspects of The Replacements and the early Gin Blossoms demos that are faster and more raw. It was only appropriate that MTV’s best VJ, Matt Pinfield introduced the band to the stage. Pinfield was a staple for the network throughout the 90s bringing attention to lesser-known bands that never disappointed. It was their third show of the day, but they had energy for days playing with the ferocity of a band trying to infiltrate your senses. Even more appropriately, they closed out their set with a cover of The Replacements “Bastards of Young.” The set was so rock and roll, that even though they were several minutes over their set time, the venue allowed them to play one more song.
Despite all the attention the band has been receiving over the last year, Beach Slang maintained a sincere graciousness often resulting in self-deprecating jokes and playful banter with the barrage of x-marked handed kids in the crowd. It was a great close to a great party that accentuated a SXSW of yesteryear. Residual Kids put on a great party of like-minded bands that weren’t afraid to put on a show. While not devoid of corporate involvement, the root of the show was great music for everybody and isn’t that what SXSW is supposed to be about?