As much as you can attempt to prepare for SXSW, once you are there it’s like being dropped in a pinball machine – bouncing around from place to place with very little control. The music festival has grown immensely each year, meaning not only more shows to see but more people to fill up the venues. It can be incredibly difficult to get into certain shows, and your best bet to really enjoy the festival is to not plan it out too much and just go with the flow. Some of the best shows I saw at SXSW were ones I didn’t plan on going to, but randomly happened upon. One of the festival highlights for me was seeing Jim James at Auditorium Shores at sunset on Friday, which was a beautiful set. Earlier that day I happened upon the Black Lips and Black Angels playing at the Stubhub Live party and both of those bands ending up being highlights as well. Saturday I spent most of my day at the Hotel San Jose, where they had an amazing lineup of free shows including Lissie and Phosphorescent. Foxygen was supposed to play as well, but the band canceled their remaining shows after Thursday due to exhaustion. The festival clearly isn’t just tiring for the attendees – many bands expressed their exhaustion at playing so many shows in such a short span of time. Sky Ferreira also had to cancel her Saturday night show at Stubb’s due to falling sick, but Haim and Vampire Weekend still rocked the stage at the final show I attended. Another highlight was getting to attend some private recording sessions with artists put on by Rdio – more on that later, as well as an interview with another festival highlight, Houses! Here are some photos from my favorite SXSW shows!
The Black Angels
The cutest fan I’ve ever seen.
More indie music from the BLDG 25 Blog.
Photos by Julia.