SXSW has come and gone. Once again, we have survived. The Panic Manual crew even did a road trip through New Orleans to Memphis after the fact to prove it. Nevertheless, it’ll be another twelve months til we hit up Austin again and so for now, we can only relive these memories.
In this engaging round-table discussion, we discussed some of our favorite things about SXSW.
Favorite SXSW Moment?
Paul: There were a few … Mr. Muthafuckin’ Exquire spraying the crowd with water bottles throught the entire set, while also asking the crowd at one point whether they “like vagina” (apparently they do), the sound guy at the Roky Erickson Ice Cream Social asking over the PA if there was some way to turn off the band next door (who were kind of terrible), and of course, the unique dance moves of Chairlift‘s Caroline Polachek.
Editors note: Paul will be attending Chairlift at the Horseshoe on Wednesday to witness more dancing.
Gary: When 300 ppl sang to Ben Howard‘s Old Pine in St. David’s and it reverberates like a freaking gospel church choir. Or maybe it didn’t reverb. It doesn’t matter – that’s bliss for all in attendance if I ever saw one.
Ricky: Favorite moment was probably when Jesus and Mary Chain took the stage at the Belmont and did not suck live, because I waited five hours to see them and it would have been awful to have them sound like 2012 Happy Mondays or something.
Derek: Sharing a stage with Built to Spill.
Favorite Non Lionel Ritchie Act of SXSW
Derek: Of Monsters And Men were as amazing as I had hoped they would be.
Paul: Chelsea Wolfe put out one of my favourite albums of last year. Despite a few minor sound issues, she and her band did not disappoint live. Honourable mention to Crooked Fingers, Sauti Sol, Thee Oh Sees, and the mighty Peelander-Z.
Ricky: J&MC aside, The Heavy was spectacular live. Honorable mentions goes to Escort, Clock Opera and Howler.
Gary: Dry the River and Of Monsters and Men fought to a draw. The former for a clean performance and great tracks, and the latter for the mini-tsunami of energy as well as sun-tan lotion that they brought from across the oceans.
Most Disappointing Act
Gary: 1) Lost Lander. The performance was NOT the disappointment, but the sonic differences between the awesome demo Cold Feet and their main thrust of the set at Swan Dive was a big put-off for me. 2) The most half-hearted performance would be Willy Mason and his lethargic zombie band. They practically asked to be hated.
Ricky: Ramesh and Oh See Thees. Ramesh I wanted to see, but his soundcheck was so late that I was forced to leave before he even took the stage. Ironically, I went to see the Oh See Thees, who conveniently forgot they were playing at that time. Of the bands that did play, I wasn’t overly impressed with Blouse, a hyped band that was either too tired for their Saturday night showcase or just don’t have any stage presence.
Paul: Waiting way too long for Nachtmystium to set up their many instruments, then getting bored and bailing before they played their Thursday afternoon set at Elysium. Probably not their fault, but I’m a little disappointed I didn’t get to check out some black metal at SXSW. I’m also slightly disappointed with myself for eating Taco Bell in Austin while surrounded by much better tacos. But still, it was free!
Derek: Disappointed that we couldn’t see Ramesh perform due to problems with the venue/equipment.
Derek: Ed Sheeran was a real surprise. I expected a skinny, folksky ginger – instead we were treated to wicked freestyling and beat boxing.
Paul: Of Monsters And Men
Gary: Ed Sheeran. Blew our knickers off with a riotous hip-hop gig – let’s hope his new found form is what the American consumers need.
Ricky: Of Monsters and Men is a popular pick, but I’ll go on a limb and say Howler are primed for big things.
Another year, another great festival. See you next year.