Thoughts on SXSW.

The first time I attended SXSW was in 2000.  Until this year, I had not been since 2004. The festival has grown into an insanely large event that takes over Austin, TX and can be described as utter chaos. Granted, I arrived on Friday of the last weekend, but it was nearly impossible to get anywhere.  After a 4 hour drive, I was forced off the road into downtown by an emergency vehicle as no other drivers would scoot over to let me give it room.  I was trapped in detour after detour and at a crawling pace with the thousands of cars, pedestrians, and cyclists about.  At one point a bike squeezed in between me and a bus and the guy nearly busted his head on the side view mirror of the bus.  The horror that went through my head of him falling in front of  my car and me running over him.  Ugh!  I missed several shows and connections with friends as I was trapped for another 2 and half hours driving around the city.   This event used to be about smaller acts and discovering new music. Not so much anymore. In fact, the city is considering limiting the number of free shows for the festival as they believe it is attracting undesirables. Link: SXSW considers limiting free events-Accident and violence lead to change I’m not sure that is the solution, but some sort of action/better planning should be taken. If there weren’t free shows, I would never have ended up being delighted by a free show after I decided to park it at Spider House.  I am pleased to share my discoveries here.

The show was started off by Harrys Gym. An amazing Norwegian band that convinced me I was in the right spot that day.

Here is a clip I captured of Harrys Gym performing their song “Old Man”. Please excuse the not so great quality and I wish I had captured more video.

Link to the official video of “Old Man.”

Wow! “That’s going to be a tough act to follow,” I thought, but A Place to Bury Strangers did not disappoint. I unfortunately ran out of space on my camera and didn’t get any video and only caught some Droid snap shots for the rest of the following bands. Nonetheless, I will share them here as well as some videos of A Place to Bury Strangers, Sweet Jane (from Ireland) and Bell Gardens.

Sweet Jane – “Blackeyes”

Alas, that was the end of my Spider House experience and I was on to other locations to catch up with old friends. There were many I missed this time around, but I will definitely be back in Austin. Maybe not during SXSW though. ha-ha-ha. We’ll see…


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