11:53 AM on 03/17/13
Ryan GardnerThe last day of SXSW could not have been a better way to end the festival. Not only did I get to see Frank Turner and a surprise appearance from Hayley Williams during What’s Eating Gilbert’s set, I got to see Fall Out Boy at 1 AM. Seriously, I could not have dreamed up a better end to my first South By.
I spent the first part of my day at the Bridge Nine Showcase. kicked off the showcase around noon. I was relatively unfamiliar with them, but their blend of punk-rock with a grunge feel reminded me a lot of a mix of Daylight’s upcoming record and Basement style rock with some fantastic guitar work thrown in there. It was a loud rock show, and a great way to start the day. Silver Snakes
were up next. As a band whose first record I thoroughly enjoyed when it came out, they’ve really stepped up their game with massive strides since then – just wait until you hear Octaves Which Way The Wind Blow. Their show reminded me a lot of seeing Every Time I Die, and their new songs sounded great live. “Fix the Fern Back” was fire, as expected.
I had never heard of before yesterday, but after seeing their live show, I can see why so many people were talking about them. It was like watching a British Converge. Frontman Alexander Comana was a madman on stage, throwing the mic up while on his knees, swinging the mic while racing around the stage. If you’re a fan of good ol’ hardcore music, check this band out. Goodtime Boys
Following Goodtime Boys’ set, I headed across the street to Red 7 for the Alt Press showcase, where I spent the remainder of my day. I was super glad I made it just in time to see , as they were one of the only bands I missed during the Equal Vision showcase the day before. Talk about a talented singer. Jesse Clasen would play piano with one hand while holding the mic with his other. He whipped out the trumpet during “French Girls,” and then sang most of the song prancing around the crowd and on his knees in the middle of the crowd. Simply put, this band’s live show is incredibly entertaining, and they sound amazing. HRVRD
Next I walked to the outside stage for . I’ve been listening to her upcoming record, Allison Weiss Say What You Mean, all the time the past month, so I couldn’t wait to see her live show. Well, after seeing this show, I am even more convinced that Weiss is set to take over the world this year. New songs “Making It Up” and “How To Be Alone” came across great live, and I’m sure the former will continue to be a huge crowd favorite.
I then quickly headed inside to catch the majority of ’s show, as I was very interested in how Chad Gilbert would come across live, and I had heard there would be a surprise during it. Clad in a business suit, Gilbert took punk rock to work with his set. “Cheap Shots” was a sure-fire crowd favorite, and he held his grown wonderfully as a frontman. Sure enough, Hayley Williams joined the set and sang a lovely cover of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” with him. Adorable is an understatement. What’s Eating Gilbert
I was highly anticipating set due to my love for all things Chris Carrabba, The Narrative, and Bad Books. Man can Carrabba belt it. “Back To You” sounded fantastic live, as did “Can’t Be Broken.” As if it wasn’t already, their debut record is already among my most anticipated. Carrabba played both “The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most” and “Hands Down,” with the latter being one of the most enjoyable concert experiences I’ve ever had, hands down (pun intended). Twin Falls
Following Twin Falls, I hung around outside during set. I’d never heard of them before, and although the sound was way too loud for me to really tell how good the set was, the final “Bones” was a powerhouse. However, after looking up the song, the recorded version is a lot more radio-rock-ish than the live version, which was much more UK punk, so that’s a pretty huge let down. So, I’d check out the band live if you’re planning to do so. Young Guns
I couldn’t wait to see ’s show. Seriously, the guy is the master of folk-punk-rock-whatever. “Recovery” was the perfect opener choice, while “The Road” followed as a loud sing along. What was arguably the most impressive song was “Four Simple Words” due to the song’s buildup. The sudden pick up at “We’re heading out the punk rock show” was massive live. Turner finished with “I Still Believe,” which could not have been a better way to end the set and my day (or so I thought at the time). The words “And I still believe / Now who'd have thought that after all / Something as simple as rock 'n' roll would save us all” could not have been a more fitting verse to describe my thoughts on my week at SXSW. Frank Turner
So at the time, it was pushing 7 and I thought I was done for the day – I was wiped out with an almost-dead phone. While hiking back to campus I got a text from Paul (the man!) asking if I wanted a pass for a Fall Out Boy special show that started around 12:30. It’s safe to say, I could not have been more excited – I mean really, what a way to end South By. Beforehand, I caught ’ show when I got to the venue, and it was great to see set in proper fashion – I heard it at Waterloo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis the other day with severe technical/sound problems.
After Macklemore, I experienced the worst show/performance I have ever seen in my entire life with Brooke Candy. Look her up with caution. The “American rapper and stripper” was pretty much an even more obnoxious version of Nicki Minaj. Her first song was just her saying pussy every second, her second song was her “rapping” “Bitch don’t touch my hair” over and over, and her next included the magnificent lyrics of “I want to fuck right now.” It was that bad.
So finally, it was time for . Wow, Fall Out Boy are back and truly better than ever. Stump’s range is even greater than it was on Fall Out Boy Folie somehow. The band played a great teaser set that has me even more excited to see them in June. “Dance, Dance” got crowd really going and was a great opener. Following that, they played “This Ain’t A Scene,” “My Songs Know,” “Sugar We’re Goin Down,” and “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs.” The entire set was flawless, and “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark” sounded even better live than recorded. Stump absolutely killed every second and note of it. The dude can sing like nobody’s business. Let’s just say I am anticipating Save Rock and Roll and seeing them over summer even more now – if that’s even possible.
