We hit the halfway mark of the Memories of SXSW ’16 – Artist Edition series. Five more indie acts, five more great stories. Read everything from adrenaline rushes to an impromptu gig by one of indie folk-rock’s great artists to a band’s inaugural show to meeting Randy Jackson to missing drumsticks to playing in a sex shop.
Drew Cintron of Beverly (USA)
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SXSW was a wonderful blur. We were on the road for a week leading up to it. By the time we got there, we were ready to party and ready to play a million shows, but you still don’t know what you’re getting into until you’re finished with your third set of the day and it’s 2 AM and you’re winding some cables and you’ve been drinking for 8 hours and then everyone wants to go check out another band. It’s crazy! Some superhuman adrenaline kicks in and you just do it and keep the party going.
I think the culminating event of the week for me was seeing Thee Oh Sees. I’ve seen them before, but every time is like the first time and every second of the show gives you energy and makes you feel like you’re a kid again. A+!
Coast Modern (USA)
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Cliff jumping in Barton Creek
We had a day to kill before the music portion of SXSW, so we escaped the 90 degree heat to wade in the cool waters of Barton Creek (a local recommendation). We knew it would probably be our last moments of peace before the onslaught of bands, booze, and BBQ. We skipped rocks, pet dogs, and leapt off a cliff with the locals. Austin further endeared itself to us.
Our first live show as Coast Modern EVER at Maggie Mae’s rooftop on Wednesday night. Things were going wrong left and right, gear was breaking, nerves were jiggling, but a calm word from our label dude, Jonny, set the tone for SXSW, “EMBRACE THE CHAOS.” And so we did. And it felt like 50 toddlers finger painting with lighting in outer space, but it was beautiful to bring the songs to life in front of real live people screaming the words back at us.
Ninet Tayeb (Israel)
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Phosphorescent Surprise Show
On a rainy Thursday morning we went to hang around the StubHub BBQ party, the sky was grey and we couldn’t find any coffee… after a late Wednesday night show, it’s not that easy. We were sitting there watching the gear on stage and thinking to ourselves, “What a nice set up”, wondering who will come up and play. After a couple of minutes, we see Matthew Houck (Phosphorescent) going up with his friend on the pedal steel.
It was a marvelous, 30-minute set that I’ll never forget. The sort of thing that happens only at SXSW.
Meeting Randy Jackson at the Wix showcase
The constant talk on music events/showcases is who is coming to your shows and where you need to be…. sometimes it’s a little bit over the top. BUT, to be honest, meeting Mr. Randy Jackson was a truly unexpected pleasure.
Right when we finished our set, our manager called us off stage for an interview with Randy. The guy really paid attention to all details from the way we were dressed up on stage to the guitars we chose to play. He gave some interesting insights about the set and the songwriting process. We simply love Randy.
Our last dinner – Fish & Chips and Veggie Curry Rice !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well, what is better than the food trucks at SXSW?! On our last night, after playing at Scoot Inn, we went for a mighty truck dinner. We were lucky enough to discover the BEST food truck we ran into throughout the festival. We got some real deal Fish & Chips and great Veggie Curry Rice, a whole meal without a huge cheese chunk above it.
Pet Sun (Canada)
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1. Playing this sex shop. We thought we were going to have to dress in all S&M gear and play, but turns out it was just an underwear party with free vodka. So we got snazzy underwear and drunk as skunks. Cheetah print, USA flag, skull pants and a mesh shirt. #hotboys!
2. When we first drove in and got to our AirBnb, we hit a taco stand that was like 30 feet from our front door. Got a delicious and cheap meal and also talked with this dude who had been living on the streets for 20 years. Super nice dude!
3. Playing our final show at Spider House, and it was the first performance of the day. We were super hungover (drank too many Four Lokos at a nearby gas station the night before), and it was so hot but we got to play the same stage that Ty Segall and company thrashed last year. It was ace!
The Virginmarys (UK)
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One of the most amazing things for me was the storm that occurred on the Friday night when we arrived. It was phenomenal! There was one point when a bolt of lightening seemed to be the whole length of the sky! We were on a rooftop at the time, so there was a sense of, “should we be here?”. But yeah, we should have and yeah, we were. Definitely the most electrifying (literally) performance of the festival for me…but we were only there for a day and a half!
My most memorable (although not necessarily my fondest) would be our show at Trinity Hall. We had just done a show earlier that day at Shady Grove’s and as it turned out 15 minutes before stage time at Trinity I realised my drumsticks bag had been left behind at the previous venue?!! 🙁
I scurried through my backpack and empty drum shells to discover 2 pairs of sticks. Ally asked: “Will you manage the show with 2 pairs?” “Yeah, I’ll be fine”, I said. “Besides if I break one early in the set, I’ll just ease off?!!”
After the second song, I realised I only had 1 stick left, so I start playing the third song with one and a third while our tour manager tried to buy some drumsticks from other bands backstage! Three more pairs get rolled over the stage towards me, as the third song closes and I manage to make it through the set.
Five pairs of sticks to do a 40-minute, 10-song set = 1 good stick / 9 sticks fucked……a new personal best! 😉
We’d just finished a west coast tour with Shinedown in Fargo on the Wednesday night and spent a day-and-a-half straight in the van to get to Austin Friday afternoon.
We played two amazing gigs in what felt like a doubly surreal atmosphere due to sleep deprivation. It kind of all happened in a blur, so I have to say my most memorable moment was having a meal with our tour manager at the Shady Grove after we had done all the gigs and promo and staring at this black panther’s crazy eyes.
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