DAY 4: My SXSW 2013 in $100 dollars (4 days, 44 bands)
DAY 4: My SXSW 2013 in $100 dollars (4 days, 42 bands)
Saturday, March 16th
I woke groggy on Saturday morning around 9am. Near the last thing I wanted to do was leave the comfort of my cool and dimly lit cave. Had I not had friends joining me at Rachael Ray’s day party at Stubb’s, I might just have thrown in the towel.
I got up. I drank coffee. I grabbed my shit. I went downtown, again.
The line to get in was literally a few blocks long. My understanding of Stubb’s capacity meant that most of those people would get closer but would most certainly remain outside the venue for some hours. My friends (Rusty & Sara), who’d arrived an hour before doors opened, suffered that same fate. They ultimately went somewhere else. My access to Rachael Ray’s other event at Bangers came with a badge that allowed me to cut right through that long, long line. I arrived at at 10am and walked right in.
I tipped $5 but paid nothing else for the remainder of the my time at Stubb’s. Did I forget to mention that it was a free food & drink party? That’s part reason why the line was so long. The other part was the amazing line up. See below!
Who I saw?
The headliner for that showcase was Kenny Loggins. While I grew up with the sound of Loggins & Messina, seeing him live is not on my bucket list, so I hit the door after Macklemore. With the badge that granted me short cut access still on me and knowing that I would not come back to Stubb’s for the day, I decided it was time to do an act of random kindness. I went to the back of the line, scanning the sad lot for a sign. There was one young lady with a Canadian flag tattooed on her arm. She looked like she was alone and I asked her if she was in line with anyone else. She said no but that she had friends inside. I took off my badge, handed it to her and wished her a happy SXSW.
“Are you shitting me?” the Canadian-lover asked me.
I told her no strings. She insisted on a hug, which we shared briefly. She then went skipping off to the front of the line and I off to find my friends. Next stop, Peckerheads.
Truly, that’s the name of the bar my friends and I were headed to next. Rusty, Sara and I chatted, waiting for Bernhoft to play at 2:30pm. Someone who was not Bernhoft, told us that our preferred artist had cancelled and the guy now talking to us was our new performer. We decided to stick it out for a few reasons:
1) Good surprises happen all the time at SXSW.
2) Our next act to see was playing in the next room in 30 minutes.
3) We were already standing in a really good spot.
After two songs, we were less than impressed and began to talk amongst ourselves. The guy next to us let us know we were being very rude, talking during the performance. The performance, aside from being bland, was very quite. You’d have to whisper to not talk over this crap. We gave him that “are you serious” look and decided to just go to the next room. We talked there in peace, were no longer assaulted by that bad musician or his crappy fan (who I’m sure was his roommate or brother or something of that nature) and got a good spot for a show certain to be good. We joined in some good humored jokes at the douchey fan’s behavior with a girl who’d experienced the same thing we did. We’ll call her Scoop (because I’d later find she had the scoop on a good show). Her crew and mine were to spend the rest of the afternoon together.
That’s right, I saw the Wild Feathers again. As it stands, there were a few artists I saw more than once this SXSW. I normally like to spread the love and hey, I did see over 40 bands in the last several days, but it was hard to say no to a good thing. And these good ol’ boys, they were damn good.
Caddycorners to Peckerheads was Maggie Mae’s, which was awesome because just as the Wild Feathers’ set ended, Jackson Firebird’s started up. This duo put on, hands down, the coolest damn show I saw all of SXSW. They were not catchy. They were not lyrical genuises. They were not inspiring. What they did do was blew our fucking minds. The energy and performance on the stage was unreal. I kept looking from my friends to the stage to my friends. I asked at least a few times “Is this really happening?”
The only sad part of the show was how few people were there. But hey, we got one hell of a show. Since they don’t have any of their material on Spotify, I embedded a few videos for you to enjoy here.
While there, I enjoyed a $6 beer.
After that show, our new pal Scoop told us that the surprise artist playing at the Blind Pig at 5pm was Macklemore. While I’d seen him earlier that day, my friend’s had missed out. After Jackson Firebird, I thanked the band for the show and we headed to the Blind Pig.
I spent my last $6 on a beer. We waited in the packed rooftop area. At one point, Rusty asked me if one girl was sitting on a stool. I couldn’t see and bent down to peer between legs to see if I could figure it out. The guy guy right next to me tapped me on the shoulder. I stood up and saw naked aggression in his eyes. He asked “what the hell are you doing?” I blankly pointed to the girl across the way and told him my buddy and I were trying to figure if that girl was on a stool or not. Today I’m thankful that he was a sensible guy because he filled me in that, from his point of view, it looked like I was looking down the shorts of his girlfriend standing right next to hiim. I shared a nervous laugh with him and said “yeah, I could see that.” From that point on, we were chummy. I later gave Rusty a bunch of crap for nearly getting me punched in the face for tom-peeping.
Who we saw?
Again, Macklemore put on an amazing show. The sound did go out twice, but he & his crew still put on a great show. Walking on the hands of the crowd the way he does at every show these days.
After the show, we all spilled out into the street. Everyone went their own way and I went homeward.
As always, I took stock of the day.
The shows I really loved were:
Cash left: $0
off the box,