For most of this last week, Claire Mc Keown from LA indie pop group Afternoons has been sending reports about the band's adventures at SXSW in Austin, Texas. This final entry covers playing twice in one day, including a dream show at Antone's where some familiar faces also performed.
The Last Day
After a good breakfast/lunch and too much coffee at The Magnolia Cafe, we were off to our first show of the day. There was a little panic the night before, due to timing issues, as to if we could actually do both of the shows. We knew the second show at Antone's was a big one and wanted to be really on for it, but we said we would do it. The people running the first show switched us an hour earlier, which made it possible to do both of them.
We formed a game plan: There was no way we were going to hold back on the first show, we were going to give it all both times. We got to the first show, which was at this out door venue and the stage had no tarp, so we would play baking in the sun. Steven ran down the street and got us some sunscreen so we wouldn't be red faced for the next show and we drank a ton of water and tried to stay in the shade. I had it easy. I didn't have to schlep (yiddish for lug) any gear.
Alberta Cross was playing right before us, what lovely people they are. And Red Cortez was playing after us. It was good to see their familiar faces. We hit the stage and had a blast. The sound was good, the vibes were good. We finished our set a immediately loaded the van and drove to Antone's.
Oh how special Antone's is. It's just one of those places that you can feel the history of it. Stevie Ray Vaughn and Muddy Waters were given monuments all over the walls. And this was to be the first indoor venue we would be playing. It might be fun to watch music outdoors but acoustics will always suffer for singers outdoors. It kind of feels like singing into a brick wall.
We were first of the night, which meant that we got to do a quick sound check. Yay! The sound was impeccable. Doors opened and to our surprises there was a nice crowd there to watch. We then played what we thought was the best we have ever played. What a high. It was one of those shows that solidified for me that we can do this!
The whole show was a dream show. After us was The Happy Hollows. Fuck, how I love them! Sarah is a godamn goddess. I wish I could play guitar like that.
By this point, I've put about four Jim Beams and a joint into the mix so am feeling mighty good. Backstage was the best. It was filled with The Silversun Pickups, Sterling Andrews, Solon and Rachel of Great Northern, The Pity Party, The Duke Spirit... Los Angeles was well-represented.
Although we see each other all the time, it was different. For instance I had an amazing conversation with Chris from The Happy Hollows and we never really have shared more than a hello before. It's because we have now shared a common bond. We both have thrown our lives completely topsy turvy to come and play. Good times.
I hadn't seen The Pickups since they played The Echo about three years ago. Oh my mother ducking god! What a monster their band has become. I almost cried about four times. I am so proud of them. You should have seen the crowd, and jeez you should have seen the look of stress on the sound techs faces. Oh, and Chris playing the drums and hitting that high hat. It was monumental.
The Pity Party played last. They played their hearts out. The crowd left but it had nothing to do with them. It was the last set of SXSW and I'm sure they ran off to see a bigger act. It's a tough town. If people would have stayed they would have caught a band not like any other at SXSW.
We stayed at Antone's till they turned on the lights and politely told us to hit the road. Then it was off to a taco truck for maybe the best tacos I have ever had. So good. We caught a cab back to our hotel. A good night's sleep was mandatory.
We have twenty-one hours of driving to do...