So SXSW has kicked off officially and after only one day this reporter is already feeling shattered.
Music kicked off with a Day Party at Mowhawks which saw the first impressive unknown band play, Nico Vega a three piece rock band from LA. Considering how early it was it was a good energetic performance. I would not be too disappointed if our paths crossed again.
After Nico Vega it was another three piece, A Place To Bury Strangers from New York. It was loud in the shoegaze style. The lead singer / guitarist destroyed his guitar during the set and on the first day too! I managed to see A Place To Bury Strangers later in the afternoon at the day stage inside the convention centre. The guitarist had a new guitar which he managed to destroy yet again, looking forward to seeing them again to find out if he does have an endless line of the things.
Also playing on the Day Stage at the convention centre was Ra Ra Riot, who supported Editors in the UK towards the end of last year. Always good to see a band with an electric cello playing live, sadly not enough bands have realised this is the way forward. In between Ra Ra Riot and Place To Bury Strangers was a, think this is the only word to describe them, weird band called Akorn / Family, yet another 3 piece from New York. It took a few minutes for them to start as they wanted everyone in the crowd to hum a certain note and ended with a bird song which would have excited Bill Odie. They were fun though.
The evening saw the official showcases start. I saw Semi Precious Weapons playing at Orchid, who I first saw by chance at last years SXSW and they have never failed to disappoint. Always an all action stage set and including lead singer, Justin Tranter, jumping into the crowd and kissing the most beautiful girl I have seen here!
Then had to run over to Antones to See Glasgow's Sons and Daughters play their official show. Despite a few technical hitches during their show, which I have been informed by one band "it's not SXSW without the technical hitches", they did a good set in front of a packed venue. Gilt Complex and Rama Lama both went down well.
Lucky enough The Kills followed Sons and Daughters who also went down well with the still packed out Antones.
Finally it was a quick dash to Emos where the Black Keys, a two piece from Ohio were playing at 1am. Despite having to queue for 20 minutes managed to get in just as they came on stage. Glad I did as they played a good set even with a couple of technical hitches.
Some of the popular venues are not easy to get into and sadly some are very easy to get into, like Dirty Dog Bar where Johnny Foreigner played, my source who went told me they were excellent but there was only about 40 people there. My source also got to see Be Your Own Pet too and said he left disappointed.
Today sees the highly anticipated Body of War gig which is a one off music collaboration for the film of the same title. Confirmed to be playing are Kimya Dawson, Serj Tankian, Tom Morello, Ben Harper and Billy Bragg with "special guests". Also Los Campesinos! play their first show today at one of the day parties, which this writer is extremely excited about.
Check back Friday afternoon for another update, assuming the R13 corispondent doesn’t crash and burn before hand!
Click here for day 1.