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SXSW review: Trash Talk, Trust, Cymbals and Chela at Empire Automotive

Staff Writer
Austin 360

By Eric Pulsifer

Editor’s note: This article was originally published March 15, 2014

As we neared those magical, potential-filled hours between the wild, free fun of daytime parties and the official showcases of SXSW Saturday evening, Empire Control Room near Seventh and Red River streets was being literally rocked by the booming bass of goth act Trust. The pair of venues have had a strong though often mismatched roster of artists this SXSW, and this afternoon was no exception.

British new-wavers Cymbals went on after 3 p.m. and played to a big crowd in the cavernous, windowless space that is the Control Room, as rainbow-colored projected patterns danced on their faces. The group left passers by chatting about the show they’d just seen.

As Cymbals packed up, California-based trouble-making harcore rockers Trash Talk went on outside in the garage to the first and only over-capacity crowd of the afternoon. As shirtless frontman Lee Spielman thrashed through the moshing masses, he stopped at the door between Empire’s stages where a line of fans waited for the OK to enter and encouraged fans to push past security. They did not, and moments later he had the crowd give it up to security for their work.

Goldroom collaborator Chela, a Melbourne-based female solo artist, and possibly the polar opposite of Trash Talk, took to the inside stage next. Her polished electro-pop translated surprisingly well live especially for a newer performer thanks in part to some energetic live drumming. She plays again tonight at Brew Exchange at 6 p.m. and Maggie Mae’s at 10 p.m.

Bass-heavy Trust, the final band of the evening, closed out Empire Control Room at 6 p.m. The venues open again tonight for dance music with the IHEARTCOMIX and Neon Gold showcases, featuring headliners Classixx and Giraffage and MØ and Miami Horror respectively.