by: Robert Pasbani
Check out all of our SXSW 2010 videos
South By SouthWest is over and I barely remember it. And, that's definitely a good thing. There was a ton of music, a LOT of partying, some doobies and a whole lot of fun. This may have been the most fun I've ever had "covering" an event for Metal Injection. Read on as I try to recollect everything that happened in a day-by-day recap:
Wednesday: The Arrival
After spending 10 hours traveling from NY to Flordia to Austin (with some not-so-awesome layovers in between), we arrived in Austin, TX at around 5pm ready to rage! We dropped off our bags at the hotel we were sharing with Vince Neilstein and Kip Wingerschmidt, our heebros from MetalSucks, picked up our credentials and headed to the Relapse showcase, our first showcase. We got there just as Mammoth Grinder got on the stage. These guys ruled hard. If you are unfamiliar, check out our live clips. This was also where we finally met face to face with one our contributors the lovely Scarlett. And, in case you're wondering, she's just as pretty and sweet in person! The drinking and raging continued as we made our way to the Action PR showcase to watch Bison BC tear it up. These guys totally kill live. If you are heading out to the High on Fire tour, make sure to show up early to check these dudes out. It was at this point that fellow metal blogger, Bram of Metal Insider alerted me to the fact that he had 2 VIP passes to see Motorhead. How the fuck could I turn that down? We left right after Bison, hopped in a pedicab and headed to the Austin Music Hall to see Lemmy and Co.
We arrived and I immediately began headbanging. Lemmy brings teh awesomes! Not only did we get to see Motorhead, but we got fucking escorted to the side of the stage to watch from the VIP area (see SXSW live excerpt). I couldn't believe this was happening. I was already pretty drunk by this point, so things start getting hazy but I do remember seeing the catering that was presumably requested by Lemmy and thinking that deviled eggs and tuna fish were certainly a weird choice. But who the fuck questions Lemmy right? Certainly not the caterers. Drummer Mikkey Dee proved that it's not only Iron Maiden who can rock their own shirts as he sported a cut-off Motorhead tee while pounding through a pretty ripping drum solo. This was an incredible experience.
We headed back to the Action! PR showcase to make sure we didn't miss High on Fire. We made it just in time. A shirtless (duh) Matt Pike ripped through a ton of classic anthems. The new songs sounded just as killer live. I remember rocking out extra hard to "Frost Hammer". At this point, Frank thought it'd be a good idea to do shots. Whiskey shots! I was drinking screwdrivers the whole night. My sinuses were acting up all week, so I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone with Vitamin C + clear alchy. The shot of whiskey almost put me over the top but after a few deep breaths and some zen thoughts, I made it. Looking back on my tweets, I also checked out Landmine Marathon ("Grace Perry of Landmine Marathon is a beast " – see SXSW live excerpt) and after High on Fire we ended the night watching a prog-tastic set by Scale The Summit. These guys killed it live! Now that it was 2am and the bars were closed, there was only one thing left to do… Smoke!
Thursday: Full Metal Texas
I woke up on Thursday with two things I didn't have the day before. A hangover and a swollen ankle. Yep. The curbs of Austin, TX: 1; Rob: 0. I twisted my ankle the night before and now would be hobbling the rest of the trip. Was I going to let this stop me from raging?
A little bit No! I went down to the CVS, got an ankle brace, some Icy/Hot and then headed down to Full Metal Texas, a free daytime party that we were sponsoring. It was at Emo's, a venue that I heard a lot about, all favorable. As soon as I walked in, I fell in love. There were two stages, a small indoor club and then an outdoor stage that had a very DIY vibe to it. The place had plenty of space and was the hangout of the day, drawing a huge crowd. Due to my CVS excursion, I missed a few of the opening bands and got there just as Howl was starting (see live clip). And, fuck am I glad I did. They kicked a whole lot of ass. These guys are putting out an album on Relapse in a few months, and that label that is a perfect fit for them. Meanwhile, Frank went to the Chronic Youth party to check out our friends in Hull (live clip) and Snake Sustaine (live clip)8.
After Howl, I met up with MI junkie keepitwolfson, who fulfilled his promise of sparking me up at the fest with some classy Dallas weed. That dude and his brother were two upstanding gentlemen for providing me with the medicine to help me get through my aching ankle. We got back in time for iwrestledabearonce, who were fun, as was Darkest Hour (live clip). Then, it was the band I was most pumped to (finally) see: Animals As Leaders (live clip). God damn are these guys awesome. Tosin Abasi and company made me cum out of my ear pussy. They were my favorite band of the whole show. Born of Osiris also brought it, as they are developing into a very tight-knit live act. The (not-so) surprise band of the day was the Dillinger Escape Plan who proceeded to annihilate the inside stage. They were jumping off speakers, stage diving, breaking lights, running into the pit and jumping on the bar – the type of insane anarchy I have come to expect a Dillinger Escape Plan show. It was incredibly fun as always to see these guys perform.
After grabbing some food, Vince Neilstein and I decided to try to check out Stone Temple Pilots, a band I loved in high school. Hey, I'm never going to pay to see these guys so if an opportunity presented itself to take a trip down memory lane, I took it. Frank decided to go get plastered with Scarlett and Ryan & Paul of Darkest Hour. If you're curious, Weiland seemed sober and thus STP were great and I'm glad I made time to check them out. From there, I hung out with my good friends in Hull for a bit before heading out for my final band of the night, Torche. They played some tiny bar, and while in the past I thought they suffered from losing a guitarist, on that night, they sounded as heavy as they ever did. Playing a lot of material off their self-titled release, they reminded me why I liked them so much in the first place.
