We’re Not Dead Yet
There has been a lot of talk recently about the scene and venues and closings and doom with gloom for good measure. +1 and I went out for an evening of music to hang with some friends and get our sweaty dance party on. At the beginning of the day, the two shows hadn’t sold out, but by mid-afternoon both the Tanlines show outside at Red 7 and the Starfucker show on the main stage at The Mohawk had sold out. That is kinda nuts given the heat, the lack of students and the summer doldrums that usually wreak havoc on venues. Yes, we got a big time batch of beats, friends and sweat.
Read on for a few more comments about us, the bands and photos-a-plenty…
Let’s get silly, people.
Yes, I get some love from the venues we frequent and being around early to see the lines outside each venue lends a little time to chit-chat with our people. Impressions you get from the street is that things are good. Right now, the biggest single thing that could hurt us is the greed of some of the landowners. I just want every club owner to go into negotiations with pictures of “The Main” being really empty all but two weeks a year. How has that worked out for the owners at 6th and Red River? But hey, it is their property. They can do what they want. But what kind of venue could handle a doubled rent from the last rate increase? They would need nightly revenue, a few big enough events to pay the bills and massive SxSW revenue. Would that be a bar? Restaurant? Venue? All of the above? I’m not against that, but we do need places to get our jams. We know Holy Mountain is out. Apparently, Red 7 is a see-saw of hot and cold negotiations. I am hoping for the best for Red 7 because while many have their grievances with late set times or skillfully maintained dive bar bathrooms, there are some really nice people behind the bar and stamping your hand. I have seen some great shows with some great friends and collected many memories.
On to the bands…
Starfucker had a great crowd. Getting through to take photos was a series of invites, like each fan was an ambassador. Their sound continues to evolve. I will say that they are a better band. It is easier for the band to sound big. From the long form dance party digital anthems to the songs that really fragments of other jams but are beloved just the same. Oh, it was hot. Heavy heat. They rattled off song after song, seemingly wanting to get through the hits and show off new material. I reckon they sold plenty of merch; I saw records and posters being guarded in the crowd and a few days later, they posted a question to the intarwebs about screen-printing to have shirts for the rest of the tour.
By the time we got the Red7, it was damn near packed. A few were still lined up outside for will call or to ask passers-by if they had tickets to sell. In fact, we got pinged on twitter about how to get tix. Answer, don’t wait – buy early, buy often. Tanlines has added two touring band members; a multi-instrument guy on guitar most of the time and a live drummer. It is completely rad. I love when the Macbook is replaced by *gasp* actual sounds. Sure, there are tracks, but they only bring it all together, backing and not fronting. Vocals were solid, banter was as witty as I recall. +1 was thrilled and about the only thing I can complain about was the foursome of selfie professionals that decided they needed more room for photos they will never share. …and one of the four apparently decided my camera bag was thirsty. Oh well. We were sweaty and we danced. Past life thing.
We’re not dead yet. Let this be a lesson. Buy tix. Have fun. Be an ambassador.