What a way to end such an amazing week of music. My first SXSW was full of great music, new friends, and long, hot days, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks to everyone I met and got to hangout with all week. I had an absolute blast. Until next time.
Paul TaoThe last day was probably one of the more ideal days of SXSW in terms of balancing work and play. Sure, I had to have a few meetings here and there, but I also got to amazing bands, so all in all it worked out.
I started out with the work side of things, going to go see for the umpteenth time this week, who played their last show of the week under the blazing sun. Afterwards, I went to meet up with Io Echo , who was supposed to be performing at an ASOS event. Unfortunately, a key piece of equipment wasn't able to handle the sun that day (the stage at ASOS didn't have any shading on it at all, so both equipment and band members throughout the day were roasting) and so Charli wasn't able to play. Charli XCX
After that setback and a few other meetings I had to go to, I was able to catch most of , the Scottish indie rock band that I've been a fan of for years now but had yet to catch live. They were headlining a packed Vans event and their years of international touring really showed, as the entire crowd was captivated and singing along to most of the older songs. Following that, I had to the Perez Hilton "One Night In Austin" even that he throws every year, usually headlined by pop stars and with opening sets by Perez's favorite up-and-comers. There for Charli, I was able to catch Frightened Rabbit beforehand, for the second time this week, and she was once again proving why she is the hottest new thing in female-led hip hop. After Charli played afterwards, I decided to skip out on the rest of the event, and gave my pass to Ryan (as you can read in his recap above) since I knew he would be much more excited about seeing Angel Haze than I would be! I haven't seen them played in years but at that point I didn't really think I could stick around for three and a half hours to wait for them. Fall Out Boy
I did head over Stubb's though for the final show of the weekend. was supposed to perform at 10 PM but apparently she went to the hospital earlier that day (I think it was something to do with her throat?) so she had to cancel. They never properly announced it so I'm sure that most of the crowd was wondering why Sky Ferreira , the 11 PM band, was taking more than an hour to set up! Anyway, I was pretty disappointed in not being able to see Sky, since her song "Everything Is Embarrassing" is easily one of the best songs of last year, but seeing Haim afterwards was still a great way to continue my night. I've known these girls for years through the LA music (and party) scene, and have been so happy to see them rocket to the top of the most hyped lists in the past year or so. Multiple videos with million-plus views, tours opening for massive acts (Mumford & Sons, Vampire Weekend, etc), and everything else that comes with being the Next Big Thing. They were incredible live, as they've been on the road for months and months straight by now and have it so down. Haim
At the end of the night was , who played an hour and a half long set of mostly older material, with a few new songs sprinkled in here or there. The entire crowd knew every word to every one of the older songs, and were respectfully dancing for the newer ones that they had never heard, but if it's any indication of how their new album will sell, I'm sure their fanbase hasn't left anywhere since their last album was released in 2010. Vampire Weekend
Quite a lot of people had a 7:20 AM flight, such as myself, so it was straight to the airport soon after, to join my flight of SXSW zombies anxiously wanting to crawl into their beds back in LA. I need to have a non-alcoholic and salad-filled detox for the next week or so, but once that's done I'll be ready as hell for next year! Lueda AliaComing later
12:39 PM on 03/17/13
Listened to Twin Falls outside of Red 7 and then stayed at Antone's most of the night.
For those of you who like singer/songwriters, check out Jillette Johnson. She has an unbelievable voice. I really enjoyed her song, 'True North' and cover of Radiohead's 'Creep'.
Also there was Kris Allen, Delta Rae, and A Silent Film in Antone's lineup.
Headed over to the Third Eye Blind show after that to meet Stephan Jenkins. Listened to about 4 or 5 songs from outside the venue and snapped a quick picture with him after the show was finished.
My 4th successful SxSW. If you have the chance to make it there next year then I suggest it. Book a hotel early. Some hotels have shuttle services you can pay for ($60 for the week) that run until 3 a.m.. Well worth the money rather than having to drive in Austin traffic and park 4 miles away.
Jealous of 3EB/Jenkins.
05:13 PM on 03/17/13
When I say I snapped a quick picture with him...what I meant was...
The band came out and went straight to the trailer they had set up behind the venue. About 15 minutes after the show ended Stephan exited the trailer so I, along with another guy that had been sitting out there listening to them perform, asked for a picture. He hesitated and told us to both jump in on the picture to be quicker. I didn't want to miss an opportunity, so I did. The thing that I didn't understand was that there were only six of us total back there - my gf and me and the guy we had met and then another group of 3...and that was it...but he didn't want to take a separate picture for us. So now I have to hope that the guy we met will e-mail me the picture.
So this weekend was pretty good - in just three days I was able to meet Chad Gilbert of NFG, Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional/Twin Falls, Andrew McMahon of Something Corporate/Jack's Mannequin, Stephan Jenkins of 3EB, Dallas Green of City & Colour/Alexisonfire, Jillette Johnson, Kris Allen, Ryan Merchant of Capital Cities, and Louisa Rose Allen of Foxes.
That's awesome dude! Glad you had fun
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