[Patrick Husband with The War Against Sleep at Fado's on Wednesday]
I'm not here to tell you how to do a week of SXSW, because there are so many great ways to do it. Find what works for you. I've volunteered for the platinum badge for a few years, and I've done only free shows for a few years. Both work ya know?
However.... I got this shit down. Day 1, you make sure you get all the wristbands you need for the bigger, free parties. Such as The Fader party. Even better, I've scheduled for my guitar to get setup for free in The Fader while I kick back with a cold Bass and start the week off watching The Mae Shi. Yup. Perks baby...use them and abuse them.
Now I'm a bit shy at sparking up conversations with people, but I must find out what these dudes from The Mae Shi are like. They're pacing around the stage and I see there's about five minutes until they're supposed to start. I walk up to their singer and introduce myself. After listening to me he says, "thanks dude," and then immediately turns his head to the right and yells in unison with the rest of his band "I want almost everything...." Damn. Apparently, they were starting earlier than scheduled and this guy is able to get me off his back just in time to start his first song of the week. Nice job.
They scatter throughout the venue chanting the beginning of "I Get Almost Everything," finally coming together on the stage in time to really get this song to a climax. I want a wireless unit now, damn it. Nevermind that, The Mae Shi came and showed everyone how it needs to be done. Constantly moving around and trying to keep the crowd involved. (It's 1:30pm on Wednesday... ok, so it was me and about twenty other people) Small fits of spastic energy sprinkled here and there. Sweet pop melodies that tickle your ears into making your lips mimic the sounds. Mmm.... that's good.
Here's what the Fader blog had to say about it:
"They climbed around on the bleachers, their pants fell off and they yelled their balls off. Oh and they played musical instruments. Really loudly, which is always good. They kind of sounded like Man Man on Sparks Plus which is apt since one or two of them were drinking Sparks Plus at 1:30pm aka You'll Be In Jail Later Brunch. The crowd is still filing in, so it was kind of funny that dudes were yelling/singing almost exclusively to/at FADER staff as we were standing up front, but they didn't fail to give it their full effort nonetheless."
After grabbing my freshly setup guitar and all the perks that came with it, I moved on through the rest of the day playing shows with my band and not catching much else. Til We're Blue or Destroy played just before us later that night and sounded amazing. If you've only listened to their songs on MySpace or elsewhere on the internet, you're not getting the full spectrum here. The amount of energy radiating from the stage with that many members is obviously felt physically - like it's pushing you backwards at times.