SXSW 2015: Day Two Recap

So, my second day at SXSW proved to be far more productive than my first. My day began with another 2 1/2 star continental breakfast at my completely sanitary 2 1/2 star hotel. Texas-shaped waffles really do power the body to do some incredible things.

I made my way downtown through the mess of traffic that develops starting at around 12:00 pm, and landed on the east side of 6th street to grab my wristband for the Fader Fort.

My first stop (and first frosty beverage) was at Liberty Bar for the Austin Chronicle Showcase.  As it turned out, it was Hank, the three-legged dog’s (who also happens to be the office dog of the Austin Chronicle) personal shindig, so I felt extremely blessed to be not only allowed in to the bar, but in his presence.  Thanks again, Hank.

Pro Tip: Grown men do not need to wear deep cut v-neck shirts.

The bar was at capacity so I had to wait in a line for about 15 minutes as they had a 1 in 1 out policy in effect. There were a fair amount of people complaining, and believe me… I agreed.  Who wants to wait outside in 72 degree weather with the sun peeking out of the clouds intermittently and a slight breeze cooling you off??  Monsters. Monsters want to wait in line. Privileged badge-wearing folk? Absolutely not.

Upon my entry to the bar, I snagged myself a couple of frosty, tall, beverages made by a little company known as Lone Star, and headed out to the back patio to meet up with a couple friends I hadn’t seen in a while.

A band was just starting and I took my usual place at the left of the stage, near the front, to watch and sip.

Half-way through their first song, I leaned in to my friend and said, “This is already better than anything else I saw yesterday!”

Sorry, 2 Chainz.  You were blown away by Flesh Lights.

Whoa guys, calm down. The band is called Flesh Lights. I haven’t even published this article and people are texting me with the jokes.

Seriously though, they kicked ass.

Max (guitar) and Jeremy (bass) definitely occupied the front of the stage and kept it interesting, but Elissa (drums) was an animal. Some drummers seem almost afraid to beat the drums just about as hard as is humanly possible, but she showed no such hesitation.

She also did quite a bit of backing, and some lead vocals on songs. I have the utmost respect for drummers, but especially drummers that can sing and play at the same time. I have trouble concentrating on more than one… what’s that?….

I know this video is from a few years back, but I can’t find any others, so you’ll just have to go check them out.

Moving on…

We left after the aforementioned band had finished their set, and just as a Mumford-esque sounding band had begun theirs… don’t get me started.

Our attempts to get into Hotel Vegas were once again thwarted by the two-block line of sweaty SXSW folk, so we headed across the street to The Brixton.

I’m quite familiar with The Brixton thanks to my countless hours of wasted television and seeing them on Bar Rescue. It’s pretty simple and straight forward. They had cheap-ish beverages and friendly staff. Good job, John Taffer.

*Side note: Anyone unfamiliar with who Duke Silver is, or why he’s amazing, should not be bartending in Austin.

“Who is Duke Silver?”………….

After a quick stop there, we were headed back to the convention center to plot the next move… and I have to say… Austin’s pedi-cab game is on point. This was my first experience in being so lazy that I had to make a perfectly healthy gentleman tow me and my two friends over a mile on a 200+ lb cart. Start doing that math. It’s pretty easy to see why these guys are fit.

By the time we made it back to the chaos that is downtown Austin, it was nearly 6:00 pm and it was time to find a bit to eat, and make our way toward Auditorium Shores in an effort to grab a good spot to see Austin’s own, Spoon.

After making yet another of Austin’s hard working pedi-cabbies tote us another mile or so, we ducked in to Little Woodrow’s for a quick beverage and a healthy, hearty meal.

To my surprise and delight, the tacos I received from the One Taco food truck on-site were probably the best thing I’d had to eat since arriving in Austin. You’ll get more about the food and drinks in the days to come, but just know… if you’re unfamiliar with them, you should get to know them better. Solid food, and I got two tacos for under $6.50.

We call that a bonus around here.

After walking from Little Woodrow’s to Auditorium Shores, I had to navigate the drink line, back to the ATM line, back to the drink line, then to the corn dog line…. what?… No one should pass up a corn dog when given the opportunity.

After readying my list of supplies, I crammed my way up to the front of the stage on the left hand side.

Shortly after doing so, Spoon took the stage.

I won’t go too in depth on the show here, as I’ll be posting a separate article reviewing the experience and concert itself, but they certainly did not disappoint. The weather was beautiful and the show complimented it nicely. This is only the second time seeing Spoon for me, but it had the same feel as when I saw them at the House of Blues in Houston.

They were able to connect with the crowd all the same, and that’s not an easy feat considering they were playing to a crowd of people who had been out walking around town, eating and drinking for the last couple of days or even weeks.

Also, be on the lookout for other events and concerts streaming online.

SXSW has made a real effort to have as many shows as possible streaming live for viewers who couldn’t make it to certain shows, or to SXSW all together.

This is not one of those HD streaming videos, but it’ll do. Don’t get picky.

All in all, day 2 was leaps and bounds more successful, and more fun than day 1.
Here’s to hoping that day 3 will bring the same good tidings.

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