SXSW Preview Part Two: Tips for west coasters traveling to austin, great LA bands and fun live shows
The first major Music Festival of the year begins this week In Austin, TX. South by Southwest (SXSW) is a major Music, Film, and Interactive Festival chocked full of movie screenings, technology exhibits, public speakers and panels with guests such as Conan O’Brien (a personal favorite), and of course lots and lots of MUSIC!! The beauty of the SXSW music series is that, contrary to many music festivals organized around a few large stages in an open field, the SXSW showcases are held at bars and small venues throughout the city of Austin. As a result, music and party seekers can wander the streets of downtown Austin and watch some of their favorite bands in a more intimate setting.
The previous blog by Radiostar covers some of the amazing LA acts performing at SXWS including personal favorites Queens of Stone Age, who are worth seeing anywhere and everywhere they play, and Night Horse, who are the best local LA band nobody knows about…but soon will!
For the rest, if you are looking for a show that is just pure fun for everyone involved, here is a quick guide to some great shows you may not know about. The following are three bands that put on shows that are pure FUN!
1. Flogging Molly – It’s the day before St Patrick’s Day, could this be any more perfect? Flogging Molly is an Irish Rock institution that puts on one of the best live performances in the business today. Dave King, lead vocals and guitar, is one of the most lively and engaging frontmen you will ever see. The combination of their amazing music, stage presence, storytelling, and Irish riffs (including great violin from Bridget Regan and the occasional accordion solo from Matthew Hensley) combine to make them a must see act wherever they play. Their only performance is Wednesday night at 11:45 at the ‘ACL Live at the Moody Theater.’
2. Valient Thorr – Tomorrow Police! Watch out, this band will get ya! Absolutely one of the most entertaining rock/metal bands touring right now. You may not have heard their music, and you may not remember any of it afterwards, but you will always remember the show! I’m convinced no band enjoys BEING A BAND more than Valient Thorr! It’s the kind of show you call your friends about afterwards. It’s the kind of show you enter as a music fan and leave as a Viking. Well, it’s the kind of show you write a blog about! Don’t have too many expectations about the quality of the music, which is more like garage metal, but for anyone just looking to have a good time Valient will be happy to work as hard as they can to make sure that happens. There are three opportunities to see them:
– 3/18 at the Jackalope for the Volcom Party
– 3/19 at Barbella at 1:00AM
– And 3/20 at 3 PM at Emo’s.
3. Chromeo – Sometimes you just gotta dance. Chromeo is one of the rare bands that combine both electronic and rock music while doing justice to both genres. The band produces waves of sound despite having only two members. They have an ideal timeslot, Friday night (March 18) at Midnight at La Zona Rosa. After wandering the streets of Austin all day, a midnight Chromeo set will get people moving and grooving again.
There are so many acts at SXSW that a great strategy is just to walk around see as many bands as you can. You will stumble across some old favorites and a whole bunch of new ones. You might need to create some space on your Ipod though, because you will have plenty of new music to fill it up with after this!