SXSW is not a typical festival. There are no open fields, no gigantic stages, and honestly fewer huge acts. Well, there are huge stages and huge acts, but that’s not what the true SXSW goers are there for. What makes it so special is its celebration of small bands, new bands, and the music lifestyle. It was a street party with music on every corner and in every bar. Music lovers from across the country come to see some of their favorite bands and undoubtedly leave with a whole new collection of amazing new music that will shape their playlists for the year to come. The bands interacted with fans, the fans interacted with each other, and the city of Austin was kind enough to set the stage and throw the party. We’ll be throwing out a few highlights over the next couple of days, starting with one of our favorite shows by Valient Thorr at Barbarella.
“Let’s celebrate the positive!”
Those are not my words, although I want them to be. Those are the words of Valient Himself from the band Valient Thorr.
The band’s message is simple: enjoy life, enjoy each other, enjoy music, treat people well, and let’s all have more fun right now than we’ve ever had in our lives! Their show Saturday night at Barbarella was just that, pure fun.
Valient Himself loves all of the people at their shows and on the streets as long as they are celebrating the good in life. All they seem to want is people coming together to have a good time. Valient himself talked after the show about how much they enjoyed the other bands they’ve played with on their recent tour with Motörhead, “[w]e just get our scents all over each other, and some of those scents don’t wash off.”
With several stories circulating around Austin about bands complaining about sound quality, venue size, or anything else that didn’t measure up to their self-imposed expectations (see Odd Future at Buffalo Billiards, Saturday night), it’s great to come across a band that embraces the good in every moment. I’m convinced you could give this band a broken 6-string, some trash cans for drums, and a few loyal fans and they would both put on a great show and have a great time doing it.
In between songs Valient can be heard interacting with crowd, throwing out verbal gems of perspective. The world can be tough, let’s work together to make it a little easier on each other.
Then of course, we can all rock out. At one point Valient yelled “Our Rock and Roll will kick your Rock and Roll’s Ass!” which not only ramped up the energy in the crowd, but also came off as a playful challenge to everyone listening to get up and try to have as much fun as Valient Himself.
Their shows are an explosion of positive energy that makes you want to stand closer and closer, until you start sweating positivity (although if you stand too close you’ll get Valient Himself’s positive sweat all over you). Regardless, most observers left inundated with good vibes and a smile on their faces.
Valient: Mission Accomplished.