SHED Barber & Supply Presents: “Summerween”, at Cheer Up Charlie’s
Summers come and go, but memories leave their impression on the collective consciousness forever, or at least that’s how we feel about our annual summer party.
This being our fourth iteration of our summer party series at Cheer Up Charlie’s, we wanted to continue our (now expected) pace of building upon the momentum of the previous year, and considering how surreal last year’s was, we had our work cut out for us. However, all humble brags aside – the bar was high. With the party we had coined “Summerween”, we believe that it’s safe-to-say: we surpassed it.
It being “Summerween” and all, the theme of the party was an intentional juxtaposition of darkness and light, horror and love, White Claw and literally anything else – we brought the thematics of Halloween to the time of year that it probably should be in the first place (in this instance, July 28th).
To start things off for the day, the Austin-based musical duo/DJ crew Compact Disco Crew spun a genre-bending menagerie of music, firmly instilling the expectations of where the rest of the night was heading. In the midst of CDC pulling the strings of all those in attendance with their music selections, as though they were more so marionette operators than DJs – the unofficial (or official, in our opinion) queen of Austin, Louisianna Purchase, took the stage to not only host a contest that decided who rocked the best costume, but she rocked the stage herself by bringing her world renowned drag experience to the Cheer Up Charlie’s stage. She blew the doors off the place, and Summerween had only just begun at that point.
For the second year in a row, we were honored to be an official showcase host of The Red River Cultural District’s Hot Summer Nights week-long music festival. With the opportunity to curate a music lineup, it was obvious to us to not only choose our favorite artists in the state, but artists that happened to be our friends, and to reiterate that whole juxtaposition theme we had mentioned earlier, we tapped two of Texas’ fastest rising stars in their respective (albeit, quite differing) genres.
Lou Rebecca opened up the night… and our hearts. If you’re not already familiar with her music, she gracefully blends dreamlike synths in harmony with her delicate yet somehow still exceedingly powerful voice. Watching her perform is almost trance-inducing; her beautiful dancing in total harmony with her authoritative stage presence that demands your full attention, you really feel as though you wouldn’t rather be anywhere else in the world other than right there at that very moment.
Next up, to close the show, an artist who many are beginning to refer to as Texas’ “next big thing” in rap – Zayland – took the stage. He gave us a glimpse of his upcoming EP (which he performed live for the first time), and it also turned out to be a glimpse into the future of where the genre of rap is heading in Texas. Spoiler alert: the future is bright. He even added another ingredient to the sauce, by bringing out a Dallas contemporary on his own rise to stardom: Devy Stonez. Throughout the entirety of his set, Zayland continued to increase his hold on the audience’s attention, though by no means forcefully, but rather – in a sense – holding out his hand, guiding each individual attendee’s consciousness and saying “hey, let me show you my world. It’ll be fun. Promise.” Truly closing out Hot Summer Nights in epic fashion.
After the two awe-inspiring performances by Lou Rebecca and Zayland, the third installation of “shed your worries. & Have a Nu Wave” took place inside (the first two were held at The LINE hotel in Austin, TX). A dance party of epic proportions, orchestrated by DJs Joaqu.n and Mxrgan Mxrgan. They capped off the night perfectly, by ending the story of Summerween with it’s synopsis: you can make anything happen with just a little imagination.