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Caravels conquer SXSW

While the SXSW presence of Las Vegas bands was slim, we’re glad it included Caravels.

The hardcore-influenced band’s Top Shelf Records showcase on March 14, at a DIY co-op house courtyard, was thick with the smell of barbecue and underage sweat, overrun with what looked like 2013’s version of the Lost Boys manning a small sound system that, seldom for intervals longer than 10 minutes, wouldn’t cut out for Caravels’ heavy, all-business set. “Did someone step on a cord?” asked singer Mike Roeslein as the bass amp and the overhead lights fizzled out mid-song, shortly before drummer George Foskaris’ snare went on the fritz. But that was just the beginning, the foyer to a living room of solid shows in everything from a grimy punk house to an art gallery, and the band actually getting some scratch from it all.

“Last time we paid a bunch out of pocket to come down,” says guitarist Dillon Shines in the middle of the band’s long drive back to Vegas. “But this year we made back what we spent and played four packed shows. Even the first show was still good, besides blowing up our amps. It was a really successful trip.”