Monday, March 23, 2009

SXSW

The first leg of our journey started as the van (and a cloud of smoke) made its way steadily down Vanowen St in Reseda, California. It ended nearly 24 hours later in the busy streets of Austin, Texas. We made it. We watched in awe as the sea of bodies flooded downtown Austin, entering, exiting and re-entering each and every bar in sight. Normals packed the streets like sardines while others stood elbow to ass at Red 7 for the Madball show. It was St. Patrick's day in addition to the kick off night of SXSW and Austin show-goers were jaked on green beers. Most of the night was a greenish haze as we gathered our wits and decompressed from our recent drive. We met up with Nick Fit and spread out across the floor to catch up on some much needed sleep. 

We took the indoor stage of Emo's at 3pm on Wednesday and promptly loaded across the street once our set was over. We were slated to play again at 1am that night. As Priestess closed their set and loaded out, we loaded up and began to tune. The set was short lived due to an altercation between Fit and a SXSW staff member during his part in Sacto is Dead, but the show was a load of fun. We continued partying into the wee hours of the morning. 

We had Thursday off and spent the day popping in and out of the myriad of fantastic shows that were happening all over downtown, sometimes just a few feet from each other.

By Friday, we had only played two of our seven scheduled shows and had two more to compete before the sun arose on Saturday. The first show of the day was in the back yard area of a bar called 1808. Punks, dogs, parents and children stood side by side in the dirt as we set up. Surprisingly they were all still there when we finished... Even the parents. Late that night, after the Okkervil River show, we made our way to the corner of Lamar and Riverside streets where we were scheduled to play a guerilla show on a foot bridge with Vivian Girls and Annihilation Time. The show started at 3am and the electricity surging through the amplifiers was supplied by a generator. There were shoes and beers flying everywhere and I heard rumor of 8 separate fights. Surprisingly none were during our set (to my knowledge). By the time we had loaded back into the van,  it was nearly 5am and we were beyond ready for bed. 

Our sleep was short lived as we arose at the crack of near-noon to prepare for our set at Mess With Texas Fest, which was held at Waterloo Park. The line-ups for both stages were stacked and the Sailor Jerry rum flowed like, well, like rum. Jones soda supplied the mixer and I'm pretty sure everybody of age had a rum and cream soda pass through their lips at some point during the day. We went on at a suitable time: 4:20; and proceeded to have what I thought was our best set at SXSW. Kanye West was playing down the street at the Fader/Levi Jeans party and I managed to score a pass through a very cute company rep, but Kanye began playing while we were loading out. Dreams: crushed. At 9:30 we made it to the outside stage at Red 7 where our second show was about to begin. We hit the stage at 10:40 and had to cut a couple songs from the set in order to make our next appearance down the street at 11. The 11 o'clock show was at a venue called Beerland which was, you guessed it, a bar. We arrived just in time to catch the last song of Annihilation Time's set and hurriedly lugged our gear to the stage, set up and started playing for the third time that night. Despite the first inklings of a hangover to come, the set was good and didn't make my head want to explode.  After the gig, a few of the guys went to the Vice party, while the rest of us rested on our merch bags, soaking in the street sounds and cool breeze. 

Bands who killed it:
Annihilation Time
B.o.B.
The Bronx
Circle Jerks
Cursive
Deastro
Dillinger Four
Human Rights
Japanther
Jucifer
Little Boots
Okkervil River
Priestess

SXSW was dope and I can't wait to slam it again next year.

1 comment:

wes said...

i was at all of the last four shows. you guys got any pics from any of them?