South by Southwest can be an interesting time of year, because it's like the summer camp or large gathering of close friends: some of which haven't seen each other in months, some of which have never personally met, and some of which who hate each other. While many of us are working in a competing market of ad sales that should be so far removed from the whole reason we're here - the music. I love talking to many of these people, because it gives me a different perspective, a challenge, to my own writing style of doing things.
Just because you disagree with someone, doesn't mean they're carrying out something in a wrong way.
Yesterday began with Equal Vision's showcase. Harvard kicked things off as a special guest and just sounded so damn good. They're definitely one of those bands that sound way better live - more full - than on record. A killer performance to start the day. This Time Next Year put on an energetic performance, and while they didn't sound bad in anyway, they're definitely riding the line of pop-punk worship that doesn't set them apart from the rest of the revival. Here's waiting to see what they have to offer on their next album. Wild Orchid Children just killed it as I was expecting, even with the lead vocals popping out around the beginning of the set, it was an absolute blast. Next, Orbs played through two songs, but were tight as can be through each 8 to 10 minute journey.
The place piled in for Gatsbys American Dream - not nearly as packed as the Artery Foundation line in the morning (damn you kids!) - but a solid crowd got an even more solid show from the band. Now, I've never been a huge fan of the band like some of you, but recognize how talented they are through and through. That said, the band's set gave new light to just how good they can be. It now makes sense why this band needs to come back and wash a bit of the scene clean. Nick Newsham was connecting with the front row, giving them lead vocals multiple times. There was just a positive vibe all around that radiated from the crowd to the stage and back to the crowd.
After Equal Vision, I had to head down to the night show I was putting on, and the line-up was a beast. Local bands Innards and Sohns were stacked with Caravels, Sleep Bellum Sonno and The Saddest Landscape. Every time I see Innards and Sohns, they just get better and better. More full sounding. Tighter and not disheveled from when I first saw them play. It's always an enjoyment to see them. Caravels fsimply sound great. They're loud, but tight in their mix, making for broad sounding set parallel to that of their recordings. Sleep Bellum Sonno sounded much better than the last time I saw them, but I think last time's PA didn't do the duel vocals much justice in the end. Their split with Joie De Vivre is nice gem waiting to be heard. Closing the night, The Saddest Landscape put on the set I was expecting, and more. Even though it was the front of a restaurant, the band treated it like any other show, as Andy Maddox just let himself go in his performance. Easily one of the best bands I've seen at SXSW for the day along with Wild Orchid and Gatsbys.
I'm still running on about three to four hours of real sleep each night, but seeing some of my favorite bands just continue to show me that good music exists is well worth it. More than that, the discussions and people I've been hanging out with this week has been unreal. I am a fortunate kid.