Sound on Sound Recap – Saturday

sos-saturday-106Yesterday, you got to hear RayRay’s thoughts on the festival, with his Friday highlights. Today, you’ll get me talking about my Saturday highlights, along with a few thoughts on the festival as a whole. It’s interesting to look back on it with the perspective of the last few days occurrences, so if it seems a touch idealistic…so be it.

In looking at a festival, there are a ton of ways of looking at things, but you really have to delve into the experience as a whole to make a decision on whether or not the fest was worth it or not. As a fella who attends a good amount of fests, I feel pretty qualified at looking at Sound on Sound’s successes/failures.

I’ve got tons of positives in my mind, so let’s toss out my complaints first. Okay, parking was not ideal, especially with only one way in and out. I didn’t have any problems as we showed up early every day, but I know that was really the one complaint from others. The music offered was good, but not great; it was like a greatest hits of Fun Fest, with some new acts tossed in. They managed to keep it diverse as per usual, and I understand budget constraints with a new festival, so while I’m picky, I shouldn’t complain as there was plenty to see. Also, perhaps some improved lighting and signage, for safety purposes. But, aside from parking, which I’m not wholly sure can be helped, those other issues are struggles for a new festival…on a learning curve, if the biggest complaint was parking, things could be a whole lot worse. Also, no Taco Dragon.

Now on to the good stuff. I mean, the whole experience was good. Recently festivals have become a bit of a “bro” scene, catering to larger audiences and mass production; that attitude leaves a lot to be desired for my tastes, leaving me to cower in the press area more often than not. At SoS, I wanted to be about. The towering trees, the occasional weirdo dressed in knights clothing and the various shops all created a sense of wonderment that brought joy to the whole festival; I think I journeyed about in awe most of the time, grinning like a school boy. Also, while the line-up wasn’t perfect, they picked bands people adored, and every person I talked to was passionately awaiting their favorite act; the people weren’t there to just hang about, they were there to watch music…that’s not always the case. The whole weekend felt more intimate than in recent years, like going on a huge camping trip with all your best friends, and for that I’m grateful.

We got there early enough to catch Moving Panoramas, who continue to impress, especially with a fourth member added to flesh out the sound.

Jumped over to catch Austin’s hottest band, US Weekly, who I think demonstrated precisely why they’re being adored across the city.

Radioactivity did their job, played the hits and played them fast.

Wild Nothing and Small Black played back to back sets of dreamy pop that continue to captivate. If I picked a winner between the two, I’d go with Small Black…sounds like someone’s been taking singing lessons.

Loving the Dead Milkmen seems so easy at this point. They played a great deal of the old hits, ran about on the stage and I sang along to every one of them.

Then came my favorite act of the whole weekend, Deerhunter. I don’t know what it is about that band, but the sound was incredible, just as the night began to creep in behind them; it was the perfect setting and the perfect way to enjoy a Saturday night.

In the end, I think the whole of the fest was a success. There’s always going to be tweaks and improvements, but for a festival just beginning (and with a limited budget), I don’t think anyone would be disappointed in what was provided. If you had issues…please let the SoS team know…they’ve been super responsive from what I’ve seen…illustrating yet again they’re trying to replicate the success they had with that other fest, may it RIP.

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