Guantanamo Baywatch

At The Drive-In’s surprise appearance at Mohawk was just one of the moments that made SXSW 2017 memorable.

Cedric Bixler-Zavala of At The Drive-In. All photos by Dakin Hardwick.

Every year in mid-March, music nerds from around the globe gather in downtown Austin to test their ability to handle long lines, blisters, alcohol poisoning, and dead cell phone batteries. Why? To get that first scoop on the “it” band of the year? To luck into a once-in-a-lifetime music experience with their all time favorite band? Masochism? Shit, I don’t know. Every year I say it’ll be my last, but I keep coming back. Maybe it’s the barbecue for me. Maybe it’s Austin: the worst kept secret in Texas. Without the quirks and charm of Austin, this music festival would just be ordinary — and like every other year, SXSW 2017 was definitely not ordinary.

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32 bands in five days. My feet still hurt.

All Photos by Dakin Hardwick

For those who aren’t in the know, SXSW is a conference in Austin, TX. It’s a place where folks in the technology, film, comedy, and music worlds come together and share ideas. The music portion is the primary reason why I come down, because it gives you an opportunity to see a large amount of music, often crossing dozens of genres, all in intimate venues all across town. This year, I feel like I “took it easy” and managed to see 32 different bands during the week (I saw Lizzo and Bleached both perform twice. You’d want to, too, if given the chance).

Without further ado, here are my thoughts on all 32 bands that I saw, in venues ranging from a donut shop to a lakeside amphitheater.

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The whole thing will be inside The New Parish tonight!

The whole thing will be inside The New Parish tonight!

Thank you for enjoying the rock.

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It's Kitten vs Poodle Tonight in the Bay Area! Who are you going to see: Kitten at Bottom Of The Hill or Pookie & The Poodlez at The Night Light?

It’s Kitten vs Poodle Tonight in the Bay Area! Who are you going to see: Kitten at Bottom Of The Hill or Pookie & The Poodlez at The Night Light?

Thursday, July 24th

Kitten, Dear Boy, Your Cannons at Bottom Of The Hill

Kitten are, hands down, one of the top 10 live bands I’ve ever seen. Frontwoman Chloe Chaidez is the most fearless woman I’ve ever seen take to the stage. Sometimes I’m amazed that she is still alive, considering the type of torture she puts her body through on stage. This is their first time in the Bay Area since the release of their first full length record (after three excellent EPs). Their eponymous debut is a fun collection of synth pop songs with infectious hooks, and I highly recommend it. Although the live show is really the bread & butter with this band.

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Playing tonight at Hotel Utah.

Playing tonight at Hotel Utah.

Thursday, June 19th [read the whole post]

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I expect Mosswood Park to look a lot like this come Saturday...

I expect Mosswood Park to look a lot like this come Saturday…

This is a short week. I didn’t want to work on Independence Day. Still, there is plenty left to do this week, so I hope you didn’t party too hard last night!

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