Tag Archives: Rusty’s

Top 10 Sets of SXSW 2013

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It’s been a couple weeks, but people are still asking about our SXSW highlights. We did our best to boil it all down to our top sets of the week.

Amanda’s picks: 

1. Semi Precious Weapons at The Main

I know I haven’t regaled you with the story of how I inadvertently got kicked out of the last Semi Precious Weapons show at Sayer’s Club after only two and a half songs. The gist is that I got jilted on my last Semi Precious Weapons experience and I was anxious for a full and proper show. Despite being tired, sore, and taking some time to rest before going out again the excitement of seeing Semi Precious Weapons lead to some pre-show room dancing as well as putting on some eyeliner for the occasion. Can you tell I was excited? Of course they delivered an amazing show full favorites such as “Drink” and “Free Booze” as well some new tunes like “Aviation High” we can expect to hear off their new forthcoming album. Even though they have a new sense of style, Semi Precious Weapons are as fantastic as ever. Like fellow show goer and friend Trina said, “it’s like falling in love all over again.”

2. Sir Sly at Empire Automotive

Not much is known about Sir Sly but they have to be one of the most buzzed about bands I’ve heard about lately. According to a source of mine, they are composed of session players who decided to start a band. How novel! They had a residency here in San Diego in February and my friend Lauren fell in love with them. I knew they were something I had to check out and I finally got to see them at Empire Automotive. Admittedly, I wasn’t really sure how I would feel after seeing multiple keyboards being set up on stage because really, who needs two keyboards? They were nothing like I had expected and everything I had hoped for all at once. It’s obvious all the good buzz was fully justified for this band. I can’t wait to see where they go from here.

3. Moon Taxi at Sennheiser + Paste Interactive Studio and Lounge at The Blackheart

With a name like Moon Taxi, one conjures up images of a psychedelic synth oriented band full of ooooohs and aaaaahhhh. Or maybe it’s just me. However, Moon Taxi was the first band I saw of SXSW and they were a great way to kick off the week of music. With vocals reminiscent of early Kings of Leon combined with a pop rock edge, they were a fun and groovy band to dance with.  While admittedly I adore the singer’s smiling eyes and gorgeous hair, I was really enamored with their lyrics. My favorite song of their was “Mercury” but their whole set was fun. I enjoyed them so much that I made sure to catch another set.

4. Willy Moon at the Skype Party at The Belmont

The name Willy Moon didn’t register at all in my brain. I was sitting at the Belmont waiting for The Neighbourhood and was enjoying his set while sitting inside. It wasn’t until I heard his song from the iPod commercial that I jumped up and realized I knew who this was! I was even more surprised to see him in a fashionable suit dancing and jumping around while he was singing. It was his last show of SXSW but I never would have guessed it with his crazy live energy. I was really impressed with his show and love his genre bending tunes. I can’t wait for him to get back here so I can see a full set and enjoy the show properly and without walking induced foot pain.

5. Butch Walker at Rachel Ray’s Feedback at Banger’s

I knew of Butch Walker only in passing as an artist’s artist and as the guy who had produced and written for other bands and artists I loved. Earlier that day I caught the screening of his documentary so I had some knowledge of the man behind the music but this was my first time seeing him play. I adored his story telling between songs and of various songs. That’s always a characteristic I enjoy in an artist. I recognized some of his songs from the documentary I saw earlier which made it all the more enjoyable. After seeing him play, I’m making it a point to acquire his music. Such a great artist!

HM: Blackout Party

San Diego’s own Blackout Party made the trek to SXSW to tear up the place. I only managed to catch their last show at Wahoo’s Fish Taco’s (random right?) but they brought their A game! The set ended with a broken guitar after using it to play on a cymbal. No big deal.

Kristen’s Picks:

1. Leogun at VEVO TV Control Room

This show was so good I found myself doing the eyes closed sway. It was perhaps my 5th time seeing British rockers Leogun since I declared them an LMN band love back in October and it was the best (and longest) set I’ve seen them do. The venue was ideal and the audience was in a jovial mood, the last official night of SXSW. My feet had numbed to the walking-induced pain and were ready and willing to dance…and dance I did with a couple of my friends experiencing the band for the first time. Afterwards, I didn’t feel pressure to run off to another show so I hung out for a bit with friends both new and old. It was an idyllic SXSW experience.

