And so it is to the unofficial last day of SXSW, which started off with a big shock. I knew the Rachel Ray day party at Maggie Mae’s was going to be popular but arriving well before doors open the line was around the block, which in English translation means it was bloody long. It got to the time that Semi Precious Weapons were starting up so both Zoë Moon and I went to the window to watch New York’s finest put on their amazing stage show, which we both ended up becoming a part of. During the final song lead singer Justin Tranter ran through the industry type crowd to the window which surely is the coolest entry into any gig. Despite the security guy’s obvious objections, Justin got us in via the now named R13 entrance.

Once we were in there was no way we were going to leave, with some great music, free food and mojito’s, that was us staying put for the day. Following on from Semi Precious Weapons the stage became very packed with all 12 members of the LA based Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, which is IMA Robot’s front man Alex Ebert’s “solo” project, just how it can be classed as a solo project when there are eleven other band members is a mystery. Their high energy set was completely enjoyable and had more instruments that you could not want for more and obviously the stage was far too small for them all as Alex and other members dancing around in the crowd.

Following on from that craziness was the slightly more reserved Ra Ra Riot. May not be as crazy on or off stage as the two previous bands but they certainly play some great stuff. Although it is time for them to get on with writing a new album so may not get to see them back in the UK for a while, although cellist Alexandra Lawn did hint at the possibility of festivals. To finish off the day it was The Airborne Toxic Event, who being from LA made it seem like they’d scheduled bands alternating between east and west coast. Once again Airborne did a great set, they have surprised me with how good they are live. Front man Mikel Jollet was again very entertaining with his chats to the crowd and his “thank you Austin, that’s very polite of you” after each rapturous applause. They are over in the UK in April but all quite rightly sold out already.

So to the evening, this usually sees a big act playing at the largest venue, Stubbs. Last two years we have been here has seen The Stooges and REM play on this evening. This year saw The Indigo Girls play it, no one here can explain the reasoning for this. However, before they came on there were a few bands well worth watching, all of which coming from London. Starting off with White Lies who were unsurprisingly a bit of a let down as they try to copy all the identi-kit middle of the road big stage rock bands. Razorlight were next on and seemed not to play anywhere near as energeticly as they did at the same venue two years ago. Finally, London was saved by PJ Harvey & John Parish who played a great set and finally woke the crowd up.

There was then a quick pop into a small venue to see Nell Bryden play a “stripped down, as in the bands equipment not clothes” set as she put it. Nell Bryden has one of the best voices around and coupled with the band always puts on a good show. She will be back in the UK in May and will also be going back out to Iraq too. This event was in aid of the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, which is trying to help struggling schools get instruments for those who are talented but come from poor families. Before Nell came on managed to catch the end of an acoustic set by a highly talented Alyssa Suede.

Finally it was over to Antone’s to see a mix of grunge and punk style set from Cage the Elephant, who again did actually impress. Duke Spirit then followed, who, having seen them before I was not looking forward to but ended up enjoying. The reason for staying was for Silversun Pickups who played “best set of the festival” from one member of the crowd and another actually cried during ‘Kissing Families’. The LA band are over in the UK very soon in April.

So that was it. With only the wet blanket of the Sunday to go here at SXSW it pretty much finished with a bang. Sunday sees a few events on, including a record fair at the convention centre and a date next to the pool for some much needed relaxing, especially for my feet.