“We all made it to Saturday,” Alex Luciano said at the start of her band Diet Cig’s packed midnight set at Sidewinder. Despite the extreme endurance run of shows for SXSW 2016 the hyped pop-punk duo has been submitted to, Luciano was all smiles, a state it seems she’s often in.
Luciano giddily pounced around stage while her hands were a blur on guitar and sang songs about making out and breaking up, with endearing lyrics that feel ripped from a teenager’s diary like “It’s hard to be a punk while wearing a skirt.”
From high-kicking to posing like a guitar-wielding flamingo on the drumkit’s edge to diving into the crowd, Luciano radiated upbeat energy and on-stage likability. Her undeflatable optimism is contagious, and it makes the pint-sized powderkeg in jorts almost seem a concert cheerleader — something needed to mend broken spirits after navigating the slow-moving stream of humanity stagnating on nearby Sixth Street.
You can still catch Diet Cig at one of three more shows Saturday afternoon, at Cheer Up Charlie’s, Barracuda, and the Mohawk.