SXSW Music and Scene ’09- Seabird, The Elms & Crowds


The highlight of SXSW Wednesday came at 1:00 a.m.  I was tired, I had work to do and I hated the bar Seabird was playing. “Wave” had no business hosting SXSW shows.  The stage was  a 6′x6′ square crammed in a corner at the back of the stage, at the bottom of a set of stairs that lead to another stage.  Seabird had to contend with no stage space and a constant stream of people walking down nearly on top of the stage and pushing their way through the Seabird fans to leave the club. Cranky Chuck.

Seabird (see our artist profile of Seabird) steps up to their mikes and I am not Cranky Chuck anymore. The brothers Morgan, Ryan and Aaron led the quartet through 40 minutes of beautiful piano driven rock.  Aaron’s powerful voice boomed emotive lyrics of loss, self examination and redemption.  Ryan’s crying guitar punctuated the mood of the songs.  Don’t get me wrong the music is upbeat and bouncy.  I had not had the opportunity to fully engulf myself in Seabird’s music, but this SXSW show has made me a raving fan.


You can buy Seabird’s music at iTunes Seabird

Anathallo and Dignan were both really great (see Ian’s recap of the Anathallo and Dignan SXSW shows) but Seabird made my night.

And what a night it was.  Thousands of music fans descended on Austin’s 20 blocks of blocked streets creating a street party of SXSW hipsters and people like me, not hipsters.  This is not Cornerstone.  When we isolate ourselves in our Christian scene we lose site of the world.  I have nothing against drinking, but goodness.  By 10:00 p.m. I was exhausted so I found a  stool at Buffalo Billards to watch a few interesting secular bands, but mostly I  just wanted to rest.  Why do people come out to see great SXSW music and then proceed to power drink?  When I emerged from my bar stool at 12:45 the SXSW thoroughfares were filled with people who had no business walking, much less driving.  I am not judging, I am just not used to this type of party.


I saw The Elms earlier in the evening.  The SXSW crowd of about 200 people was punctuated by about 50 hardcore FANS of The Elms.  They broke into the rambunctious midwestern rock and roll and for 40 minutes The Elms strutted, soloed and danced.  The best song of the night was from their new album and then they abruptly announced that they had run out of time and ended their set.  I have the impression that The Elms are used to being  headliners with more control over their show than they had at SXSW last night.


Check out all of the great music by The Elms at iTunes The Elms

We are off this moring to dive back into the deep pool of cool Christian music at SXSW.  Check out Ian’s preview of SXSW Thursday.


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