SXSW - Day Two - A review in pictures - Austin Texas

South By South West is an industry based music conference / festival located in Austin Texas.
An average of 1,500 bands play over a period of four days so it's a great opportunity to watch the latest "up and coming" acts from around the world alongside more established bands playing slightly more intimate venues than they are used to.
I started my Thursday at SXSW fairly early as I was hoping to photograph Lou Reed delivering the SXSW Keynote speech at the Convention Centre.
I got there just in time to be herded to the front of the stage, sitting down with the rest of the photographers, feeling like a child at school assembly!
I was able to capture a few nice pictures of the great man from the front then hung about for a short time to hear what he had to say.

I had originally planned on watching The Ting Tings next as they were listed on one of the many unofficial SXSW sites as playing Emos at 11.30am.
Unfortunatly the schedule had been changed so I decided to make a long journey to Momo's to watch US Punkers - The Dollyrots playing an acoustic set.
The band's "Because I'm awesome" single was one of my favourites of 2007 and I was curious how they would sound in a "stripped" setting.
The show was a lot of fun with Kelly, Luis and Chris pounding away on their instruments causing broken tambourines and guitar strings as they blasted their way in an acoustic style through Dollyrots faves, including their cover of Melanie's "Brand new key", sounding nearer to the original than normal without the band's regular "Punk" sound.

I slowly made my way back to Sixth Street, deciding to pop into a bar to watch Jason and Rachel Trachtenburg play a couple of numbers.
I've seen The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players on a couple of occasions and find them endearing and entertaining, especially as Jason pours his heart into his performances which are never all that great to be honest!
He ended the set with a cover of The Beatles "She loves you".
It was awful yet amusing!
The sound engineers face during the song was priceless anyway.

I had a short break, heading back to the Convention Centre to sit and upload my pictures then took a trip to Cedar Street Courtyard for a "Blonde" afternoon!

First up in the "Battle Of The Blondes" was The Duke Spirit .
I was a lot more awake this time round during their show compared to the night before and really appreciated their set.
Although I had watched the band a couple of times before this SXSW I had no real intention of seeing them again but I'll now be checking them out hopefully sooner than later.

I last encountered Nashville's Be Your Own Pet at a chaotic show at London's Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes, a show where onstage audience members outnumbered the band about 4 to 1 for the set's duration within about 30 seconds of the gig starting!
This was a far more subdued affair as BYOP didn't have a host of crazy teenagers hurling themselves about down the front.
The band have just released their second album "Get awkward" so played a few tracks from that alongside older material like single "Adventure".
The audience may not have been too lively but the band made up for it with singer Jemina and bass player Nathan especially throwing themselves into their performance.

Regular CD Times readers will know that I've seen Robyn play live on several occasions so I was eager to see what she'd bring to SXSW.
Robyn's main showcase was the following night at 1am however it clashed with an appearance from my Omaha faves Tilly And The Wall, playing their only SXSW show so the Cedar Street set was the only one I'd witness.
Robyn's set got off to a sticky start due to backing track problems resulting in the Swede and her band binning their set list, performing stripped down versions of what they could.
You could see that it was frustrating for them but in reality none of the crowd really cared as we were rewarded with renditions that were both fun and heart pulling, including Prince cover "Jack U Off" and singles "Heartbeat" and "Be mine".
I've said it before but Robyn's slow version of "Be mine" wins me over every time, generally leaving me with a tear in my eye and was a real SXSW highlight.

After Robyn's triumphant performance I made my way to Sixth Street, having a break, deciding how I was going to spend my evening.
I decided on visiting the Maggie Mae's Rooftop venue to watch Iceland band
I took a trip to the Iceland Airwaves festival a couple of years back and managed to see the band play on three occasions.
They're a fun Rock /Punk band, reminding me of a lightheared version of Gallows but with a more melodic approach to their music.
While waiting for the set to begin I got chatting to a group of locals, ending up having a few drinks with them not really taking that much notice of the Icelandic rockers in the end, except for popping down the front to take a few pictures.
SXSW is as much about the socialising aspect as it is watching the bands.
The previous evening I had ran into a handful of people from both sides of the globe whom I had met at previous SXSW's so it was great to catch up.
Everyone who attends the event is a music fan so It's not hard to strike up a conversation with the person standing next to you, finding out who they've seen and what they're going to next.

After missing the majority of Reykjavik's set I decided to put my gig watching head back on, heading to Lattitude 30 to watch Emmy the Great .
Emmy's one of the UK's unsung little stars.
I've seen her perform on numerous occasions over the last few years.
She's had a lot of critical acclaim but just needs one more break to push her profile into the mainstream.
She was certainly keeping busy at SXSW anyway with several solo appearances and numerous shows as back up singer for Lightspeed Champion.
Her quirky folk songs appealed to the Lattitude 30 crowd who gave her an ecstatic reception.

I was torn between two acts for my final Thursday night entertainment.
The Dollyrots were playing their showcase at Club De Ville while US singer songwriter Sara Bareilles was live at The Parish.
The Dollyrots had promised their set was going to be wild so I was eager to observe them "rockin' out" however I love Sara's album and hadn't had the chance to see her live yet.
In the end Sara won only because her venue was nearer!
Sara Bareilles US profile has been raised recently as the radio friendly track "Love song" was used to soundtrack a commercial giving her a number 1 single in the US Pop 100.
Sara's album mixes Pop tracks with ballads.I find her very similiar in style to the UK's Nerina Pallot.
I think I made the right choice as I was suprised how much I loved Sara's peformance with her final song, a solo performance of the ballad "Gravity" probably bringing me my favourite SXSW performance of 2008 as it completely blew me away.

SXSW 2008 - Day One

SXSW 2008 - Day Three

SXSW 22008 - Day Four

Last updated: 19/04/2018 00:01:39

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