Photo credit: Melissa Bordeau
On Friday, March 17, the cleverly curated Brooklyn Bowl Family Reunion took place at the Empire Control Room & Garage in Austin, Texas during the 2023 iteration of SXSW. This year’s event culminated in 20 live performances representing the wide variety and musical excellence celebrated at the Brooklyn Bowls across the country.
The Lone Star State festivities kicked off with tunes by folk rock outfit Goodnight, Texas, who opened the event in the 15,000-square-foot live music space. The husband and wife team of Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Trotter, aka The War and the Treaty. Sir Woman, the side project of Wild Child’s Kelsey Wilson, enlivened the venue with select numbers.
As a continuation of the first day of the event, which was curated by relic, Oh He Dead delivered indie-infused soul numbers right up to Devon Gilfilian’s highly anticipated framework. As afternoon turned to dusk, Eshu Tune (Hannibal Buress) took the stage for his performance at the Bat City jubilee. Ahead of the final set of the night, Norwegian outfit Orion’s Belte lit up the stage with their Scandinavian take on psych rock, ahead of local heroes White Denim, who cut a 13-song set, pulling from their up-and-coming discography and nearly burning the place to the ground.
After the four-piece rock group left the stage, Dead Inside spun a set of vinyl culling from Grateful Dead fan favorites and select deep cuts. The festivities ended in the early hours of the morning of Saturday March 18 and resumed around 1 pm, with music by Brigitte Calls Me Baby. Consequence featured the follow-up and featured additional sets from Why Bonnie, Barrie, and Sunflower Bean.
The Nude Party pulled from their LP released in 2023, Go ahead, to close out the day portion of Saturday’s Brooklyn Bowl Family Reunion. The evening portion of the event resumed at 8pm, with a set of music from New York’s own Arcy Drive, before alternative rockers The Moss took over. Ron Gallo came before Thee Sacred Souls, which revisited a selection of material inspired by ’60s soul and ’70s R&B.
Low Cut Connie then invited Gin Pham from the Transgender Education Network of Texas to the front of the room to share a few words about transgender rights. With the vibes and spirit for the annual occasion at an all-time high after two incredible days of live music performances, the final act, Low Cut Connie took her place on stage. During their set, the Philadelphia-based ensemble performed a series of desirable tunes that kept the crowd dancing until the early hours of Sunday morning.
Lucas Sacks, director of bookings for Brooklyn Bowl Williamsburg and Philadelphia, said, “Our fourth annual Brooklyn Bowl Family Reunion feels like a SXSW institution right now. We’ve curated and produced a diverse and eclectic lineup for music fans featuring over 20 artists who reflect on Brooklyn Bowl’s core values. We couldn’t be happier to be working with the teams at Empire & Resound, our Texas family, and we can’t wait to celebrate five years in 2024!”
In addition to the performances, the Brooklyn Bowl Family Reunion also provided event staff, musicians and others associated with SXSW the opportunity to relax and unwind at the Relix Roadie Lounge, where they offered gifts and treats from Ernie Ball, Hohner, Guayaki , Cloud Water , Deering Banjos, D’Angelico Guitars, and more!
All ticketing logistics were handled by our dear friends at Dentity, whose “Web3 accreditation platform [which] provides venue operators with new technology to enhance the way they produce their events, whether through the lens of consumer data privacy or by implementing sophisticated digital sponsored loyalty passes, on-site VIP experiences , exclusive offers and content”.
The fourth annual gathering of the Brooklyn Bowl family was made possible by a team of partners, including The Cantina presented by Diageo with Captain Morgan x Vita Coco, Crown Royal, Loyal 9 and Ciroc, Dentity: Digital Credentials, Dos Hombres Mezcal (that’s the Breaking Bad Guys Mezcal!), Cloud Water CBD Water, and more. A very special thanks to all the sponsors, the amazing staff at Empire Control Room & Garage, Resound Presents, SXSW and all the fans who made it possible.
Take a look at a selection of photos from Saturday March 18 below. Click this link to read more and view additional images through the festivities on Friday.
Photos courtesy of Stephen Olker:
Photos shared by Melissa Bordeau: