SXSW Review: Combo Chimbita, Amyl & The Sniffers, March 14, Hotel Vegas


The Thursday afternoon of SXSW saw two very different yet equally passionate performances at Hotel Vegas from psych rock/cumbia quartet Combo Chimbita and Aussie rockers Amyl & The Sniffers as part of the Levitation day party presented by Creem Magazine, which, while not really a going concern anymore, was the subject of a documentary that aired during SXSW. And both bands, in their own way, put on shows that likely lived up to the spirit of the publication which boldly referred to itself as “America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine.”

First up was Combo Chimbita. The Brooklyn-based band refers to their sound as “tropical futurism” and if this is the future then I say bring it on. The band put on an incredible show on the Hotel Vegas Annex stage with a sound that ran the gamut from groovy and trippy to downright heavy at times – I suspect there may be a metalhead or two somewhere in this band. Frontwoman Carolina Oliveros is a powerhouse singer who commanded the audience’s attention while the band held it down with some impressive sounds. They definitely got the crowd moving.


Over on the Patio stage, Amyl & The Sniffers brought a different kind of energy to their set – a kind of scuzzy, snotty, punk energy. This entire band had mullets and somehow sound exactly how you’d imagine them to sound based solely on their looks – which is to say they sounded great. It’s like if somebody packed a bunch of rockers from the mid-1980s into a time machine, rocketed them into the future, and then just pushed them right onto the stage. Oh, and their bassist also kind of looks like the guy who played Scut Farkus in A Christmas Story, but with a mullet. Good times.

Posted on by Paul in South By Southwest

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