SXSW Review: You Say Party We Say Die!, March 17, Elysium


Austin – One of the things that I was trying to avoid when I was making my schedule itinerary for SXSW was Canadian bands. Now, now, before you don your white Maple Leaf masks and bring out the torches, you have to realize that Canadian bands tour Toronto ALL THE TIME. Most of them live in Toronto, so it’s just a simple application of supply and demand that I had decided to not check out any Canadian acts. Obviously, that failed. The thing about SXSW is, everything changes the second it starts. Crowds are larger then expected (almost always), bands bail on shows, you can’t find the venue, you are too hungry..basically there are some things you can’t factor for, and so you just have to wing it.

You Say Party, We Say Die! was a wing it show. The original plan was to go see Broken Bells. That failed and so the 11pm slot opened up on Wednesday night and what do you know, on our quick walk, we see YSPWSD are playing at the Elysium and there is no lineup! That’s a massive score in SXSW – to find a band you like play in a not completely packed venue. As much as I wanted to walk another few blocks to check out some other band, there was no guarantee that you’d get in and frankly, I can always listen to Laura Palmer’s Prom live.

Off we went into the Elysium, a bar that does not sound like what the name suggests. I don’t even know what Elysium is, but if you had put that bar name out, I’d think it was some swanky lounge with shades of yellow and orange lights and 60s sci fi chairs. It was however, another one of many Austin’s dive bars. I guess it was just a normal bar, seeing how a lot of bars looked like it. I’d hate to see what a dive bar really looks like in Austin.

The crowd was kind of sparse for the beginning of YSPWSD’s set, but eventually built up to what I’d imagine was about 80% capacity by the end. Maybe 150 people. The set was peppered with songs from XXXX, but the debut album was not ignored. With gold sequined jacket and the 80s hair, lead singer Becky Ninkovic once again put on a good live show, resembling what I can only described as a butterfly on ecstasy. The dance-punk fusion that is YSPWSD won quite a few fans over with their energetic set, based on this one situation – when Becky jumped down from the stage to start a dance floor on the floor, a heavier, older, scarier blond woman with massive tattoos pushed me aside and forced her way to the dance floor area where she started having the time of her life. I’m pretty sure they didn’t know who the hell was on stage before the show, but I guess now this band has at least one more fan, if not many.

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, South By Southwest

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.

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