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SXSW 2012’s Top 10 Shows

Austin was overrun with superstars every night of South By Southwest, but the greatest shows often happen in more unlikely places. Here are our favorites.

By: SPIN Staff // March 20, 2012

7. Ceremony (Saturday, Red 7 Patio)
Moshing, rafter-climbing, mic stand-twirling, floor-writhing histrionics, raw charisma, and not least of all, songs. Punk is dead, but long live punk, or whatever we’re calling it these days when people play aggressive, confrontational music that shouts and winks at you at the same time. S.K.

8. Imperial Teen (Friday, Frank)
More than 15 years after their debut album, this lovably tough-minded Bay Area band set up in the middle of a gourmet hot-dog shop and turned it into an indie-pop Budokan. C.A.

9. Bad Sports (Saturday, Beerland Front Porch)
These sloppy Ramones devotees, posted up outside the venerable hole-in-the-wall landmark Beerland, had people stopping in their tracks on Red River Street. The Denton, Texas trio whipped the club’s sidewalk patio into a frenzied makeshift moshpit, even causing one of our photographer’s glasses to get flipped off his face (thankfully, the specs survived). LUKE McCORMICK

10. Bahamas (Wednesday @ St. David’s Bethell Hall)
Bahamas’ Afie Jurvanen has the soul and swagger of a ’50s idol, but his good fortune doesn’t stop there: His guitar playing was the most stylish we saw all week. CARYN GANZ

Bahamas / Photo by Thao Nguyen

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