Tour de Force



sxsw 2009The big buzz on the street yesterday was that Metallica would be playing at the 2,100 capacity Stubb’s; was it worth getting there early to ensure a spot inside? The 8 semis parked outside the venue loomed large. Would us plebes even be able to get in?  Some friends from the Relapse goon squad opted to try, and apparently getting in wasn’t quite the shit-show we’d anticipated. We opted for Whitechapel instead (bad decision), but did end up listening to three songs from outside the outdoor venue along with a few hundred other kindred souls.

While I was busy not seeing Metallica, I did catch Tia Carrera, Hesta Prynn, Jump Back Jake, Dance Gavin Dance, Whitechapel, Wolves in the Throne Room, Dredg, and then an epic DIY show/party on a bridge over the Colorado River with makeshift performances by Vivian Girls and Trash Talk. Highlights and lowlights after the jump.

Best surprise: Tia Carrera. Kip gets the credit for recommending this one. This three piece knew how to slam down the boogie/blues rawk grooves, and from their body-language seemed to be improvising all or most of their set. Great shit.

Biggest disappointment: Whitechapel. Garbage. Kip had never been to a deathcore show before; watching his reactions to the scene was the most amusing part.

Best BBQ eaten: brisket sandwich from a cart at the corner of Red River and 7th. Fuckin’ A right.

Best Metallica songs heard from outside of Stubb’s: Sad But True, Welcome Home Sanitarium, Master of Puppets.

Most epic performance: Wolves in the Throne Room. The music begged for invisible oranges the entire time.

Worst sound snafu: Buffalo Billiard’s at the Dredg show.

Still fucking rocked out anyway: Dredg. They nail it every time. Gavin Hayes is a captivating frontman and this band is just so damn unique.

Biggest WTF moment: Kip realizing he used to play in a band with Dredg’s bassist. Where o where did you go wrong, Kip?

Best non-metal show: Jump Back Jake. Buttery smooth, southern fried soul from Memphis.

Awesomest experience: Getting a text from MS Maniacs Pick-Axe Bobby and Toxteth O’Grady inviting us to a crazy late-night party on a pedestrian bridge over the Colorado River. Hundreds of people gathered, bands played, beer was drank, great times were had. Miraculously the cops never showed up.

Today’s schedule is light on the metal, but we’re journeying to the mythical Salt Lick BBQ this afternoon instead. Stay tuned for a full report.


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