Reporting From SXSW: Day 2

Best thing I saw: Band of Horses at Stubb’s. I am a big fan of bands opening shows with their best song. I think they all should do it. So when Band of Horses opened with “Is There a Ghost,” the best song off their last album, Cease to Begin, and probably the best song they’ll ever do (a compliment, not criticism), well, I probably don’t really have to actually finish this sentence for you because I would be repeating myself. Ben Bridwell has a great voice for playing under the stars — I imagine he echoes in casual conversation — and the songs are fantastic for this environment as well, all crescendo, build up and release. I’m also a big fan of bands that end with a cover. Band of Horses obliged in that regard as well: Yo La Tengo’s “Sugarcube.”

Other highlights: F—ed Up on the Beerland patio, running through a blessedly ragged set of originals and shrugging covers (a verse and chorus of Nirvana’s “Breed,” for example before moving on to whatever) that closed out a tribute to the late Jay Reatard; Superchunk at Cedar Street Courtyard (they were the surprise guests at the Merge showcase that surprised only the guy in line behind me); the end of Drive-By Truckers‘ set and the beginning of Broken Social Scene‘s;  Man or Astro-Man? bringing it all full circle for me at Club DeVille (they were one of the first bands at saw at my first SXSW [inaudible] years ago. Which ended, as I remembered, with fire. I could have been imagining that, as I didn’t sit down for 12 hours and heroically kept drinking.

Something average: The xx live. Meh.

Worst thing I saw: The bare, tubby, sweaty, hairy torso of Pink Eyes, the singer for F—ed Up; getting dragged to a Stone Temple Pilots album listening party — 1) I am a great friend, and 2) I was able to leave 2 minutes in — and hearing Scott Weiland refer to his band’s “legacy.” Absolutely chilling.

Photo: Moses via WikiCommons

One comment on “Reporting From SXSW: Day 2

  1. F-ed Up is so great live. Just be thankful that P.E. only showed you his torso. I’ve unfortunately had my retinas burned with an assist from his full backside.

    Any word from B.o.H. on their new album? Did they play many tracks from it?

    Scott Weiland is a parody.

    Not surprising about The xx. Those kids don’t exactly put out a “come watch us lose our heads live” vibe, but I dig their album.