Pity the acts that have to follow Capyac. With sleek synths and house beats, live sax and the dance-demanding chicka-chicka of ’70s porn guitar, Austin’s Capyac got the crowd moving like few can, starting things on the right dancing foot as they kicked off SXSW Music 2017’s Tuesday night at Empire Control Room and the adjoining Empire Garage. The guitar and keys/drum machine duo — this night a three-, four- and sometimes five-piece with rappers and assorted instrumental backup tagged in as needed — has an irresistibly fun, funky Chromeo or Daft Punk retro-futuristic vibe that set hips in motion and forced feet to move, an ideal icebreaker for a stacked Empire evening line-up featuring Sleigh Bells, Real Estate, Girlpool, and The Octopus Project.
The set opened with spacey instrumentals, added in a thumping bass beat and slowly grew to an inhibition-shattering groove that turned even the most hardened arm-crossed nay-movers into head-bobbers and swayers. This is the type of potent dancefloor fuel you’d typically have to import from across the Atlantic made fresh and funky right in Austin.
For those looking for something to cure their South By restful leg syndrome, Capyac is playing a show every day through the rest of SXSW, including 6 p.m. Friday at Shiner’s Saloon and 1 a.m. Sunday at The Iron Bear.