Austin Psych Fest: The Highs and A Few Lows

I’m emerging from the three day whirlwind that was Austin Psych Fest in which I experienced the gamut of emotions. There were the highs: a picturesque locale along the Colorado River, delicious Tito’s Vodka Infusions (like lemon/ginger), and music, so much music! Then there were the lows: A torrential downpour (mud.everywhere.), and an unfortunate situation with ant hill.


First came the rain, then came the mud.

Held at Carson Creek Ranch from Friday, April 26th to Sunday, April 27th, I heard, saw and tasted all the festival had to offer over the course of the three days. With over 60 bands playing, it wasn’t possible to see everyone, but I covered a lot of ground. That being said, here’s my top five favorite performances from Austin Psych Fest 2013:




Everything about Boris was sublime. The Tokyo-based trio just kicked off their US Tour and put on one of the best shows at Psychfest. They executed the music and atmosphere (two words: fog machine) effortlessly. I’m also obsessed with Atsuo the drummer. He plays a translucent neon pink drum set and occasionally bangs a giant Zildjian gong behind him. Can you imagine what touring with a gong must be like?


Photo by Jon Shapley via Culturemap.

The Canadian-based band is fronted by vocalist Amber Webber, who adds a sultry flair to the driving beats of this grooving five piece. They followed Boris on the Reverberation Stage Saturday night and began their set just as the sun was setting. Then the rain started coming down. Black Mountain’s rock ballads and awesome light projections paired with the dark, rainy night made for an electric set.


black angels


This mega psychedelic band makes mega-music, like their single “Don’t Play With Guns”, which sounded awesome live. Another highlight was when they played the surf-rock tune “Telephone.” Black Angels were the second to last act on the Reverberation Stage Sunday night, and definitely had the majority of festival-goers watching them rock out. They’re actually a local band – based in Austin – despite sounding straight out of Britain in the 60s.



Photo by Michael Toland via Austin Chronicle

Dead Skeletons’ mantra is, “He who fears death cannot enjoy life.” One can gather from the band name, that these Icelanders must be having a pretty good time. Their breed of rock is filled with mantra’s and chanting – the underlying theme being living in the moment and accepting one’s fate. The sentiment was especially impactful as Dead Skeleton’s played the Elevation Amphitheater on Sunday night with the moon overhead and projections on the neighboring trees.



Photo via Mary Kang/KUTX

I saw the Raveonettes a couple summers ago and truth be told, wasn’t impressed, so I was skeptical about their set this go around. Turns out I was pleasantly surprised. They were in-sync, their energy was up, and the sound was perfect. Maybe I saw them on an off day at the previous show, because they were definitely on this time. Excellent set.

1 Comment

  • Reply May 16, 2013

    Nate Foss

    Nice post. Wish I could have made Psych Fest this year, looked rad.

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