Oh, the Day Two Blues…Because of working late the night before, I got off to a later start. Thursday is always the busiest day during SXSW because it’s when the keynote speaker…speaks! It’s an early session (11am) so people get down there super early, which translates into NO PARKING later in the afternoon. I drove around for an hour before I finally found somewhere to park. This not only sucked because I was stuck in my car for all that time, but I also ended up missing my friend from New York’s band. BOO!! I still met him up at The Blind Pig (where they played) and we just hung out for about an hour and chatted. It was cool catching up with a NYC connection! He had to join his band for an interview, so I took that opportunity to skedaddle out of there to go check out Fitz & The Tantrums at the Stub Hub Live Party at Old School. I got there just a bit early, but they started a little late, so I ended up standing around for what seemed like forever…something I absolutely HATE to do!! But, I must admit it was completely worth the wait. It wasn’t a big room, but it certainly became a very crowded room. There were repeat audience members (like me) and several newbies. One of the greatest parts about this for me was watching how the band won over these newbies. The crowd started off lukewarm, but by the middle of the set EVERYONE was dancing and getting very into the music. The top dogs in the band, Noelle & Fitz, were so full of energy that it just oozed out into the crowd and seeped into our souls! Their whole performance was extremely infectious. These guys that were standing behind me and had never seen them perform before were having the greatest time. So fun! There was one passage where the keyboardist just went OFF!! I mean, he looked like he had lost himself completely in his insane solo. It was one of the most fantastic bits of live music that I have ever been a witness to!! INCREDIBLE!! At one point, towards the end of the show, I had looked down for a second and saw a commotion brewing closer to the stage out of the corner of my eye. Then all of a sudden the crowd sort of opened up and someone came flying towards me. I screamed and jumped because I really thought a fight had started. Turns out, it was just Fitz barreling through the audience. Holy crap! This one dude started laughing at me when he saw how I had reacted. It was hilarious. Fitz came back through the audience a little bit more calmly and we just patted him on the back as he passed us to go back on stage. Great moment!
The band sang a couple new songs which translated great in this live setting; they worked very well alongside their better known songs. Their cover of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)” by the Eurythmics NEVER gets old!! The audience participation that this band enlisted was better than any show I’ve been to. They get you dancing, crouching on the floor, waving your arms, singing…it’s a non-stop party. And I felt so lucky to be a part of that for the third time! I’m so happy that they are getting the love they deserve. LOVED this show!! After they were done playing, I had to head over to the Convention Center to start my shift. Once again, I was set to work at Stubb’s…my spot. I knew it would be a crazy night given that the Sound City Players would be performing. Since I had missed Dave Grohl’s keynote speech, I was excited that I would be able to catch just a bit of him at this show. If you’re not familiar with Sound City, it’s the movie that Dave Grohl directed that was based on the recording studio where many legendary artists (Nirvana, Fleetwood Mac, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Cheap Trick, Rick Springfield, etc.) recorded some incredible albums. Dave Grohl was playing backup musician with the rest of the members of Foo Fighters for Eleven, Masters of Reality, Stevie Nicks, Fear, Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick), Rick Springfield, & John Fogerty. WOW!! That is quite a line-up, huh? I wanted to time my break perfectly because I knew exactly who & what I wanted to see. I only got to hear Stevie Nicks & John Fogerty from outside the auditorium; But they both sounded pretty damn good. I stole away for my break while Rick Springfield was playing with the guys. You can only imagine my delight at seeing Dave Grohl up there singing “Jessie’s Girl” with Rick Springfield. Check out this very short video and you can actually hear my delight. lol
I wish I had caught more of the moment, but I was just too excited watching it that I forgot to pull out my phone to record it. I was so happy. But my moment didn’t end there. That song marked the end of Rick Springfield’s segment. To my surprise & delight, the next guys to come out and perform were Corey Taylor (Slipknot), Krist Novoselic (Nirvana), Pat Smear (The Meat Puppets, Nirvana), Rick Nielsen, Dave Grohl & the rest of Foo Fighters. When I say I was excited…I was overjoyed!! OMG!! They sang Cheap Trick songs. Since they’re from the Chicago area, I 100% support them. I was just in heaven. GREAT GREAT night!! Way before I had gone in to the stadium for my break, I had met a young man from Peru. He was on his way into the show, but since he had a camera (no cameras nor press were allowed into the show) he had to step back out of line. He called his friend to come pick up the camera so he could go into the show. She was a bit of a distance away, so he just stood next to me & my co-workers while he waited for her. He turned out to be the sweetest guy. We just talked about why he was in Austin, how he was a musician, etc. It was nice just chatting with him. Finally, his friend arrived and he got into the show. After the show ended, he came up to me and gave me his band’s card. I said, ‘oh, you want me to check out your music.’ He said, ‘well, yeah and keep in touch.’ I’m always hesitant to check out people’s music, only because I have an initial worry that I won’t like it or they’ll just suck. But I was happily impressed by what I heard on his website. The first song was very pretty, but the second one actually gave me a very emotional reaction. I was kinda blown away and I’d like you to be blown away too. So please take a minute to listen to this beautiful song by Wolves As Friends:
And while you’re at it, do yourself another favor and check out the new album they just released, Small Goodbyes. You’ll thank me. The most interesting thing I discovered about this young man is that although he was born & raised in Peru, he does all of his music in English. He speaks near fluent English. He told me he learned a little in school, but mostly he learned it by watching American TV and listening to American music. Go figure. I have to admit, that I ended up having another great night at SXSW. Day Two Blues turned into a smile after all. 🙂