2. twenty one pilots at The Nikon/Warner Sound Party at The Belmont

twenty one pilots was my number one band going into the SXSW experience and my number one coming out. I saw them three times and each show was a heart-stopping, fist pounding experience better than the last. The genre-defying duo may have a bit of a shtick, but to me it never gets old. Instead, it becomes the challenge to memorize and capture…I’m pretty sure I took more pictures of this band than everyone else combined.  I’d have to say the set at the Nikon/Warner Sound Party at The Belmont was my favorite.  At one point twp singer, Tyler Joseph, suddenly appeared on ledge of the balcony I was standing on, shocking me into propelling my arms forward into the guy perilously traversing an 8 inch ledge…thankfully he was too “in the zone” to even notice. Also, this venue seemed to have more “fans” and the energy and enthusiasm in the room was a proper fit for a twenty one pilots show.

3. Kodaline at place unknown

I only caught the last two songs of the set from this Dublin-based group, but those two songs (one being the heart-lifting “All I Want”) made my week. I had planned on seeing a proper Kodaline set a day or two before at The Hype Hotel. I got terribly lost and was running late, but I was relieved when I got to the venue to find the band hadn’t started yet. The relief turned to frustration which turned to panic as about an hour after the band was supposed to begin, they had yet to play a note. I had other places I had to be! I stuck it out for the first song and it only took about 20 seconds for me to fall in love with the band whose music can best be described as “soul-warming”. It was very hard to leave and I would have been haunted by that decision had it not been for the happiest of accidents when I wandered past a venue (still unknown) with Kodaline unexpectedly playing on the patio. This moment best exemplifies what I love most about SXSW.

4. Bastille at The British Music Embassy

I feel like I’ve been waiting a very very long time to see Bastille. SXSW 2013 marked the first time the band has played in the US and the entire room was a-buzz with anticipation. I think it was mostly Brits who knew what an amazing deal it was to see this band in such a small space, but regardless, the mood was electric and incredibly energizing. Then the band came on and exceeded my already lofty expectations. I heard all the songs I wanted to hear. I saw the most amazing shirt of the week. Actually, upon reflection, the whole set was a bit like a dream. I’m not entirely sure it happened as it was too good to be true. In my memory, the experience is just a bright glowing orb of happiness.

5. Kassidy at The British Music Embassy

Kassidy was one of the many bands I listened to in preparation for SXSW that went on my “to check out” list. The plan was to squeeze in a few songs from their set at The British Embassy in between Atlas Genius and CHVRCHES….I mean, the venue was en route. I’d been doing a pretty good job sampling bands, a couple songs here and a couple there, but half a song into Kassidy’s set I was completely hooked and knew I wasn’t going anywhere. I mean, I tried. I even walked to the back of the room at one point, but I couldn’t seem to leave the building and slowly drifted back up front. It was like a gravitational pull. There was something about the four gentlemen on stage with their acoustic guitars and harmonies…they didn’t even need drums! I’m not sure how much of the set I caught, but it was one of my favorites. Bonus points for the guy in the band wearing my watch, also on the wrong hand…

HM: The Stone Foxes at Rusty’s

The Stone Foxes put on one of the most engaging and energetic live shows, it’s impossible not to have a good time. This particular set, I ended up providing background vocals for a song. It was quite a memorable moment.

Other Notable Sets:

SXSW Recap: Friday 3/16

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Today. Today was a good day. Nay, today was a great day! It seems that the severe lack of sleep and the intense physical pain of being on your feet all day that almost brought me down yesterday was nearly nonexistent today. Perhaps, my body is just adjusting to the sxsw schedule. As a result, spirits were high, adventures were had, new friends were made, and, of course, amazing musical experiences were around every corner.

