Bands To Watch At South By So What?! 2014 – RichardThinks Edition

This year’s edition of South By So What?! may be the most ambitious line-up thus far in the festival’s history. With over 100 bands playing over the course of three days, it’s difficult to pick which bands to add to your schedule. Today, the RichardThinks staff have selected bands performing each day that you should consider checking out. Whether it be a headliner, or one of the bands at the bottom of the list, make it a point to stop by and check them out. You may discover your next favorite band. Without further ado, and in alphabetical order, check out the list below!

B – Bailey
M – Michael
R – Richard
T – Terry


A Lot Like Birds (Equal Vision Records – Playing Day 3)

Ambition is a highly undervalued trait in music nowadays, but it’s evident from the first listen that A Lot Like Birds have it in spades – but more importantly, they also have the talent to realize their vision. Spiraling maelstroms of metallic noise underpin lyrics that tell remarkable stories, songs forming in such unconventional structures that they tonally resemble classical symphonies as much as heavy rock. Mixing elements of metal and post hardcore into near unrecognizable shapes, A Lot Like Birds take exactly the right approach to progressive music, and are certainly not one to miss. – M


Animals As Leaders (Sumerian Records – Playing Day 3)
If you’re looking for something different & out of the ordinary, look no further than Animals As Leaders. A 3 piece trio, rocking out with nothing but guitars & drums, and no vocals whatsoever. They’re sure to be an interesting set to watch. -T
BMTHBring Me The Horizon (Epitaph Records – Playing Day 2)
Bring Me The Horizon has become huge. There’s no doubting that. Frontman Oli Sykes knows how to get a crowd going from the second he takes the stage, to the second he walks off it. Coming off Warped Tour last year and currently touring with Of Mice & Men in support of their album Sempiternal, this will be one of the best sets to watch at all of SBSW. – T
emmure2013Emmure (Victory Records – Playing Day 1)Emmure are a couple weeks away from releasing their new album “Eternal Enemies”, and are sure to be performing a new song or two. Whether or not you’re into their controversial style of music, if you’re into heavy moshing and circle pits, you’ll want to be in the middle of the crowd for their set. – T
Fit For A King (Solid State Records – Playing Day 2)
After releasing “Creation/Destruction” and a re-recorded version of their first release “Descendants” in 2013, they are in no way slowing down in 2014. After seeing Fit For A King multiple times in different settings, I can guarantee that their live performance will in no way will disappoint. – B

Ice Nine Kills (Outerloop Records – Playing Day 1) Ice Nine Kills have began making their way up to the top in the metalcore scene. After the release of their fan funded EP entitled “The Predator” following up the effort with “The Predator Becomes The Prey”, they have made a big hit on fans worldwide. With their top notch live performance, there is no doubt that will impress anyone who stops by to catch their set! – B

ISSUES2014ISSUES (Rise Records – Playing Day 2)

ISSUES took the scene by storm in late 2012 with their debut EP, “Black Diamonds”, and continued their assault by releasing their self-titled debut album to an impressive response by debuting at #9 on the Billboard Top 200. Blending metalcore and r&b, they have created something unique that brings a fantastic set to anyone being a witness to their phenomenal show. Call it what you will, ISSUES will prove or disprove whatever is said about them. – R

letliveletlive (Epitaph Records – Playing Day 2)

In 2014, no man embodies punk rock like Jason Aalon Butler. That’s no disservice to the rest of his band, who drive out punishing grooves and unorthodox rhythms in perfect sync with one another. But Jason has such enormous stage presence and feral energy onstage (and off, when he’s inevitably getting up close and personal with the crowd) that it’s hard to take your eyes off of him, his raw honesty and charisma shining brightly throughout. Last year’s excellent ‘The Blackest Beautiful’ album saw them go from strength to strength, but it’s live that letlive. thrive and it’s hard to imagine another band providing a spectacle as unpredictable and in your face as this one. – M

NeckDeepNeck Deep (Hopeless Records – Playing Day 3)

Neck Deep are in the midst of supporting their new album, “Wishful Thinking”, as well as on their first tour of the United Sates. What better way to start their campaign on the US than to perform at South By So What?! Bringing their unique blend of Pop-Punk, fans of the genre should stop by their set and take in what they can from their set. – B

Sworn In
Sworn In (Razor and Tie – Playing Day 1)Sworn In made waves last year with their brutal debut album, “The Death Card”, and have brought their intense live show on tour with the likes of Bleeding Through, This Or The Apocalypse, Oceano and Emmure. Expect lots of crowd surfing, stage diving, and a live show like you’ve never seen before. – R

The Atlas Moth (PROFOUND LORE, Brutal Panda, Candlelight Records – Playing Day 1)

Masters at curating crushingly heavy, beautiful and daring doomy rock soundscapes, this is a band to utterly immerse yourself in. Trading in slow burning dark psychedelic soundscapes, The Atlas Moth have a rugged edge in the live environment that only adds to the claustrophobic, dense mood that their songs create effortlessly. A group of musical aficionados coming together to create something very special, this is a band that stand out hugely distinctive from the rest of the festival’s lineup and are sure to catch many fans in their spell. Looking for something a little different from the status quo? The Atlas Moth is your band. – M


Volumes (Mediaskare Records – Playing Day 1)

Volumes are set to have the biggest year of their career thus far with their new album coming out soon. Fans should expect the Los Angeles outfit to preview new material at South By So What! this year. Don’t miss it. – B

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