With his track "Honesty" topping 32 million spins on Spotify, professional songwriter turned live crooner, Pink Sweat$ came into the festival as one of the buzzier emerging acts. At a 9 p.m. performance in front of a capacity crowd at the Twitter house on Monday, the 26-year-old Philly native lived up to the hype.
Sweat$' Twitter bio reads, "If it doesn’t make you feel can you even call it music?" This philosophy is at the core of his songwriting and he brought it to the stage on Monday. With just an electric guitarist (in pink sweats) at his back, he opened the set with a steamy rendition of "Call Me," a gorgeous requiem for a relationship that ached with anguished regret.
"This is like my second show ever," he said demurely early in the set. Then he went on to perform like a seasoned pro.
The sparse musical accompaniment spotlights his skills as a songwriter. He wrings complex emotions out of simple turns of phrase. It also gives him space to explore the power formidable vocal range. The pining ballad "Cocaine," evoked familiar pangs of unrequited love while "Drama" was an understated take on street swagger.
When he closed his set with "Honesty," many in the crowd accepted his invitation to sing along. In that moment, it was clear that his signature song defines his artistic vision. There was no turn up at the show and (thankfully) no vocal backing track, just raw human emotion, sweet catharsis that soothed the achy parts of your heart.
Pink Sweat$ SXSW schedule.
With no backing track, no turn up and minimal accompaniment, Pink Sweat$ smooth croons his way into the achy parts of your heart.#SXSWpic.twitter.com/j61ZY0NK2u— D. Sengupta Stith (@deborific)March 12, 2019