Friday: BBQ & Pringles
Friday began not with more heavy metal, but an excursion out of Austin. Vince invited me on a lil' road trip he was taking with members of Goes Cube and East of the Wall. The Goes Cube dudes picked up up and we drove about 45 minutes out of the city to an establishment known as The Salt Lick, a BYOB BBQ mecca! After pounding a few beers and smoking some doobs in the waiting area, we were called in. This is what we were greeted with as soon as we entered:
It was all you can eat meat and sides. I was gorging on amazing sausage, beef ribs and beef brisket. This was the best BBQ I ever had. I'll never forget something the waiter asked us during our meal, "Another round of meat, guys?" Quite possibly the greatest question I have ever been asked. If you are anywhere near this place, I highly recommend you go! After about 4 rounds of meat, we all had incredibly massive food comas. We had to head back and rest a bit before hitting the grind.
We heard that Animals As Leaders was playing a secret show at a place called Hoek's Death Metal Pizza, a pizzeria playing exclusively death metal. FUCK YES! The venue was a small backyard with a 5ft raised stage that fit maybe 50 people. We arrived to find not Animals As Leaders, but a two-piece 16 year old hispanic grind band. These guys were hilarious. Every song was naturally about feces, eating feces, shitting on boobs, etc. Hilarious. There was 2 other people in the audience, one of which was the guitarist's girlfriend who he awkwardly looked to for approval every 10 seconds. I have to hand it to those guys for doing it though, and cracking me up. If anybody knows the name of this band, let us know! From there, we headed to the New England Metalfest showcase to check out some of those bands and then shot some footage for our video recap.
Still recovering from the food coma, we headed back to the room to rest for a bit. This was when we realized our flight was actually leaving the following day and not on Sunday like we originally thought. Total stoner move! We learned this was our last chance to party, so we were going out with a bang!
Vince and I then headed to what was to be a secret Muse show. Muse, a band that might not be metal is still an incredible rock act and I was so pumped to get in. After catching the opening band, Metrics (who were not terrible), Muse began to rock the house. I kept thinking to myself how much more awesome it would have been if I was high. Out of nowhere, a dude taps me on my shoulder and jokingly mentions how I could take much better pictures than he can because of my height. Noticing that the dude was also holding a blunt, I jokingly responded "I'll take a photo for you in exchange for a hit of that" and he proceeded to smoke me out because I was "a nice guy." God bless that dude and the Cali kush that he provided me. Having my version of spinach, I was now fully equipped to experience Muse. They played a scaled-back show featuring an hour of material and LASERS!! After Muse, we met up with Frank at the Profound Lore showcase.
Frank, not able to get into the Muse show, instead got incredibly plastered at the Profound Lore show. There, we hung out with friends like fellow MI scribe, Grim Kim and members of Goatwhore and Bison BC. The tunage was provided by NY hyped-up act Liturgy (who are worthy of the hype) as well as The Atlas Moth, two bands that make very good use of crash cymbals. After partying really hard at this showcase for a few hours, we decided it'd be a good idea to hop into a cab and drive to a secret Andrew WK party about 10 minutes away. The party was at a place called the 21st St. Co-Op, which was literally a co-op of apartments with the show happening in some dude's living room. There were hundreds of kids all over the co-op, chillin' out and a ton of sweaty kids hanging out in the room waiting for AWK to go on, and rocking out to Maps & Atlases. I was hanging out with Brett and Seth of East of the Wall and we were more interested in finding beer than hanging out in a sauna'd room watching a band play. We decided to hit the general store to score some booze but they told us that they aren't allowed to sell beer after midnight. Come on, Texas. This is how you roll? Instead, we bought some Pringles.
What resulted was about 2 hours of entertainment. Brett, drunk off his ass, came up with a brilliant game. He would go up to a girl, with a Pringle in his hand, and ask the girl if she wanted one. When the girl would say Yes and reach in, he would crush the chip and run off laughing. He did this maybe 30 or 40 times. I don't know if it was because I was drunk at the time, but it just got funnier and funnier. The looks on these people's faces was hysterical. It was a combination of "What just happened?", "What the fuck?" and "Damn, I really wanted a Pringle." I wish we taped some of this shit. It was truly priceless entertainment that went on for hours. Eventually, we heard AWK wasn't even going to play because it was too much of a safety risk in that room (and I don't blame him). We came back to the downtown area, bullshitted for a few more hours about shit way too explicit for me to write about right now and then got our bags and went to the airport to catch our 7am flight.
As I sat here and wrote this entry, I started to realize that SXSW was truly, as one person described it to me, music industry spring break. The scene in downtown Austin is amazing, with tons of incredible venues and bars, all with great sound and great vibes, a ton of music for any type of fan and great people all over. The three days are certainly ones I will never forget. It was a nonstop party. There were a ton more shows that I wanted to check out that I ended up missing, but that's always the case. The important part was the entire time I was having a great time. I can't wait to do it again next year!
Did you attend this year? Let us know what killer bands you discovered in the comments.
Want more Metal @ SXSW? Here is all of our coverage:
– Metal Injection @ SXSW 2010 Video Report
– Animals as Leaders LIVE at SXSW 2010
– Darkest Hour Live at SXSW 2010
– HOWL Live at SXSW 2010
– HULL Live at SXSW 2010
– Landmine Marathon Live Excerpt SXSW
– Motorhead Live Excerpt from SXSW
– Snake Sustaine Live at SXSW