Although Kristen is still running full steam ahead (however exhausted she might be) I’m beginning to tap out mentally and physically in a way that is not very enjoyable for me. That being said, today was another wonderful day of music even though there were some slight detours and changes along the way.
My day started a little later than I would have liked because I was up until 5 am doing a write up for High Volatage and getting up before 10am was not in the cards for me. After I finally got myself moving, I went on a quest for some breakfast but apparently a girl can’t find any breakfast at 12:30 in the afternoon. I wandered aimlessly around and down 6th St looking for something to occupy myself while I waited to meet up at 1pm for a thing. I heard this wonderful sound but could never figure out where it came from and who was playing.
SXSW: 1 Amanda: 0
Not to be deterred, I did stop for a minute to listen to a band called The Miseries, according to the signage out front of the venue. I thought I would stop for a carnitas bowl at the Wahoo’s stand which I have visited twice already. it’s been a handy thing to have but for some reason, they were not set up despite it being lunch time and the line for Chi’lantro was 10 people deep. No way was I going to make the meet up time with that happening. I blamed it on the impending rain.
SXSW: 1 Amanda: 0 Rain: 1
I decided to hang at the meeting spot and grab a caffeine fix while I waited to meet up with everyone. There was a coffee shop inside the Hilton that served Starbucks coffee. I ordered a black tea lemonade and after realizing they also had almond milk (yay!) I ordered a chai latte. However, the cashier forgot to ring up my lemonade tea and ended up giving me a pass so score for a free drink and serving almond milk!
SXSW: 1 Amanda: 2 Rain 1
We went to our event but sadly did not make it back in time to catch the very last set from one of my new loves, Walking On Cars or older favorite Dear Boy. Things were not looking good as it was already past 2pm and I had not managed to see a single band yet. It’s also worth noting that at this point, there is a really steady drizzle coming down and I have no form of rain protection on me.
SXSW: 2 Amanda: 2 Rain: 2
This is where the theme of persevering kicks in. Hang with me here. Kristen and I decide to head to the Palm Door to catch something interesting on our list and even though the venue was running late, we got to sit down and access the situation and devise a new plan of attack. The rain was a game changer in the sense that there would be no long walks and we would be hanging around 6th or at least finding a venue we could hole up in for awhile. Charlotte OC took the stage at Palm Door and completely blew me away with her vocal prowess. Such an emotive voice with an obvious passion for her music made her a joy to watch. I hope to catch her again this week if I can!
After Charlotte, I decided to head to the Empire Garage for the Baeble Day Party to check out Night Terrors of 1927. The rain had picked up by then and despite having an umbrella, I was fairly wet and unamused. After catching a few songs, I had to run back to the hotel to change into something dry and bring out the reinforcements in the form of a poncho, rain boots, and a pleather jacket and hoodie.
SXSW: 2 Amanda: 2 Rain 3
After having changed into something dry, it was time to set out again for more music. The show at Empire had a few more acts I wanted to catch so I walked back that way but not before stopping along the way to listen to Lenka who was playing at the Aussie BBQ. It was hard to not walk in but with the rain coming down and the pull of other artists, I had to more on. I made it back to Empire for the tail end of The Mowgli’s set and I caught a song of Cody Simpson’s before deciding to head over to Swan Dive for a few artists there.
I got in during the tail end of the Royal Teeth’s set (it also took some maneuvering to get my ID out of my bag which was under my poncho) but I got in just in time to finish up the dance party. I really enjoyed seeing them play and thankfully they did because their show was originally out on the patio but they moved it inside due to the weather. I’m just glad they didn’t cancel. See? Persevere!
That being said, there was a rather large lull between 6pm and 8pm in terms of music. A lot of the options were a good long walk away and that just wasn’t happening so I took the defeat and stopped for dinner and some power up time in the hotel.
SXSW: 3 Amanda: 2 Rain: 4
After the much needed chill time (thanks weather), it was time to head back out. Kristen came with me back to the Swan Dive and we watched a very entertaining guy by the name of Zeke Duhon. Not only did I love his voice, he did a really great mashup of Shake It Off and Can’t Tell Me Nothing by Taylor Swift and Kayne West, respectively. On top of that, we got a recommendation from a friend at the show that we should check out the guy out back, Luke Wade. He was another exciting find! However, they were late to get started and we had other plans in the form of an evening at church with Jay Nash and Josh Day- We Are The Contenders, James Bay, and Jack Garrat. It was a short walk with no rain so score for us!
SXSW: 3 Amanda: 3 Rain: 4
The evening was not without it’s issues for me though. After a lovely set from The Contenders (+1 Amanda) my attempts to get in to the big hall to wait it out for James Bay were thwarted by the venue changing to “badges only” (after Kristen got in) because they were so far over capacity that no wristband was going to get in and some badges wouldn’t make it in either. It was a tough blow (+1 SXSW) but I decided to head back to the smaller room and hang with Chelsea, just in case some miracle happened. I walked in during the last bit of The Bros. Landreth who would harmonize like no other. I wish I had decided to come back earlier to catch more of their set but that’s the way things happen. Next was Hamish Anderson who had a very different feel from the first time I saw him. He played some amazing tunes, great covers, and had some guitar solos that were beautiful on the ears.
It was time to try my luck again for James Bay, especially after Kristen told me half the church emptied out when the act before him finished. I walked up and they were still calling for badges only. Not to be deterred (must persevere!) they suddenly called for badges AND wristbands so I hustled butt and made my way in just before James Bay started. If that’s not a win, I don’t know what is…
SXSW: 4 Amanda: 5 Rain: 4
The feeling in the room was electric and palpable. There’s something about being in a church and seeing artists play. It was amazing. I wish I had better words to describe it but it was just an experience. After a set that was much too short, it was time to see what this Jack Garrat guy was all about. He was an interesting juxtaposition at the start because here’s a guy that looks hip hop but when he opened his mouth, it was like the voice of an angel came out. He was such an interesting mix of vocal prowess, sick beats, and obvious musical chops. I’m sad that this was the only time I got to see him play, but he’s someone I will be keeping an eye out for.
All in all, despite the rain and a few setbacks, the day was a win. As illustrated by the scores below.
SXSW: 4 Amanda: 6 Rain:4
A few options for your SXSW Saturday:
1:45pm- Taymir @ Container Bar
3pm- Colony Hose @ Blackheart Outdoor Stage
4pm- Civil Twilight @ Little Woodrow’s
6pm- K. Flay @ The Brew Exchange
10pm- Mallory Know @ Red 7 Patio
1am- Not In The Face @ Holy Mountain Backyard