Saturday, April 2, 2011

SXSW day 4

Today was to be my busiest working day with both Dee Goodz and Young Man having two shows I wanted to film. Barely made it in time for the first Young Man show, our secret parkign spot we had been using all weekend got jacked and I had to bail on the car and hustle to get to the show, which I still ended up missing a song of. This was their first show outside and it was a beautiful day to play outside. Their sound mixed wonderful in the setting, the crowd wasn't huge but everyone was enjoying themselves. In some ways this may have been the best footage I captured, you could see everyone really well and the sound was pretty good. I hope to get my videos out for the Young Man shows soon.

Went back to their hotel room after for a bit to offload some of my footage and relax before the long day ahead. We went to check out the poster sale at the convention sale, I got two sweet posters neither having to do with bands just some cool art. I also checked out two bands at this tent setup right across from the convention center with free booze. The first, Scars on 45, was good but nothing to write home about although they seemed to be having a blast playing for everyone. It was the second band that really struck me, the Joy Formidable as they were called. Fronted by a very cute lead singer they rocked out hard and the place was jam packed to see them. I only stayed for about 4 or 5 songs but it was more than enough to sell me on them. I'll definitely be checking out more of them in the near future.

Afterwards I walked across town to try and catch the second Young Man show of the day. Unfortunately the venue was running a bit behind schedule so I could only stay for the very beginning of the show. I did snap some cool pictures though and take some good B-roll footage so it wasn't a total loss. I also found out from the band afterwards that the show went really well, a bunch of people wandered in last minute and that coupled with a good sound setup made it one of their best shows of SXSW. 

Luckily the venue they were playing at was a mere one block away from the Rocksmith showcase where I was to catch the next Dee Goodz show. This was a much better setup than last time, and Dee did all he could with his 10 minute set time, I think he even went a little over. Took some great video here and some friends were able to join me. He got the crowd a lot more invigorated than the other acts I saw at the showcase, particularly when he played Bananas and Lisa Lopes which really got the crowd going.

Took another break after the show back at the hotel room, I knew I had one more show to film and then there was another showcase my brother and I really wanted to catch. We thought about checking out some other bands playing at the time but opted for food and relaxation instead, which was probably a wise choice considering the mayhem that followed.

The last Dee Goodz show was by far the best, playing at the Fuggin' Awesome stage atop the roof at the Blind Pig. It was a great setup and a very big crowd and he totally rocked it. I made it just in time too, started filming straight on but then weaseled my way on stage and god some really sick footage of the show. Definitely going to be heavily featured in our video, which is coming out very soon. The energy was high and the crowd was feeling it. It's pretty hard to beat an outdoor venue like that too for several reasons. Great show, very pleased my brother finally got to catch a show of his too.

We had to bounce immediately to go see a showcase nearby featuring Curren$y, Big K.R.I.T. and most notably Odd Future, who has been catching a ton of buzz lately and I'd been dying to see, especially since I had to miss their Fader Fort show. We got to the venue and they wouldn't let me in with my camera ,which was no surprise, so I had to dash back to the hotel to drop it off. I went as fast as I could so I wouldn't miss Curren$y and to be sure I would get in. This happened to be the only venue I had been in so far that was using a metal detector on people as they came in. I wouldn't have cared about this except for they found my other personal camera and said I wouldn't be to come inside with that on me either. I tried to explain that I just dropped off my real camera and that I wouldn't even use this one if that wasn't cool, I just wanted to get in because I could tell it was getting full and the lines were getting long. The guy said no though, so I had to get creative. I walked away for a couple of minutes and tied my camera to my badge's lanyard and hung it down the back of my shirt. I entered the venue again, awkwardly leaning back ever so slightly and praying they wouldn't scan my whole body. Luckily they didn't pay too much attention to me this time and I slipped right in just as Curren$y was starting.

This probably was my least favorite Curren$y show I had seen but you could tell the room was packed with serious fans. He would often drop the beat and let the crowd take over on the lyrics for him, they knew them so well he even commented that he hardly had to do anything. It was almost aggravating at times, sometimes a song would be in full swing and the beat would cut out which, even though most knew the lyrics, still dropped the energy level of the show. Plus the sound was consistenly too low when it was just the DJ responsible for the music. Despite patrons and staff pleading with the sound guy to turn the beat up he never came through. This became an utter disaster later in the evening. 

After Curren$y ended Big K.R.I.T. was up next. This would be my third time seeing him at SXSW and this was definitely my favorite show of his and really the whole showcase for that matter. He brought a full band for much of the show, which was excellent because that seemed to be the only scenario in which the sound guy could get a decent mix across. His southern-fried rhymes coupled with a solid backing band really made the show come alive. Good stuff.

Odd Future was next, we scooted up close in the crowd and you could tell the anticipation was high. You can bet the place was at capacity and a bunch of people were standing outside. Unbeknownst to me at the time though there was a large part of the crowd that hung back near the bar, it was a deep room and clearly there were lots of industry and reporter type people there who were more curious than fans. As soon as Tyler the Creator stepped out and the first beat dropped though you could tell something was not right. The sound was not coming through as it should have been, and while the energy up front was extremely high (this was the first hip-hop show I had ever seen which induced moshing) clearly many in the back appeared disinterested. The show was a blur from where I was, but before I knew it Tyler was cursing the crowd, restarting songs, and when he launched into his latest hit “Yonkers” he did it seemingly out of obligation. The whole crew became frustrated. Hodgy Beats threw his microphone down and along with Tyler and the rest of the gang they bolted after a mere 10 minutes of playing. At first I couldn't believe it was over, but it was clear they had left when I saw people pulling wires and offloading gear. We were pissed but what could we do? Just hope to see them again I guess...

We stumbled around Austin for a bit more but didn't see anything of note (except maybe Quintron & Miss Pussycat out of New Orleans who I had seen before but wasn't really feeling at the time). Our group went back to the Hilton to relax and recap the week a bit before we parted ways. We unfortunately were forced to park very far away today so we knew we had a long walk back. Pedicabs (bike cabs) were even turning us down, so we made the trek on foot which was exhausting, never been so glad to get off my feet.

It was a crazy week, I didn't see as much as I had some previous years at SXSW, but I found out about some great new music and got some awesome footage of two artists I love working with. So all in all a great experience, glad I'm now finally caught up on reporting so I can get to my Ultra recap.

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