SXSW: Days Two and Three

The secret of SXSW, plus Lily Allen and the nature of rising celebrity

My low-key, brief recap of SXSW continues...

So, after being concerned about seeing most of my "must-sees," I learned that most bands play multiple times throughout the week. For free. With no wristband/badge drama. So, check Peter Bjorn and John off the list. Their goofy but endearing stage presence was enough to convert me into a fan. Also Lily Allen, who played an acoustic set at Waterloo at 3 o'clock on Thursday. CD browsing AND live music? If only life were like this all the time...

Also yesterday, Kari got us into WOXY.com's Austin studios where we met esteemed DJs Mike and Shiv and saw the up-and-coming British group The Rumble Strips perform an instudio. After the show we were able to give part of the group a lift back downtown, which was a pretty entertaining 15-minute car ride.

As we get into the nightly showcases, things become more of a mess. Lily Allen's Wednesday night show (which we heard part of from outside the stage) introduced a third category into the mix. Trumping badges and wristbands, was a dreaded third category: The Guest List. Lines out the door were typical and it would seem the best idea would be to find a venue with the best lineup and stake it out for the entire evening.

The worst case of this was at Mohawk's on Thursday. Hoping to see The Besnard Lakes (a buzzworthy band that's equal parts Beach Boys, Arcade Fire and Low), the doors opened late and mass confusion ensued. We had gotten in line a half hour ahead of time. Instead of letting people come in the order they arrived, the staff started dividing people into "wristbands" "badges" and "people just wanting to pay." Things were increasing more disorganized and the band started playing to a half-full house.

Standing in the wristband line, just two people from getting in, I started getting extremely frustrated. The staff handled the chaos as best they could, but they really should've opened the doors at least an hour earlier. Finally, during the middle of the second song, we were able to get in and see my third and final "must-see" of this trip, but it wasn't without a struggle.

Bands seen so far: The Forms, Bela, The Octopus Project, Peter Bjorn and John, Ladybug Transistor, Imperial Teen, Broadfield Marchers, Sparklehorse, Lily Allen, The Rumble Strips, The Besnard Lakes, Phantom Family Halo, Midnight Movies, Pusher, Office, Dead Child. Three of the last five are Louisville bands that I checked out for Velocity (just in case you thought I'd suddenly gone into a metal phase...)

More later!

1 comment:

Gina said...

Riding in cars with strange bands, hanging out at radio stations, being segregated, choking on mints - sounds like a rockin' good time!