SXSW UPDATE: WEDNESDAY’S SUMMARY
Before I waste any time talking about the pandemonium that is SXSW, I want to get this out of the way: the band At All Cost are fucking awesome and are going to own you all in a short matter of time. More on that later. The Stars of Track and Field also impressed. It is just absolutely insane down here — drunkards, hipsters, metalheads, everyone. Pure pandemonium. Read on.
Got off the plane, dropped off my stuff, and immediately went downtown about 2pm. The craziness had already begun… people walking around EVERYWHERE, every bar had bands playing (sometimes multiple stages). Austin is a cool city… cool people everywhere, and I’m sure it’s not like this all year round but talking to some locals seems to indicate that even during regular weekends it’s pretty crazy downtown. Went to the Gothamist/Austinist day party, which was free, began to get my drink on ($2 beers!!) and watch some average indie rock bands. The only one that really impressed me was The Stars of Track and Field, a three piece (drummer, guitar, guitar), whose drummer ran a sequencer that played loops and the bassline. Very cool, spacey, guitar-driven indie-rock, lots of stage energy. Not sure how it would translate to record but I’d give it a shot. Architecture in Helsinki headlined this bar’s outdoor stage; they were fun but nothing spectacular, and again I found myself not “getting” what the big fuss is about.
Went back to the apartment I’m staying at, sobered up, smoked a J, had dinner, and went back into the madness to a club called Elysium. The Hourly Radio was on when we got there. Kind of a U2/Cure-inspired band whose singer had a cool voice. Definitely a gothy vibe, they all wore all black. New York’s The Blacklist followed with a similar vibe, maybe a bit more on the Cure side of things. Neither of these bands overly impressed, but both were decent.
Next it was across the street to Red 7, to the stage on the patio out back. At All Cost had already begun. This was the one band I absolutely needed to see yesterday and they did not disappiont, having never seen them before. The band is from Austin and this was apparent from the audience — tons of rabid kids going nuts up in the front, and the band just fed off the energy, instead of the usual industry circle-jerks that most of these shows seem to be. Hair flying, guitars shredding, drums being pounded. Holy fucking wow. The singer had quite a lot of energy, alternating between screamed verses and vocoder effected choruses — awesome. The guitar player Trey announced a recently signed deal with Century Media — good job, boys! Spoke with Mike the guitar player afterwards as well, who said they had just finished up some demos and were planning to make the full record soon.
Today I’m looking forward to some Texas barbecue, more beer, tons of music, and more craziness. See you all tomorrow.