I think it was Amanda who said SXSW is all about the small miracles. From stumbling upon your new favorite band to feeling hungry and wandering into a party with free food to constantly running into your friends, SXSW is just a magical place where everything seems to go right. This year has been particularly generous with the miracles. Today’s manifested itself in a last minute set from our new favorite Irish rockers, Walking on Cars. We were devastated to miss their final show so when a friend had a band cancel a showcase, we helped reach out to Walking on Cars (thank you twitter!) and somehow, about an hour later, the band was on stage performing for us. Dream come true!
After this unexpected glory, the rest of the day was just gravy. The sky drizzled, but the weather held fairly well as we spent the early afternoon wandering around The Rainey Street area. We sampled parties such as the Culture Collide/Hard Rock event, The Noisetrade Party, and the Closets for Causes event which featured some pretty amazing Australian yogurt. Other band highlights include the incredibly fun and infectious Taymir and Nashville’s Colony House. I had seen Colony House before, but I had forgotten just how hard the band can rock. They made me very excited about their upcoming tor opening for NEEDTOBREATHE.
Our final day party was at Lucky Lounge, our first real venture to the west side all week (!). We went to see Irontom. I’ve seen this LA band countless times, but there is something special about seeing a favorite band at the end of SXSW on the brink of delirium. Everyone was exhausted but still having the time of their lives. The band didn’t even blink when the audience demanded an encore and they launched into their high energy cover of Gorillaz’s “Feel Good Inc.” This will go down as one of my top sets of the week…and not just because we got a song dedication.
Saturday night, I tried to get in as many sets as possible, seeing artists I’d missed earlier in the week. I finally got to see a full set from UK rock outfit, Mallory Knox. I also was thrilled to catch bits of Rueben and the Dark, Not In Your Face, Air Bag One, The Two Tens and Steve Smyth. However, more so than discovering new music, the end of the evening became about spending some last moments with friends, both new and old. I kept running into people on the street which is an amazing feat considering the flood of pedestrians on Sixth Street. The midnight set of Mini Mansion brought out quite a few familiar faces. It was an experience seeing some of the musicians I am used to seeing on the stage, being in the audience and completely geeking out over live music.
The end of SXSW became like the end of any good show with that slow walk to the door becoming a slow walk to the hotel, taking time saying goodbye and goodnight to everyone. Lots of hugs. Always lots of hugs. I interviewed the singer from Colony House earlier in the day and asked what he learned from his SXSW experience. He mentioned the importance of hugs. I think he knows what’s up.
So, there you go. SXSW, all about miracles and hugs. I already can’t wait for next year!
If you are still around Austin, Stubb’s is hosting a great party today. Stellar line-up including several of our SXSW 2015 faves. Check it out here: http://consciousimmaturity.org/