Dakin Hardwick’s SXSW Journal Day 4

by Dakin Hardwick on March 21, 2010

Yes, the fine people of Quebec understand metal.

So, this was my 4th day of alcohol & barbecue sauce fueled and sleep deprived musical madness known as SXSW. After spending the early hours of Saturday morning chasing a secret 3 am Andrew WK show, I finally gave up and passed out around I have no idea o’clock only to wake up bright and early and hop around to the Saturday parties in 37 degree weather.

The most painful moment was freezing outside the Perez Hilton party waiting in the proper line, only to find that the only people that got in were folks that stormed the check in booth. It was chaos, but not fun chaos. Everything else was fun chaos. Here’s my highlights:

Broken Bells

James Mercer of The Shins, one of the most boring live bands that I have ever seen get together with Danger Mouse of Gnarls Barkley, also a live set that bored me greatly. Together on stage? still boring. Next.

Voivod

I wasn’t expecting this band to fit into my schedule, but I actually left the highly sought after MOG party to see these canadian metal legends. They were introduced by a man in plaid golf attire that disected the history of Canadian metal. He was funny & informative. As for Voivod, they were the antithesis of Broken Bells. Brutal & intense heavy metal, without a lot of boombast or showiness. They played their songs well, and the audience reciprocated appropriately. They blew out their guitar amp after two songs, but didn’t let that slow them down. They brought out a technician and finished their set with appropriate rockness.

Andrew WK

This was Andrew WK as rock musicians big comeback week, although this set was the only set where he played solo piano, as opposed to big rock show. He did some classical improv, sang a few improv songs about small dogs and such, sounding a little bit like Tom Waits. He gave it 200% on the keys, even though he had just played a heavy set at Stubb’s about 1/2 an hour earlier, and was on his way to a full set about 2 hours later. He closed his short show with an epic singalong of “I Get Wet”

Black Keys

Everyone loves some good old fashioned blues rock. I was never a big fan of these guys beforehand, but this set got me really in to it. I was bobbing along with the crowd, and somehow even turned in to that guy the holds his beer in the air and pounds it in the air along with the music.

Titus Andronicus

Last year I saw this band at least 500 times at SxSW. This time I decided to give it a break and only see them once. They played a decent set. Only 4 songs, and they added a violinist to the mix. The new stuff is a bit more layered than the older stuff, but they really weren’t very excited to be playing, and you could tell.


Woods

Biggest surprise of the festival. I had never heard of them before, but I needed to fill a time slot, and this seemed like a good idea. They played feedback heavy psychedelic rock, with vocals that reminded me of Doug Martsch of Built To Spill. The crowd ate it up, and I understand why. It was a room full of people dancing as if they were alone in their bedroom. The feedback sent my head swimming in all the right ways, too. Wonderful band.

Wallpaper.

We all know Wallpaper. are great. They pulled out all of the stops despite only having 30 minutes to prove themselves. By the end of the set, everyone was getting down to the funk.

Fucked Up

Different than yesterday’s set. Instead of keeping the goal of disturbing everyone, they just played the songs. And they played them well. The crowd went bonkers, with the only serious mosh & stage diving of the week. Pink Eyes is a great front man and is also quite friendly.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kara March 21, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Dakin,

It was fun attending Perez up until my friend and I had to wait 1 hour in the port a potty line, get crushed up against a barricade when Snoop came on, and narrowly avoid a punch to the face by some chick who thought I was blocking her view when I was just trying to escape the crowd. Safe travels and see you soon.

-Kara

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