Thursday, March 14, 2019

Rosi's SXSW 2019, Day 1

John Dwyer of Oh Sees

Bucket List

Words and pics by Rose Lamela

Austin. People talk about it a lot. They say it's a cool city. Has a great music scene. There are lots of good food trucks to choose from. It's the capital of Texas. The weather there is nice. The people are great.

For this Jersey kid, it was not on my radar until about a few years back. My heart was set on Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco. Haight-Ashbury, Kurt Cobain's house, and keeping it weird in the Pacific Northwest. After that was said and done, there were no immediate plans to update the bucket list.

"You should really go to Austin. You are going to love it," has been a common suggestion.

SXSW became 2019's sole purpose. Music everywhere from morning to night sounds overwhelming to me. It sounds like a pipe dream only a music journalist would talk about. Being part of a journey that puts my boots down in Austin with a music press pass is still a dream. Starting on day 1, the dream began to play out in real time.

I woke up in the morning in a haze. I knew I had to make it out to the airport early and get myself calm enough to get through security with my cameras which dominate my purpose these days. The airport was perfectly aligned with my dreamy attitude, and I was Austin bound.

I was immediately welcomed by Texas hospitality when I arrived. My Airbnb host, Uber drivers, and Uber Pool passengers all wanted me to explore this great city to its fullest. They freely gave me tons of suggestion that would help this trip become something to remember for years to come.

Cooldad and I made it to the conference center to get our passes and geek out a bit about cameras and music. I proudly walked around with my badge and hit up a few places where the press badge holders were hanging out and getting free stuff. We parted ways and I headed to Hotel Vegas to go see a whole bunch of bands.

I was looking forward to seeing Oh Sees as they truly are one of the best bands to see live by far. I hung out and caught a lot of great acts in the meantime. I was able to catch the trancy electronic gist of ANEMONE through to the local Brooklyn sounds of Sharkmuffin. I headbanged to loud screams of Stuyedeyed and laid back to some chiller vibes from Annabelle Chairlegs. Godcaster got me all pumped up right before I headed to the Patio to see my favorite Psychedelic Garage Punk band.

Annabelle Chairlegs

When I walked over to the patio, it was packed. I managed to squeeze into a corner. I love this band but their shows are wild. The crowd surfing and body slamming starts the very second that John Dwyer hits a guitar string. I held on for dear life and managed to get a few shots. The energy was overpowering.

Oh Sees
Oh Sees

Being out on a beautiful Texas night and getting beat down by the drum crashing and guitar squealing of Oh Sees is something that can only be experienced in Austin. The mix of John Dwyer's guitar riffs and the smoke from a nearby burger pit as you see bodies flying in the air made for a great first night in Austin. I'm here. I am finally here. Monday nights will never be the same.

Check out the rest of Rosi's day 1 pics at Flickr.

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