SXSW Review: Flower, March 17, The Green Jay


In all of our years attending SXSW, music venue turnover has been a fairly common occurrence – in fact, just this week, two bars on Rainey St. closed down for good, soon to be replaced by condos.

It’s certainly not unusual to see places shutting down, reopening under a new name, or even keeping the same name and moving to a new location. And this year was no different, with one notable new venue being the recently opened Green Jay, which has taken over the space formerly known as Beerland.

Now, Beerland was never the nicest or classiest of venues – I mean, it was called Beerland – but the place had a certain divey charm. So when I saw that a new spot had opened in its place, I figured it was worth checking out. And it was – the new owners have given the place a bit of an upgrade and the bar had a great lineup of bands all week, making it an easy decision to keep coming back. In fact, I think I ended up there almost every day of the festival and saw several memorable shows, from Irish alt-poppers Beauty Sleep to London post-punk/pub rock band Hotel Lux to New York indie rockers Flower.

Flower got their start as a band back in 1986 and lasted until 1990, with members Ed and Richard Baluyut later going on to form Versus. They got the band back together a few years ago and were at SouthBy this year promoting their latest, 2020’s None Is (But Once Was) – their first new album in 30 years.

It’s a solid collection and it sounded great live, though that still didn’t deter some guy from telling his friend that they were planning on going somewhere else. He said this between songs, and loudly enough that the band noticed, so naturally they had to comment. And even though they called him out, asking him not to bail on them as they only had two songs left (though I think they actually had three), the dude left anyways. His loss, I suppose.

Posted on by Paul in South By Southwest