Sound On Sound Recap: Sunday
We’re a full week out from the incredible inaugural Sound on Sound Festival, and boy, has a lot happened since that blissful last weekend. What I thought would simply be a week of post-fest-depression turned into what I guess will be the next four years of depression and anxiety for the country and the people I love in it. Regardless of that, I’m going to take comfort in writing this recap of past Sunday and maybe I’ll can pretend I’m about tomake that drive out to McDade once more and let my body be cleansed by rain and punk rock…
Go back to happier times and read on for my recap of day 3 of Sound on Sound.
Tired from two days of heavy festin’ the days before, I started out my Sunday with a little bit of Austin’s own Sailor Poon. This group was exactly what I needed to wake me up. Their loud rock was refreshing– they’ve got that carefree punk aesthetic that screams both slacker and brings up hyper important issues all at once. If you’ve yet to take a listen to their sound, you should certainly catch them around town.
Next I tumbled through the forest to catch the last few songs from Psychic Twin, which turned out to be quite the different set than I had just left. Two ladies grooved around the stage, busting out electro pop beats and encouraging the growing crowd to dance with them. They seemed genuinely pleased and grateful for the way the crowd was warmly accepting them, and offered to buy us all tequila shots.
Shortly afterward, I walked out of the forest and over to the Dragon’s lair stage, my weekend companion greeting me as I walked through the stagnant and repulsively humid air. My weekend companion, of course, was the one and only Dragon (tentatively named Eric as homage to Death Grips Eric who was trying to get his mom to let him see his favorite band) greeted me when I approached. I sipped my Eastciders and commented on the dark clouds, trying to decipher if they were coming or going. Leopold and His Fiction took the stage and after a few pop songs some droplets of rain started coming down. They continued, the crowd suited up for rain and we all grooved along with the band.
Halfway through what was going to be the band’s last song, the winds shifted heavily and the rain started coming down hard, and a sound guy came out the wings doing the kill it motion. We took refuge under a small renn-faire chapel and waited for the rain to lessen. It didn’t and soon we got the notification and were told to evacuate the grounds. After an hour of sitting in my car, I took my soggy ass to the nearest gas station where my phone had service. Another hour later, I got in my car, convinced that they would surely call off the rest of the day, to receive the glorious notification that the doors were reopening! Alas! Not all hope was lost!
When we got back inside the gates, the rain had not really lessened. I proceeded to get drenched despite my rain jacket and a little chilled as music didn’t resume for another two hours (who can blame them, all the gear would have been ruined if bands had tried to actually play through the rain). A little dismayed that the conversation with Pussy Riot got cancelled, my spirits were lifted when legendary Thursday took the main stage. The frontman apologized, as ‘everything was broken, so it’s going to sound shitty, but we still want to play for you.’ The PA’s seemed to be entirely out, so the band started their set with just side-fills for sound. However, through the second track Eric the dragon, one of the gods of SOS managed to pull one out and the PAs kicked back on. Thursday proceeded to thrash through their emo-core set, the wet crowd eating it up and moshing along to the old tunes. Every time the front man leaned into the crowd, you could hear everyone singing their hearts out.
I wandered around some more, got some sustenance and alcohol and got back to the main stage just in time to catch Courtney Barnett, who would close out my festival. I’ve caught this band a few times before, but this time, I got a new level of confidence from CB3. Of course, leading lady maintains her stance, hair falling in her eyes as she shreds guitar and ripped through hits like “Elevator Operator” and “Pedestrian at Best.” However, Courtney Barnett really shined through her rendition of “Kim’s Caravan,” a slower number off her debut full length. The simple song let her earnest voice resound through the cool evening:
“We either think that we’re invincible or that we are invisible
When realistically we’re somewhere in between
We all think that we’re nobody but everybody is somebody else’s somebody.”
Retroactively, this song was perfect– hitting me hard in the moment and now resounding more clearly, as it discusses the destruction of our planet and the grief we all are feeling right now.
And that was it– soggy and cold and tired, I reluctantly left prior to Explosions in the Sky’s set, having seen them earlier this year.Props to everyone at Sound On Sound for throwing down a great first festival and for handling the inclement weather situation fairly well. I’m already looking forward to next year’s fest– as the medieval aesthetic meshed too well with the excellent lineup. Well done, well done indeed.