4.02.2012

the long post where I talk about SXSW

I decided that since I've lived in Austin for 10+ years, I should finally experience SXSW.  So this year, I went.  Five days of goings-on would make for a very long post, so you're just getting a recap.

Tuesday:  We went to pick up our wristbands.... got there at 8:50pm and they wouldn't let us in line since they were closing at 9.  Boooo.  So we found a couple of shows that didn't require a wristband.  The first place we tried was a tiny little place where the Heartless Bastards were playing.  We got inside and immediately headed for the door, as it was JAM-PACKED with a wall of people.  I don't even have claustrophobia and I was getting anxious.  It was horrible.  Pretty sure that was a fire code violation.

Wednesday:  Marathon day.... we went to stand in line for Fiona Apple.  We got there at 5pm and the doors didn't open until after 7.  Not to self- next time you stand in line for several hours in a line that is standing still, SIT DOWN.  Here we are early on:


Not the most flattering picture, but whatever.  We met some nice people in line - a photographer for Rolling Stone Mexico and a band named Body Parts.  Fiona was incredible - she is such a unique person.  (and tiny)  I really liked one of her new songs but now I can't remember what it was - I'll have to check out the new album.

Sharon Van Etten was after her.  Sarah and Dale had seen her last SXSW and loved her voice.  She is a great performer with a beautiful voice.  Glad we stayed to see her.

From there, we tried for a couple other bands, but the lines were tooooooo long.  We finally  landed at a place where we got to see The Oh Sees (with Carson Daly on the drums, which was random), Hacienda and Alberta Cross.  I enjoyed all of them - it was just really hot in the venue, so I had to dance while fanning my face.

We went to eat at 24 Diner, where Dale started feeling sick.  Sure enough, he had the flu.  Which meant that the rest of the week was just going to be Sarah and I.  (Sorry Dale, wish you would have been able to go the rest of the week.)

Thursday:  A friend sent Sarah her invite to the Entertainment Weekly Music Lounge party, which was a "VIP guest list" only.  So we felt pretty fancy when we walked up to the door girl and gave our names. This might have been the most fun part of the week.  Well - let's get this into the open - there was an open bar.  So the Tito's and Soda were flowing (for free), which you have to admit is pretty awesome.  But that wasn't even the best part.  The bands started with J Roddy Watson and the Business.  That dude can play the piano!  They were so fun to watch.  Next was Delta Spirit.  They were so fun to watch - every member of the band looked like they were having a blast, even though they had to be exhausted and it was like their 5th set of the day.  I'll totally go see them again.

We wanted to sit down to finish our drinks before leaving, so we found a table.  It had a reserved sign, but we could tell the guys sitting there were also table crashers.  They were ridiculous, but fun to talk to.
We popped into the photo booth on our way out:

From there, we saw Saint Motel, who were a little too "L.A."  They weren't bad, just not great.  Our last show was pretty far, so I convinced Sarah to take her first pedi-cab ride.  Since she has worked with people who have traumatic brain injuries, she was not very excited about it.  But we survived.

We capped the night off with another great show from Milo Greene.  They have a pretty unique, fun sound and I really liked them.  I hope they come back.

Friday:  Sarah and I started at this cute warehouse that had been converted into a bar for the week.  It was sponsored by HGtv, so it was really cute.  The back patio looked like it was straight out of a magazine.  Here we are sitting on the deck:

WATERS was the band, and they were fun.  Their set seemed really short though, so I would have liked to hear more.  We found another photo booth on our way out.
We should have stayed there, because everywhere else we went was ridiculously crowded.  We had ZERO chance of getting into the Jack White show, so we popped into Esther's Follies to sit in the AC and listen to a few comics.  (That is a good little trick - that place keeps the air REFRIGERATED if you know what I mean!)

We kept swinging and missing at all the shows we tried (because the lines were so long), so we were feeling dejected and decided to head out.  But first, I saw on the SXSW twitter feed that Citizen Cope was playing.  You know how I feel about Cope.  We got in (for the first time we got to feel what it was like to breeze past people because we had a wristband and they didn't).  We were in a little spot right next to the door.  It was a great view.  See?  Here he is, getting ready to go onstage.

However - there were some grade A jackwagons in the house that night.  The place was shoulder to shoulder with people (see fire code violation comment above) and the door guy was trying to tell us that we couldn't use the door we were near as an exit - when it was time to leave, we would have to swim through the sea of people to get out.  I said, "That door is clearly labeled EXIT, so I don't think you can tell us we can't go through it."  Sarah was getting a little panicky due to being claustrophobic, so she basically told the guy he was crazy and that we were going to be using that exit.  We listened to a couple songs, when all of a sudden another employee came up and asked us if we had wristbands.  When we showed him that yes, in fact, we did, he started stammering and was all, "well, this area is actually only for artists."  Whatever.  BS.  We told him we were going to leave and he backtracked, saying - "You don't have to leave, etc etc etc" But Sarah said, "We're leaving.  And we're using this door as an exit."  And we grabbed hands and busted through.  We tattled to the police that they were a fire violation on our way out, but I think they were a little more concerned with the ONE ZILLION people that were on 6th street that night.

Saturday:  We once again used our sweet "standing in line" skills for the "Big Easy Express" movie premeire and concert.  We waited in line for about 2 hours again, but this time we brought water and blankets to sit on.  The LBJ library lawn is an incredible place for a concert.  We parked it on our blanket and enjoyed watching the movie - it was so great to relive the Railroad Revival Tour.


After the movie, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes did a show.  They can work a stage - seriously one of the best shows you could go to.  They were followed by Mumford and Sons, who I could listen to any and every day.

You can't see it that great, but look at the UT Tower in the background.  (on the right side)  The music was incredible, but the setting made it even better.  What a way to end my SWSW experience!
Phew - it was exhausting just writing about this.  I don't know how I actually did it all. I left out all sorts of stuff, but this is just going to have to be enough.  Sarah, you'll have to pick up and add anything I left out. 

4 comments:

"Miss Bee" said...

Sorry - I think I said "they were fun to watch" about 17 times. That's what I get for trying to multi-task.

sarahsmile3 said...

I love your recap! I will try to do mine this weekend. It is so overwhelming! I have to see C. Cope again as my first experience was messed up by the jack-wagon crew. I get mad thinking about that bouncer! He is lucky I was not drinking that night. Woo-boy!

Amy said...

Oh my gosh, this looks like so much fun! The thing I miss most, hands-down, since leaving Texas (not to mention the USA) is live music. I could really go for some Pat Green and a cold beer right about now.

"Miss Bee" said...

Amy - I'm not even kidding. As soon as you guys step foot on US soil, we are going to find a Pat Green concert. That will be the perfect way to welcome you back!