For my first official SXSW show, I chose to find some local faces, Provo electronic band Polytype. They played at The Iron Bear on 8th Avenue—their first appearance at SXSW—and although the crowd was pretty small (about 20 people), Polytype filled the place with musical flair and high energy. ---
As points of green and red light danced across the bar’s walls and floor like tiny lasers, Polytype began their set with a slower, more mellow song and progressed into more snappy, mind-bending material as the performance went on. The sound itself was excellent, with intricate guitar lines, dreamy vocal effects, airtight percussion and cool, aquatic synths meshing together seamlessly.
The amount of dynamism the four members of Polytype displayed—dancing almost constantly, head-banging—was impressive, considering that frontman Mason Porter remarked that they were all feeling wiped out from the long drive to Texas. Even the drummer joined in, standing up and moving around as much as he could while still staying on top of the beat.
I was happy to see that the crowd grew as Polytype played, drawn into the bar by the music, and they especially really got into the catchy song “Cyclone.” The band seemed surprised at the warm reception they got, and responded in turn, thanking everyone for showing their support. Polytype concluded with “Gunmetal,” focusing all their power into blasting the climactic finale.
Note: I’ll be checking in with some other Utah bands while at SXSW and tweeting/blogging more reviews and random stuff, so follow me on Twitter (@vonstonehocker) for more updates.