I have to admit that up until Firday, I have been pretty disappaointed with SXSW. Yes, I didnt get a wristband and that most likely is holding me back, but it just seems like I havent been wowed as much this year as 2009.
Then Friday happened
Alternative hard rock band Conditions hit the Purevolume stage first thing and rock the crowd’s socks off. If you have never seen the band, they play a fun mix of melodic rock with just enough heavy riffs that makes them fit in with any rock crowd. They were solid from beginning to end, and were able to set the crowd up for another long day of music and fun.
This is one of those bands who know that they dont have to prove themselves anymore, but still give the crowd everything they want. Lovedrug‘s music really informs their show, at times it is slow and driving and at others thundering and emotional. They played a really good mix of their many albums, and also some newer material that will appear on a number of upcoming EPs (according to Doug from HM). They proved why they are still a name in the rock industry so many years later.
Despite the fact that MCMB played with mainly satanic death metal bands at this free showcase outside of EMOs, the band tore the place to the ground with their blend of hardcore and thrash. Smileing from beginning to end, MyChildren MyBride completely ruled the crowed as they blasted through a nearly 35 minute set. Stage dives, monster mosh pits, and sing alongs were all had in plenty, and the crowd was even treated to 4 brand new songs that will appear on their new album, Lost Boys, which will be out very soon. Ive always LIKED this band, but now I am FAN.
The Letter Black
A last minute addition to the HM Showcase, The Letter Black brought their brand of melodic hard rock on like a freight train. They seemed a little bothered by the lacking of standing in the crowd, but it didnt really slow them down one bit. After seeing these guys live, and interviewing them for Voices Of The Underground, my predictions is that if these guys last another year or so, they will be the next big break out band for Tooth & Nail.
Before There Was Rosalyn
The whole reason I even found the HM Showcase was because Before There Was Rosalyn was literally out on the street selling their merch to everybody who walked by. The Houston, TX band showed Austin what spirit-filled hardcore was all about with high energy form note one, and a unrelenting message of hope in Christ. They had the largest crowd for the showcase, and defiantly deserved the attention. Everyone in the room was their best friend by the end of the set, and the band hung out with the crowd for hours after they left the stage. I think we will be hearing alot from these guys for years to come…
Shapes Stars Make
Musically, Shapes Stars Make has tied for my favorite for this year’s SXSW, as far as their show goes, I need to see it again. Not because the band was bad, in fact let’s just say there was a alot of hitting instruments with mallets and sticks, looping effects, and 6 minute songs with no lyrics. I loved it! I was just really distracted by some……ummmm……dancing that started about two minutes into the progressive rock band’s set. If you werent there, it was really hard to miss, very bizarre, and the dancers seemed to multiply over time. Shapes Stars Make, you guys were great……welcome to Austin!