Monday, July 16, 2018

SXSW starts early and rocks hard

Posted by teibs On March - 18 - 2009

datarock@ZackTeibloom The SXSW music festival doesn’t technically start up until Wednesday. I saw four bands at three clubs, spending two dollars on four vodka tonics Tuesday night. I think it’s safe to say the festival is well underway.

After an incredibly non-existent line at the convention center to pick up my hologram wristband, I met up with my festival godmother, @thisisnotapril, to trek over to Gruv to see “Wayside Drive.” It was the only bad move of the night.

If I wasn’t sitting in the front row of the tiny club (with less than 20 people in attendance) and hadn’t talked to the band right before they went on, I would have left after the second song.

The three piece was dull, uninspiring wishy-washy rock with shoddy, badly-mixed vocals. I wish the girl bassist would have sung more than just one song. She was the lone bright spot.

I met up with @HalleyClaire and @ChrisinAustin for some Sonic & sandwiches before heading to Beauty Bar for their open bar showcase. We were still getting our free drinks as The Mixed Reaction took the stage. Halfway through their first song, I knew something special was going on. The five-piece Austin band was completely in their element, so I got two free drinks (felt obligated to tip $2) and settled into a spot in the second row. Harmonies between the lead singer, guitarist and drummer drove the sound of the young band.

A middle-aged Hispanic woman danced wildly, bragging to anyone who would listen that the drummer was soon to be her son-in-law. She later had a high five FAIL with another audience member that only Seacrest could sympathize with. The rest of the crowd grew to love The Mixed Reaction with the lead guitarists’ flourishes and the panache of the front-man. I can’t even find this band on MySpace, Google, or Wikipedia. What a crime.


Kid Sister has been called "Kanye's Protoge." Thankfully, she's much sweeter than him in person.

As good as The Mixed Reaction was, the open bar was over and it was packed, so we headed to check out Kid Sister and Datarock. Kid Sister is best known for her single “Pro Nails” with Kanye, but thankfully had none of his posturing and was a free-wheeling party-starter tonight. With a hot DJ behind her, she the crowd up with classic 90s hip-hop like “Jump Around,” and dropped smooth originals on us for a hot with her entourage of MCs.

The highlight of the night was undoubtedly the high-energy dance party from Norwegian’s own Datarock in their trademark Richie Tennenbaum red jumpsuits. They describe their infuences as influences as Devo, Talking Heads and Happy Mondays. Yes, please. 

Datarock’s “Fa Fa Fa” is practically the EA Sports Anthem, having appeared in NHL 08, FIFA 08 and NBA Live 08. Their sound cut out twice in the first 20 minutes, stopping the crowd from getting fully enveloped in their performance.

Once they overcame the technical difficulties, it was a full-on dance party. OK it wasn’t that crazy, but at least it was from where @EricaDiaz and I were, busting moves and getting sweaty to the dismay of the Peyton Manning haircutted fool who was hanging all over my first Austin friend.

I just pray I get this lucky with timing the rest of SXSW. Cheers to a perfect first night of a festival that hasn’t even started yet.

  • Wayside Drive: 4.3/10
  • The Mixed Reaction 8.7/10
  • Kid Sister 8.4/10
  • Datarock: 9.0/10

3 Responses

  1. halley Said,

    Great start to sxsw. Remember, you have at least five more nights to go. Don’t go too crazy yet…you’ll want to save some endurance for the last nights. I like the rating system. Can you add in a feature where I can rate the bands too?

    Posted on March 18th, 2009 at 2:50 pm

  2. Rob Said,

    That’s a good idea. Readers could just put their ratings in the comments section, but it would be kinda cool if you had a user rating feature.

    Posted on March 19th, 2009 at 10:42 am

  3. Ms. Diaz Said,

    Just read… why am i always late on these things? Zack = BEST dancedance partner =)

    Loved dataROCK, thanks for exposing me to them

    Posted on March 20th, 2009 at 3:03 pm

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