Austin Psych Festival (Levitation) was founded in 2008. Over the festival’s first few years it has grown from a small get together to an internationally acclaimed three-day event. The festival attracts people from all over the world who love the psychedelic culture. Our lineup for Sunday was not at all to the extent of Day 1 and Day 2 of the festival .Sunday night something very special happened. The 13th Floor Elevators played on the Reverbnation Stage marking their first performance in 50 years. Talk about a reunion!
Before the highly anticipated event took place we talked to some of the fans wandering around the festival and asked them a series of questions regarding the remarkable reunion they were about to witness. When asked about the nature of the set, Jessica, a fan hailing all the way from Canada, stated, “I think since it’s the first time they’re performing in front of a crowd in so long, the energy they present will be something else. That is unless they’re too old to jump around the stage due to weak knees and frail bones. But I’d say my anticipation is set pretty high.” Another festival attendee who preferred not to give a name, stated that his father was the bassist’s best friend and their performance was the only reason he was there.
In addition to eager fans at the festival, there was a special booth in the art corner of the field. There was a table set up with various paints, markers, pens and pencils, and any die-hard 13th Floor Elevators fan was encouraged to write letters to the band or even paint them a picture. Here was the note among the art:
With excitement in the air, the 13th Floor Elevators finally took the stage at exactly 10:10 PM Sunday evening. Although they were ten minuets late, the fact they were even reuniting in the first place trumped the angsty feeling late sets stir up. They opened with “She Lives In A Time of Her Own” and sounded a little raspy and almost unstable at first, but eventually it all smoothed out. The dedicated fans in the crowd were not hard to pick out at all. They were jamming in entirety. In their songs “Earthquake” and “Tried to Hide” their classic “digadigadiga” lyrical effect in the background never ended. It was prevalent in almost every song making it somewhat annoying, but their sound was overall pretty impressive for getting back together after 50 years.
In their slower songs “Slip Inside This House,” “Splash,” “Kingdom Of Heaven” and “I’ve Got Levitation,” they pretty much just stood in place and played their songs. The edgy voice and acoustic guitar made the music raw and natural. There was no intense action on stage really throughout their whole set, they just focused on the sound. It was beautiful. During the mellow part of their set, a decent amount of crowd members got bored and the crowd thinned. Although it was slow, it was still a wonderful performance.
Towards the end of their set they played “Nobody To Love” and “Roller Coaster” making it a good ease of out. Lasty, they closed the night with their most notable single, “You’re Gonna Miss Me” leaving the crowd in a mist of awe. Once their performance was over, the crowd cheered for about five minutes, paying them their tribute. It was overall a remarkable reunion performance. May the 13th Floor Elevators music live on another 50+ years!