Ella Vos via Facebook Photography by Kelia Anne

Pop Music

How to Get the Best of SXSW Without Leaving Dallas

Some of the festival's most anticipated acts—like Ella Vos, Omar Apollo, and Megan Thee Stallion—are coming through town.

It’s that time of year again: For a few weeks each March, Austin becomes the place to be during South by Southwest (I’m probably the only person still spelling that out in 2019). The music festival alone draws thousands of musicians from across the world and across a wide variety of genres. From March 11-17, the state’s capital will be one giant party with a really, really good soundtrack. Like any epic party, though, SXSW can be crowded, dehydrating, and exhausting. We won’t think you’re lame if you want to stay home. Luckily, you don’t have to leave Dallas to get a taste of this year’s lineup. Here are some of the best SXSW 2019 acts coming to Dallas over the next several weeks:

  • Soul singer, guitarist, and producer Omar Apollo has a smooth voice and soft lyricism that span lo-fi and R&B and make his music immediately likeable. Before he heads to Austin to perform at this year’s Fader Fort, he’s stopping at Trees on March 9 with Dreamer Boy. Tickets for the concert are sold out through Trees, but it’s worth looking for resale tickets. I doubt he’ll be playing a venue this small in Dallas again.
  • Not So Fun Wknd, a Dallas festival that offers an alternative to SXSW, also boasts many of the same acts. This year, NSFW opens on March 12 with Brooklyn-based psychedelic rock band Crumb at Club Dada. It’s the perfect music for a trip – whether that be the drug variety or a long, dreamy car ride. Loving, Glove, and McKinley Dixon will open the show. Tickets are $15.

  • NSFW continues at Club Dada on March 13 with Oklahoma-born indie rock band Broncho, another act being showcased at SXSW. However, they’re kind of regulars in our neck of the woods. The show does present a rare opportunity to see Montreal-based dream pop group Anemone, which has generated some serious buzz since releasing its debut EP last year. Tickets are $14.
  • Groovy soul outfit Durand Jones & the Indications was handpicked for this year’s Rolling Stone Live: Austin showcase at SXSW. If you like sultry sounds, listen here. Like what you hear? They’re playing Club Dada with Ginger Root on March 19. Tickets are $16.
  • Andy’s Bar is bringing a whole week’s worth of SXSW entertainment to Denton with its Road to SXSW showcase March 8-17. The lineup includes E.B. The Younger (March 8), Jade Jackson (March 12), Doug Burr (March 13), and Rosegarden Funeral Party (March 15). Find details here.
  • Austin’s country-soul-swamp-funk band Shinyribs has a busy schedule for SXSW, but they’ll be hitting up Dallas afterward. They’re playing The Kessler with special guest David Beck’s Tejano Weekend on March 23. Tickets are $22.

  • Breakout indie pop star Ella Vos has an ethereal voice and an emotional delivery that gives substance to the light electro melodies in songs like “Ocean” and “Cast Away.” Tune in if you’re a fan of airy voices like Billie Eilish, Lorde, or CHVRCHES. After performing at SXSW, she’ll embark on a tour for her latest EP, Watch and Wait, which chronicles her experience after being diagnosed with lymphoma. Catch her at Club Dada on April 4 with supporting act Clara Mae. Tickets are $15.
  • Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion is another act slated for the Fader Fort at this year’s SXSW. You’ve probably heard the Texan’s hard-hitting anthem “Big Ole Freak,” and if you haven’t, you will soon. She’s known to be an adept freestyler, too. She’s playing at 97.9 The Beat’s Springfest on March 31 at Gas Monkey Live. Also on the femme-forward bill: Danileigh, Asian Doll, Ferrari Charli, Hanna, and others. Tickets start at $25.

  • Musician and producer Leikeli47 has been coming up for a while, and her new album Acrylic seems to mark her official breakout with slapping tracks like “Tic Boom.” She makes clever rap/hip-hop that’s reminiscent of Azealia Banks, but with better lyrics. She’ll perform at SXSW in the same set as Megan Thee Stallion. On April 10, she’s coming to Club Dada with supporting act Yung Baby Tate. Tickets are $15.
  • Finally, Dallas’ Homegrown Music and Arts Festival is going to have several SXSW veterans performing at Mainstreet Garden on April 13. Headliners Toadies and Tripping Daisy will be joined by “Texas Piano Man” Robert Ellis, Austin-based soul band Black Pumas, Americana singer Israel Nash, and Austin indie icon Ben Kweller. General admission is $54.

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