Rosi's SXSW 2019, Days 4 & 5
"Dreams" in the Lone Star State
Words and pics by Rose Lamela
Days 4 and 5
On Day 4, it started to really hit me how much I was loving Austin. Something about the vibe out there made me feel more in tune with myself. I felt part of this foreign city, and I was forgetting my daily routine of adulting. I was becoming less concerned about what was waiting back home.
This also became my favorite day of the trip. I was going to have a chance to film some local Jersey / BK bands in a different part of Austin which was away from the downtown area. When I walked into the Hard Luck Lounge, I was taken aback by how rustic the venue was. It had such a chill vibe that housed picnic tables and resembled a backyard but with no resemblance to anything in Jersey
I set up to do what is truly what I enjoy. I love being a photographer, but the dream is to film as many live performances as possible. The sound was absolutely amazing and I really enjoyed talking to the sound guy there. Despite his being super hungover and tired, he was by far very skilled at his craft. Even with some of the equipment issues CoolDad described in his post, the show went on and sounded great.
It was physically draining to shoot all day, but it was cleaned up with a great dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. We talked about life, Austin, music, and of course cameras. I got a ride to my new dwelling for the week, and crashed hard.
Day 5 came in fast, and I decided to hang out at the Austin Convention Center. There were some bands playing there that I got to check out. One being the band Trupa Trupa from Poland. I checked them out after buying my cheesy SXSW hoodie, and I really enjoyed their set. They made a few jokes about what their songs were about, especially one specifically written about snow.
"We get a lot of snow in Poland!" said lead singer Grzegorz Kwiatkowski.
I finished off my stay there by buying a couple of things to send home, and I took in a meditative set from Virgin Pool.
This day was all about getting a chance to see Japanese Breakfast. I have been really wanting to see Michelle Zauner since I discovered her early last year. I made it in time to the Container Bar only to stand in my first SXSW line.
I walked in at the end of the Cherry Glazerr set and pushed my way to the front. As I mentioned before, getting to the front at a show in Austin is incredibly easy. The people there are just so nice and they end up striking a conversation with you instead of just giving you a dirty look. Not trying to put you down Jersey and NY, but just saying. There were some technical issues that seemed to last a little longer than usual. Michelle's demeanor remained calm, which is something I am always taken aback by when I see shit hit the fan during sound check. At one point she started to do jumping jacks to relieve some stress resulting from about 30 minutes of troubleshooting audio equipment.
She started her set with "Road Head," which is from her album Soft Sounds from Another Planet. She also played the song "Boyish" which was the very first song I had ever heard thanks to a CoolDad post. She continue to climb on the rails around the stage and sing directly to the audience by delivering an intimate performance. I was so excited to hear her do her a cover of The Cranberries' "Dreams" which is one of my favorite high school era songs.
After the show, I wandered Austin and decided to go to Shangri-La. A few days prior, I heard music booming from there and made a point to go back. There was a midwest showcase going on, and I got to see some pretty cool bands there. I only got the end of VidCo Kult's set but they went well with a beautiful brisk night on 6th St. Drunk and Attics were hysterical between their lyrics and banter. Their bio on Facebook reads:
"Drugs & Attics is the new premier party drug rock band that's NOT FOR YOUR PARENTS!!!!!!!!"
Highlight Rivals came on and battled a bass guitar strap issue with charisma and glam while doing shots of whiskey with the host of the showcase. The Velveteers ended my Friday night with their pop vocals dressed in heavy guitar and drums. I especially dug the song "Atlantic City." I am not being biased. I promise.
I ordered an Uber; and, as usual, talked to everyone in the car. I got the deets on how cool it is to live in Austin and was told to consider moving there. I went to bed thinking about life and moving south. I thought about this great opportunity to come out here and drown myself with music. Somewhere between those pipe dreams, I passed out in a bed in the Lone Star State.