updated 03/13/2014 AT 4:00 PM ET
•originally published 03/13/2014 AT 6:10 PM ET
Among people in the packed audience were fellow musicians Ghost Beach, a Brooklyn-based tropical grit electro-pop duo – whose catchy new single, “Every Time We Touch,” has been an instant indie success. The two guys (Josh Ocean and Eric “Doc” Mendelsohn), who have been featured on this site twice prior, are giving PEOPLE readers an exclusive three-part look behind-the-scenes of their performances, parties and frolics with fellow festival pals.
The guys arrived to the Lone star state on Wednesday and kicked things off with a panel discussion for Abelton, a program they use for their live shows and in the studio.
“For someone with no knowledge of programming, this panel would have been like grade school math class, but for us it was music technology heaven,” Ocean explains. “One guy even built a robot who plays the drums. Nerding-out is also a big thing that happens at SXSW, FYI.”
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“Free beer, free BBQ, enough said,” Mendelsohn says. “We made our way through the crazy that is 6th street to the Pandora party.”
But before Newham’s performance, the guys took center stage themselves, to a great turnout, in the company of fellow musician pals, including Madi Diaz and Run River North, who are performing on Friday at the Naked Grape Wines Music Box.
“As if ending the show with [Newham’s] nostalgic jam wasn’t enough, across the street was a parking lot filled with Big Wheels for adults,” Mendelsohn adds. “Have you ever drag raced in a giant Big Wheel? We have. And it was awesome.”
The night didn’t end there. To cap off the evening, the guys headed to Maggie Mae’s, where they caught a performance by their good friends Empires, who played all new songs off of their upcoming album.
“We spend a lot of time with electronic music so when we have the chance, we love to feel the energy of live guitars and drums,” Ocean says. “It was the perfect way to close out the night. They brought a wild energy to Maggie Mae’s. Overall it was a pretty awesome first day at SXSW.”
Check back Friday and Monday as the Ghost Beach guys continue to give readers a play-by-play of their packed week.