Blogs Of War: Raz Goes To SXSW (Part Two)
South By South West, one of the best festivals on the planet, takes over Austin, Texas this week for a barrage of music, art and cultural events. It sounds amazing, and there are tons of great bands playing, so we got our Raz to tell us how it’s all going. Here’s Part Two…
If this isn’t a hangover, I dunno what is, but on the fine recommendation of Trivium‘s finest, Paolo Gregoletto, I totter down to a little shack way out west from the main strip called Bacon. I’m there for breakfast and the rocket scientists amongst you might have figured out that it’s a pork rasher-oriented establishment. It’s delicious. Apparently, our Paolo ate here quite frequently whilst recording Triv’s upcoming sixth album with Austin native, David Draiman. Today might involve trying to infiltrate the Disturbed/Device man’s home and barbecuing with him. Possibly…
Anyway, with a belly full of bacon, eggs and bacony waffles, I roll into the first afternoon shows of the day. Red Bull are plying me with loads of free booze and Heaven’s Basement are playing their showcase. Having failed to read the room correctly when not a single drunk, sunburnt person answered his first question, Aaron Buchanon keeps asking the crowd to sing along. Nothing happens. They may have polished their sound over the years, but if they keep trying to read off a script like this, no amount of free beer and ice cream is going to work. Still, thanks Red Bull!
Having filled my boots with alcohol, I arrange to go eat a load of shrimp and corn directly off a table (why not?) before heading over to the Sumerian Records showcase. Filled with exactly the kind of people you’d expect to see at a Sumerian gig, rucksacks hit me while the likes of Australian bruisers, Capture The Crown and the Parisian excellence of Betraying The Martyrs lays waste to this patio. It’s all just pre-amble because the real Texan party begins when Upon A Burning Body jump onstage in their sweater vests and three-piece suits. It’s heavy, I have an X stamped on each of my drunken hands – maybe I look under 21 in the sunshine… – and the Crowd. Goes. Wild.
UABB are the only thing holding Sumerian label boss, Ash Avildsen from running over to the Dirty Dog to catch the last few songs of Norma Jean, but that’s exactly what I do. It’s the MetalSucks showcase and it’s busy as hell. With Royal Thunder, KEN Mode and mighty NOLA monsters, Goatwhore (more about them tomorrow) on the bill as well, this is the other major metal gig of the evening and the disparity between the crowds is easily seen: all the kids are still milling around over at the Annex whilst the… more…established generation of metallers are in this here biker bar. There’s something for everyone in Austin. It’s nice to be back in the venue Metal Hammer held our showcase last year. Fingers crossed we’ll be back in Austin in 2014, showing the world how it’s done.
For more info on SXSW, head to http://sxsw.com.