It’s our favorite time of year–SXSW Send Off time! Every March, the Hideout gathers a small sampling of Chicago bands and musicians that’ll be making their pilgrimage south for an all-day showcase with the proceeds going towards helping the bands in their trek down to the lone star state. Historically, it’s been a day of really good and really diverse music, and needless to say, we’re really excited about going this year.

Here’s why:

Melo Makes Music

Carmelo Cianflone, otherwise known as Melo Makes Music, is an independent artist from the southside of Chicago. With an EP due out in early 2017, Melo’s track “Blastaa (Let It Go)” has racked up a respectable amount of plays in the month it’s been out. This track is just plain cool. It’s backed by a funky, bassy beat and carries an awesome energy. We’re hoping Melo carries that energy right into The Hideout for a kick ass show.


Varsity formed in 2013 when several Chicago musicians gathered for a “salon night” where friends shared stories and songs. In April 2014, the outfit self-released their first EP, Thanks for Nothing, after recording it one weekend in the basement of Smith’s parents’ home.

Since then, Varsity has found success with its indie-pop sound featuring the powerful driving vocals of singer/keyboardist Stephanie Smith with infectious guitar melodies and exciting rhythm. Varsity’s shared bills with performers like Alvvays, Courtney Barnett, and Car Seat Headrest, but they’re going to make a name for themselves this year. The outfit will release a new album on April 27th, and we’re hoping to hear a good sampling of new music on Saturday.

Waco Brothers

Bloodshot recording artists, The Waco Brothers, have played SXSW every year since 1953, and 2018’s not going to be any different.

Ariel Zetina

If you are interested in the future of club and dance music, look no further than Ariel Zetina. A popular rising underground DJ, Zetina has begun making a name for herself in the city’s club venues and across the country (through the power of SoundCloud) for her eclectic and progressive sets.


Formed in winter of 2016, Bunny is the dreamy, garage pop brainchild of lead vocalist and guitarist, Jessica Viscius. I get “Courtney Barnett” vibes from Bunny’s slow-paced and dreamy delivery, so here’s hoping we see them all over Pitchfork soon. Until then, a niche music blog will have to do. Don’t miss your chance to sway gently to their music in the coziness of The Hideout. Check out “Let Me Be Your Dog” from their debut EP, Sucker, below.

James Swanberg

The man behind multiple lo-fi garage projects (The Lemons, Today’s Hits, Wulfpac, just to name a few) and the founder of Chicago indie label Tripp Tapes is taking his Singer Songwriter Bullshit down to Texas to give SXSW a shot. Grab a dose of his solo bedroom pop before he hits the road.

Pixel Grip

Although Pixel Grip is hard at work on their debut album, that doesn’t mean they don’t have any sweet jams for us. Pixel Grip plays dark, synthy electropop–think La Roux meets YACHT. Press play on their late 2016 release, “Golden Moses”, and try telling me they aren’t going to kick ass at SXSW. I dare you.

It’s a long day of music, but it’s a party you won’t want to miss. If you can’t make it all the way down to Austin, this is a great way to see some of the Chicago talent that’ll be gracing the SXSW stages.

Admission is $10 at the door, and it’s all going down at The Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia). For more information, head here. We’ll see you there.