Perhaps the good spirits stemmed from the fact that I got to sleep in this morning. We got up around 10:30 and made our way to the Motorola Moonshine Bar and Grill for a lovely breakfast of fried asparagus, spinach and artichoke dip, and a yogurt parfait. Of course there was also coconut water involved, because there is free coconut water at just about every event here (new trend?).

My morning musical selections were largely at Frye’s Showcase at Buffalo Billiards, with a brief interlude to the Paste Party where I was reminded of how much I enjoy The Lumineers. At BB’s, I got a taste of Tribes, my first Imagine Dragons set of SXSW, a lovely show from Honeyhoney, and a killer/blow your socks off/face melting experience with Dead Sara. The Dead Sara set marked the second afternoon mosh pit I’ve been involve with in the last two days (yesterday’s was Semi Precious Weapons).  Seeing them makes me so happy, but at the same time sad in the realization that they are soon to blow up and I’ll no longer be able to see them in such intimate venues.

Unfortunately, Dead Sara’s set started late and ended up conflicting directly with The Silent Comedy’s show at The Bayou Lounge. The upside of this was that it helped establish my afternoon plan of going over to Quantum Collective’s party on the Whole Foods Rooftop where we enjoyed eating Oogies popcorn (my fave popcorn brand) and dancing to Voxhaul Broadcast, The Silent Comedy, and Imagine Dragons. It was a little windy up on the roof and hats went flying during The Silent Comedy set, but the guys put on a great performance and sang us a new song.  A dance party broke out during Imagine Dragon’s last song…apparently this was filmed as we all had to sign waivers (who knows where an image of me looking ridiculous might end up).

After stuffing my bag with the delicious free snacks lying around (granola bars, pirate’s booty, popcorn, coconut water- of course) we headed back over to the east side for our evening. I rocked out to a couple songs from Bethpage Black before venturing to Stubb’s to see Ed Sheeran. Not only did I completely fall in love with this Brit and his tunes, I somehow ended up in the photo pit and was finally able to put to use my press pass on my camera. After Ed, I raced over to Rusty’s to catch a bit of Queen Caveat rock the main stage before heading to ND to enjoy Free Energy (one of the best dance parties in town!). My final planned stop of the night was the ATN Showcase at The Bayou Lounge to do some more dancing with Queen Caveat and Wicker. While there, I met up with a friend I hadn’t seen in nearly 15 years. She is a huge fan of Wicker so seeing them and then meeting members of the band simply made her day. I don’t know what was more fun, seeing some great music or watching my friend talking to a fave band for the first time.

At this point, I thought my day was over. However, there was one more adventure to be had. I was walking back to the apartment when I heard a familiar tune hit my ears. I paused, turned direction, and headed towards the music. I ended up at Band HQ jumping up and down front row for Saint Motel. After their set was over, I chatted with a couple friends for a minute and headed home. Then I spent the next couple of hours recapping my day and catching up with my lovely roommates who had sxsw adventures of their own.  Now it’s time to get some sleep and do it all over again tomorrow. Here are some of the events I’m looking forward to for Saturday:

  • 10:30: Rachael Ray’s Party at Stubb’s featuring Imagine Dragons (11:30) and Of Monsters and Men (12:30).
  • Quantum Collective’s Whole Foods Rooftop Party featuring Allen Stone (12:30), The Lumineers (2pm), Ume (2:45), Graffiti6 (3:30), Rachel Yamagata (5:45)
  • 4pm: Semi Precious Weapons at The SoHo Lounge
  • 7pm: The Hotel Café Showcase at St. David’s featuring Rosie and Me, Erin McLaughlin, Elizabeth and the Catapult, Michal P Hinson, The Milk Carton Kids, Jesse Thomas, The Lumineers, Madi Diaz, FIrehorse, Whispertown, LP, Rachel Yamagata
  • 11pm: Maverick Sabre at The British Embassy (Latitude 30)
  • Late night at the Pure Volume House featuring Shiny Toy Guns (1:45), Electric Touch (2:30), Youngblood Hawke (3am)

 

I can’t believe it’s almost over…also, Happy St. Patty’s Day!!

Also, got some sweet swag today:

~ Kristen