Woody’s Best Sets, Surprises and Highlights of SxSW 2010

by Woody on March 29, 2010

The Local Natives at SxSW 2010

Four days, miles walked, countless venues, endless street food and somewhere in the vicinity of 45 bands witnessed. Somewhere in the middle of that, we also threw a pretty damn good party.

Best Sets of Each Day

Wednesday – Joe Pug:
His set at the Paste party was awesome. Although I pretty much know all the lyrics by now, I still find myself hanging by his every word.

Joe Pug – The Sharpest Crown

Thursday – Local Natives:
After enduing a miserable set of music by The Smith Westerns, The Local Natives were majestic. At one point Shirk turned to me and showed me his goose bumps. Oz almost cried. They were that good.

Local Natives – Sun Hands

Friday – The Low Anthem:
After listening to Ben Knox Miller’s interview with our sponsor, Manifest Digital, I not only think he should be playing music but should be running the business as well.

The Low Anthem – Charlie Darwin

Saturday – The Maldives:
I saw The Black Keys later that day, but I had seen them countless times before. No surprises there. The nine-piece alt-country outfit from Seattle called The Maldives was better than I could have imagined. Get a seat on the bandwagon before its too late.

The Maldives – Tequila Sunday

Top Surprise of Each Day

Wednesday – Carolina Chocolate Drops:
A modern black string band mesmerized a crowd full of white indie hipsters. They did a killer cover of Blu Cantrell’s “Hit Em Up Style.”

Thursday- Peter Wolf Crier:
Tremendous. Seeing them live really gives you a further appreciation of their music. Look for their Jagjaguwar debut Inter-Be. It’s going to be killer.

Peter Wolf Crier – Crutch and Crane

Friday – Trampled By Turtles:
The 5 piece bluegrass outfit got the Lucero party off to a rousing start. Already legends in their native Minnesota, they are doing some heavy touring this year. Make sure to check them out.

Saturday – Grand Hallway:
Wedged in between two of my must-see sets (The Moondoggies & The Maldives), this 8 or 9 piece orchestral pop band crushed it. Oz and I were floored. Bonus points for lead singer Tomo Nakayama jumping in with The Maldives and playing percussion.

Grand Hallway – Raindrops

Other Highlights

* Having The Mother Hips play our party. Been a fan of these guys for 15 years and having them play our party was simply surreal.

The Mother Hips – White Falcon Fuzz

* Lucero Family Picnic at Red Eyed Fly, where the bands mingled with the fans. We met a ton of nice people there who we will hopefully see again. The whole night felt more like a party with friends than a concert. At one point my buddy Jefe flagged me over to do a shot with Ben Nichols. When I gagged on my whiskey shot like a pussy, Ben offered me his Coke. It was like that Mean Joe Greene commercial with Coke – only different.

* There is not a band alive that gets more joy in playing than The Henry Clay People. They are truly having the times of their lives and TBD Records is one lucky label to have snagged them.

* Hanging with the guys from Deep Dark Woods.

The Deep Dark Woods – Charlie’s (Is Coming Down)

* Seeing The Morning Benders play “Excuses” live.

The Morning Benders – Excuses

* “We’re a punk band. I am sure it will sound fine.” Patrick Stickles of Titus Andronicus before their set at Live Republic. I am late to the party of these guys but they are phenomenal. Here’s a great story on them at SXSW.

Titus Andronicus – A More Perfect Union

* Austin as a whole. What a great city. If I could live anywhere else other than Chicago, I’d be living there.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

boyhowdy March 29, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Jealous as all get-out – the body’s too old for that sh!t, though my heart is light – but not at all surprised that the Carolina Chocolate Drops mesmerized the crowd. They’re good on record, but live: amazing. More of their live work, including that Blu Cantrell cover, here, & likely even better, now that you can visualize it.

David H. March 30, 2010 at 8:12 am

Well, we couldn’t make it to SXSW but we did get to see the two of your highlights at Birds on a Wire Fest last weekend. Joe Pug and The Maldives are definitely awesome.

oz March 31, 2010 at 6:08 am

Good list. Grand Hallway was a really nice surprise on the final and most hungover day of SxSW and The Maldives were amazing.

I had a good chat with Deer Tick’s lead singer at that Lucero party. I don’t think he said a word, but I’m pretty sure that I told all the things I’d do to him if I weren’t hetero.

Local Natives remains the most memorable set for me. Futurebirds outside in the freezing cold was also a big highlight for me.

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