Blogs Of War: Raz Explains Why SXSW Is Awesome
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. First, however, he’s going to take us on a trip down memory lane….
If you don’t know, SXSW is about to take over the cool capital of Texas. Austin is going to be hosting a couple of thousand bands in a couple of hundred venues with tens of thousands of people descending upon this fair city. Not all of it is metal – Depeche Mode and LL Cool J are playing as well – but the metal that is there is bloody excellent.
In 2011, I saw Kvelertak three times on their first trip to the US, a Trap Them show in a garage got shut down by police in under a minute and TesseracT guitarist, James “Metal” Monteith, puked on my shoes whilst watching Crobar (guess I shouldn’t have bought him that last beer). I also saw Pentagram and Eyehategod light up Austin.
Last year, I had the honour of actually meeting Mike IX Williams of EHG before eating fish tacos with Clown from Slipknot. There was also a legendary show featuring All Pigs Must Die where the singers from Primitive Weapons and Ancient Vvisdom (also on the bill) were in the moshpit causing utter chaos.
Seeing Metal Hammer own the Dirty Dog bar with our own showcase, however, was the true crowning glory of 2012. Featuring Brits, Skindred and The Defiled, Norwegians, Shining and Audrey Horne and Danes, The Interbeing, it was a mixed bag of nationalities brought together in the name of metal (Hammer), and it was ruddy excellent.
This year, along with keeping you up-to-date with the copious amounts of free booze and barbecued meat I’ll be consuming (hopefully including a cocktail party at Mad Davey Draiman’s house), there are shows from Clutch and Orange Goblin, Heaven’s Basement on a rooftop, Goatwhore on a boat, Baroness’ John Baizley playing a solo set and most of the Sumerian roster doing a massive mosh If that won’t keep you entertained, I don’t know what will.
Here’s to heavy metal and sunstroke.
For more info on SXSW, head to http://sxsw.com