SXSW Review: The Heavy, March 17, Stage on Sixth

The Heavy became notorious a few years ago when they astounded the audience at the David Letterman show with an incredible rendition of their hit single “How You Like Me Now”. According to the PR emails I recieved, it was one of the few times in which Letterman asked a band to play again after their initial performance. It was primarily this reason why I was able to drag myself to the Stage on Sixth for their 1 am performance on Saturday at SXSW.

I was sober, my legs and back hurt and extremely tired from a week of SXSWing.

It was irrelevant.

The Heavy were amazing.

Lionel Ritchie and Jesus & Mary Chain aside, they easily put on my favorite show of SXSW.

Lead singer Kelvin Swaby’s charisma and showmanship is off the charts. Clearly coming from a soul revival/gospel background, Kelvin Swaby sings, preaches, engages the audiences and even sings directly into people’s faces. That’s right, throughout the show, he would pick out random people in the crowd, look them dead in the eye, put his face about five inches away from theirs and sings. Talk about a personal experience. There’s something to be said about a frontman who can engage the audience in a rousing call and response session for a completely new song that no one has heard before. That happened last night.

The Heavy’s blend of soul meets hard rock is one that I haven’t seen much, but the band makes it work. It’s riveting, energetic and definitely one that can garner a lot of attention, which is why I’m quite perplexed a band with such an amazing live show is still mostly obscure. This performance at SXSW might end that, be sure to check them out soon.

Posted on by Ricky in South By Southwest

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.