telling minor stories to avoid a major one


SXSW 2009: Day 2, Tommy’s recap by Barbecue Bros
March 25, 2009, 3:24 pm
Filed under: Concert review | Tags: , , , , ,

Day 2, The Hot Freaks Party, Club Mohawk

After switching to the downtown Hilton (holla Avent hotel points!) we made our way towards Maggie Mae’s, only to find that the line for Rachel Ray’s party was ridiculously long and wrapped around the block a few times. We headed across the street to get some food at Iron Cactus, and had some mojitos and huge margaritas along with some killer tex-mex food. Kenny ordered a tequila flight for all three of us, and we were off to find another party instead of Rachel Ray’s.

We ended up back at the Mohawk to continue drinking and catch a few bands. We found out we just missed Jason Lytle when we got there, but caught Roadside Graves (decent) and a bit of Vivian Girls (messy) before we decided to head on to the Mess with Texas 3 party at Waterloo Park, which was just a few blocks away.

Day 2, Mess with Texas 3, Waterloo Park

Luckily, we found out that Jason Lytle was about to go on at Mess with Texas 3 right after we got there, so we  got some High Life tallboys while listening to King Khan and the Shrines before plopping down on the field next to the side stage. Jason Lytle‘s set was definitely reminiscent of Grandaddy (which was fine by me) and he even played a Grandaddy song to finish his short set – don’t remember which.

Cursive was getting started ont he main stage and we checked out their set, albeit way back in the shade on the wooden patio. For me, Cursive works best when they are more melodic and not doing the screaming emo thing. I liked them, but they didn’t play “From the Hips” off their recently released album Mama, I’m Swollen which I really wanted to hear.

Day 2, Shores Auditorium Park

We made a long walk before catching a cab to Shores Auditorium Park to get there in plenty of time for the Explosions in the Sky, who were the headliners. We got there in time to catch Fastball at 5pm, eager to hear at the very least “Out of My Head” and “The Way” (which we did!). Beach House came on shortly after and played a nice set of  hazy, dreamy pop. I really enjoyed their set, which was mellow but perfect for the setting sun overlooking the city skyline.

The Cannabinoids came out, sans Erykah Badu, and played the backing for what should have been Erykah Badu‘s set (she was caught in traffic). She eventually came on quite late after the band had finished and played two very good songs with them before giving way to the setup for EITS.

Explosions in the Sky came out and played an amazing set (though a little short), albeit with minor technical issues at first. The music sounded perfect against the backdrop of the Austin Skyline at night, and they ended the set with a great fireworks show to amazingly punctuate the great show.

We didn’t end up getting to see anymore bands the rest of the night after some wandering and eventually called it a night after nixing the idea of paying $20 to see Third Eye Blind at Stubb’s (which ended up being a very good idea). All in all, a thoroughly tiring day of sun (especially for the ginger Kenny and daywalker Avent) and walking and drinking and tequila shots and great bands.

I hope to be back next year, preferably for three days and more organized with the knowledge I gained from my first SXSW. In any case, after over 2600 miles driving and 15 bands in two days, SXSW 2009 was an amazing experience.

Next year:

  • Though it was a great experience, I won’t be driving too and from Austin again
  • Get in on Thursday for the day parties in order to have 3 full days of day parties
  • Speaking of day parties, get to one in plenty of time if a band you want to see is going to be there
  • Somehow try to procure a wristband in order to have some priority over non-badge and wristband holders
  • If another huge artist is going to be there that you are interested in seeing (i.e. Metallica), do anything you can to get there and be part of the experience

More photos from SXSW can be found at my Flickr set

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