SXSW review: Gary’s unplanned day

Austin, TX – I guess not everything at SXSW should be the rosy picture that we paint for you: 4 people going to shows non-stop with a hyperactive critical attitude, analyzing everything from set decor, lighting, to the band’s performance and antics, and of course, whether we got into the shows without delay or with viscous resistance. In this case, the afternoon and evening of March 18 was completely molasses for me.

Shearwater has been on the iphone since day one with Rooks, a moody ballade that immediately caught my attention (although because of how sad it is, I rarely need it to remind me how sad my life is…). They also have a new album out, The Golden Archipelago, I believe. Coupled with the fact that Fanfarlo was next, of course I went to see them. The vocal is perhaps even more booming and mind-boggling in person.

After listening to more bands, I decided to head out of Galaxy room. Bad decision. I wondered the 20C Austin for the next hour in hopes of finding something interesting without success. I then headed to Fader Fort (courtesy of Levi’s). Just because they don’t make jeans in Canada anymore doesn’t mean they have no presence – in fact the security at their fort had a bit too much presence, and took the word FORT literally – wouldn’t let me into the line while my colleagued waved lackadaisically. Sigh. And this was after walking 20 min out to the highway. And then as I looked dejectedly at my plan, I found that I had missed Lou Barlow, at the Galaxy room no less…

So I headed back. And listened to The Low Anthem, American folk/rock’ers from Rhode Island. I did find them enjoyable. Their also resonated well with the audience – you might be surprised to find that it doesn’t always happen that way – a lot of people end up seeing shows that they never planned to. Keep reading and you’ll see…

And then the Middle East, from Australia. They were quite energetic. I’ll save my breath because I think Cheryl has already written much about them.

And now for the grande finale of this day. Since Broken Social Scene and Band of Horses were going to play at Stubb’s, I took to lining up. About 20 min after, the 100 people line was told that the show was now only open to badge holders. OK. It happens. Along with another fellow poor sucker, I joined another lineup for the XX. 1 hour and some later, we were again told the same thing… OK. Now what? We decided to hit The Toxic Avengers. But then this fellow Southby’er got the venue completely mixed up. So we ended up listening to teeny rock. She then bolted for Toxic Avengers, and I stayed for Deer Ticks. And to add insult to injury: Ricky had to tell me that he got into Stubb’s while Broken Social Scene was playing. Sigh. I miss toronto?

Posted on by Gary in Concerts, Everything, South By Southwest

3 Responses to SXSW review: Gary’s unplanned day

  1. Mark

    I don’t know man… I hear you that SXSW is crazy and you often can’t get into shows.

    But I think you’d be surprised at how busy CMW was this year. There were a few shows I didn’t get into either! I ran into a bunch of frustrated fans who waited in the cold rain to be rejected at the door.

    I met one girl who left the Plants & Animals (at Lee’s) line early in the hopes that she would for sure get to see Handsome Furs at the Elmo. She got there and was directed upstairs. Then later realized that the show was downstairs and they wouldn’t let her in. I randomly ran into her on the street later that night and boy was she livid!

  2. Ricky

    u could have soothed her soul

  3. Mark

    I love that picture of the bassist by the way. Such a great pic.

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