The Six Best Performances at Spillover Music Festival

Categories: Last Night

Mike Brooks

Every year, Dallas' most highly anticipated SXSW offshoot is Parade Of Flesh's Spillover Music Festival. This past Sunday, head talent buyer John Iskander and his crew really stepped their game up. Spillover 2014 moved from Sandbar Cantina to Elm Street, filling stages at Dada and Three Links with heavy-hitting headliners like Ty Segall, Dum Dum Girls, Astronautalis and more. Cold weather didn't hurt the turnout one bit, and Spillover's seventh year just might have been its best lineup yet, coming a long way from its original incarnation, Brofest. Steve Steward and Vanessa Quilantan were on hand to highlight their six favorite sets of the day.

See Also: The Fans of Spillover

For a band called Nothing, this Relapse Records four-piece from Philadelphia certainly brings something to their live show. It's hard not to make the obvious Seinfeld joke as the band prepares to take the stage, but moments later it's clear to see this is no joking matter.

Though they inhabit their space with as much nihilism as you'd expect, the closer you look, the more you notice the band's unfaltering focus on the gloomy, droney and stoney post-punk they play. Though the word "shoegaze" is thrown around a lot with Relapse's marketing of Nothing's recent effort, Guilty of Everything, it feels like misrepresentation after watching their live show.

Nothing are heavier than any shoegaze band should be, and more tinged with misery than melancholy as cold and cruel anti-love poems loop over the PA in between songs. At the end of the set, when frontman Dominic Palermo tosses his guitar into the crowd and wanders off stage, the audience is left wanting more. Vanessa Quilantan

Mike Brooks

The Orwells
Once you start to realize you're past the age that pop culture is made to cater to, it's hard not to face the younger generation's creative endeavors with a bit of skepticism. Every once in awhile, however, you see a young band that gives you hope for the next generation of music fans. This weekend at Spillover, that band was The Orwells.

It felt a bit like one extreme to another walking back into Dada after a dark and foreboding set from Nothing to the sound of The Orwells' fun and whimsical cover of "Build Me Up Buttercup." The tone change was a welcome one, however. By far, the most impressive thing about The Orwells is their ability to take classic pop songwriting sensibilities and apply them to their high-energy garage-punk style. These recent high school grads have a long career ahead of them. VQ

Mike Brooks

Har Mar Superstar
Few artists in this world are making R&B music the way that Sean Tillman does. Under the moniker Har Mar Superstar, he's been spreading his soulful, sweaty and often naked love across the national touring circuit since the early 2000s.

Though it was too cold on Dada's outside stage for him to strip down into his preferred performance apparel of man-panty briefs, his set was just as raucous and over-the-top as any longtime fans would expect. With every ounce of passion, he belted and howled in between slick choreographed moves that resulted in the crowd breaking into a 40 degree dance party.

After watching Tillman sing an entire verse from a break dancing headstand, with his pink checkered Vans high in the air, it's hard to resolve watching rappers perform over their own vocal tracks, or punk band frontmen run out of breath screaming. Most performing musicians could learn a lot from one Har Mar set. When Tillman closed out his set with a heartfelt cover of Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home To Me," it was clear that he was one of the more masterful live performers who would grace a Spillover stage for the day. VQ

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