SXSW-DAY 1, Austin, Texas, 3/17/10

SXSW just started and as you might imagine, it’s overwhelming as too many bands from Motorhead to Broken Social Scene to Broken Bells and everything in-between are playing every open venue available. On day one I dove in head first and checked out the Terrorbird/Forcefield show at Red 7 where I caught the last song in Beach Fossils set which had the crowd all wearing smiles. Kinda wish I caught the beginning of their set. Frankie Rose and the Outs, whose leader has drummed for Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls and The Crystal Stilts, rocked the crowd with a blistering set of 60s inspired girl driven rock with reverb drenched vocals that the crowd was heavily into.

As a first timer to SXSW it’s such an overwhelming feeling of being surrounded by music coming out of every crevice and every available space in Austin, Texas. But thankfully all the bands were groundbreaking, possibly the next big thing, and having something special to offer. Choir of Young Believers were the surprise of the night as this Indie/folk act from Copenhagen, Denmark won everyone over with great musical choices and harmonies.

For the record, one of the bands I saw tonight that literally blew everyone away was Neon Indian, a synth heavy act that takes lo-fi 80s keyboards to another level. Led by Alan Palomo, these Austin, Texas natives now settled in Brooklyn tore the roof . . . er tent off the outdoor performance space. I wasn’t sure how the songs would come off live but surprisingly they were better than on the record, which was one of my faves of 2009.

We ended the night (not by choice) with a performance by Solid Gold at Vice-Lose Control 2 who are another favorite band of mine with a great show that saw the band play several new tracks including “Matter of Time” which sees the band continue to explore their inventive and very chill electronic infused indie rock.

Real Estate, one of the headliners had a near capacity crowd hanging on their every word as the band played much of the material off their self-titled album.

After attempting to attend a party at Stubb’s to see The Walkmen, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Broken Bells, and Spoon all on the same bill, we quickly realized the pitfalls of SXSW and of the events to come where the bills are stacked so heavily, that we will be waiting on plenty of lines around the block to get in. But tonight we quit while we were ahead.

DaVe Lipp & photos by Kevin Serra

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