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SXSW 2017: Second Play music shows are already under way

Letting Up Despite Great Faults play a SXSW Second Play show at Austin Taco Project on Friday, March 10, 2017. Peter Blackstock/American-Statesman

Most of South By Southwest’s showcases don’t start until Monday, but there’s one exception that may be useful for those looking to catch some music during the dinner hour. SXSW Second Play offers a chance to hear bands playing official shows next week at additional performances in more than a dozen hotel lobbies and restaurants around the downtown area.

What’s more, they’re free to anyone, not just those with badges. We checked out one of the first Second Play shows last night at Austin Taco Project, a new taco bar in the lobby of the Hilton hotel across from the Austin Convention Center. (And by new, we mean fresh out of the gate: the restaurant opened two days ago, taking the place of the Hilton’s former Liberty Tavern space.)

The sound was a bit cavernous, a result of the mostly concrete construction and high ceilings. Letting Up Despite Great Faults, a fine local indie outfit, wasn’t perhaps best placed in this room, as their dream-pop soundscapes weren’t a great fit for the acoustics. Still, the band took it in stride, playing a casual set. Band members opened the door to let patrons in and out while they kept on playing, or strolled up to the bar to get a beer midsong without missing a beat.

Second Play shows continue nightly through March 18. The full list is posted to the SXSW website. A few highlights:

Saturday, March 11, at Sheraton Hotel (701 E. 11th St.):
6 p.m.: Colin Gilmore
7 p.m.: Cotton Mather
8 p.m.: Bonnie Whitmore

Sunday, March 12, at Hilton Austin Taco Project (500 E. Fourth St.):
7 p.m.: Elijah Ford
8 p.m.: Daisy O’Connor

Monday, March 13, at Hyatt Regency (208 Barton Springs Road):
6 p.m.: Scott Collins
7 p.m.: Avi Buffalo

Tuesday, March 14, at Westin Hotel (310 E. Fifth St.):
6 p.m.: Darling West
7 p.m.: Yael Meyer

Wednesday, March 15, at Hilton Cannon & Bell (500 E. Fourth St.):
6 p.m.: Wheelwrights
7 p.m.: Odetta Hartman
8 p.m.: Molly Burch

Thursday, March 16, at Courtyard Marriott Champions (300 E. Fourth St.):
6 p.m.: Slow Caves
7 p.m.: Waco Brothers

Friday, March 17, at Hotel Van Zandt:
5 p.m.: Tameca Jones
6 p.m.: Run River North

Saturday, March 18, at Holiday Inn Express (805 Neches St.):
6 p.m.: Magic Island
7 p.m.: River Jones & Lorelei Linklater


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