SXSW 2011: The Final Hours. (Riots, Blisters and More!)

I woke up at 3:45 this morning (because why the hell would I want to sleep at that enchanting hour?) and in an effort to avoid any real thinking, occupied myself with tweets from those who were wringing the last bits of life out of SXSW 2011.  As I lay reading their peeps (pleas) from over-crowded bars, dark taxi-less corners and side-stages, I recalled the vacuous feeling that came over me last year as I closed SXSW 2010: “How can it be ending?!”  We shared five long days/nights together drinking, laughing, crying, dancing, scrambling, stumbling and finding hope in the work of so many artists….and now it was over? If you allow yourself to be swept away by the spirit of SXSW (and can ignore/roll-with the tons of B.S. that comes along with it), the end can be as dampening as a minor break-up.

Not surprisingly, the true music lovers forge ahead to the bitter end of SXSW….to the last band…to the last drunk person spilling whiskey in their boots…blisters, dehydration and exhaustion be damned!  As I read my friends’ cries from these final listening places, I  thought of the band that closed my SXSW 2010.  They were incredible musicians with some of the best songs I’d ever heard, and they were as dashing as any men I’d seen all week. In essence, I loved them.  Oddly, the next day I couldn’t remember what or how they played, let alone their band name.  Clearly my adoration came from a place of pure delirium -a celebration of the fact that I had conquered the beast, albeit with wavering acuity.  The closing band was just an accessory to my life at that moment –existing only to play my victory theme.  Selfish? Not really.  After all,  whether it’s to punctuate a moment in life or to score a movie, one of the main purposes of music is to ‘set the scene’, isn’t it?

For your amusement (and to paint a candid picture from the throes of SXSW) I chose a few closing statements from my gaggle of music fiends.  Note how exhaustion, sore feet and unabashed appreciation abound.   I”ll not credit the tweeters, because it’s not really my place to ‘out’ them to my millions of followers….you know.

The Last Peeps from the Wee and Final Hours of SXSW 2011:

“I’m the fun part of a rollercoaster.”

“we need a working fireplace to play Tiptoe live. fire dept said no.” -I love that they asked the fire department.

“Odd Future left us with dirt and beer in our hair and reminded us of seeing a great new punk band. In the best way possible.”

“The floor is going to collapse.” – I like how there is no exclamation point at the end of this. Fact: the floor is going to collapse.

“Odd Future. 10 mins on stage. Stormed off after dissing their sponsor at this showcase. Oh my god. This will be fun to write about.”

“ridiculously tired but that only made tonight’s set more unhinged. long live the chaos that is rock ‘n’ roll. also, goodnight already!”

“Pure wildness for @JeffBrotherhood’s show at Mohawk. As it should be.”

“Serenly lovely tunes from High Higjs seem to be sucking the soreness from my head, legs and feet. Spacious. Nice.”

“Less beer than you thought (none) (@ SPIN Loft on 6th).” -because we needed the address of the place that has NO BEER.

“Deervana. Fuck yea.”

“Deervana just ruined me. Best set of SXSW.”

“Holy blistered feet, Army Navy’s janglicious guitarwork is a pretty perfect way to close out SXSW. Finely crafted pop, timeless.” -I guess Batman and Robin attend SXSW.

“I chose Nightowl Bus over seeing White Wires, which I’m sure I’ll regret at some point but glad to be near a bed now. Night, Austin.” -If White Wires was anything like my closing band last year, this guy made the right choice.

“I’ll also add this is probably my favorite SXSW yet, almost no dud bands….seriously. Until next year, folks.” -ah the drunk, SXSW graduation night love.

“DFA1979 secret reunion debut erupts into chaos, fans storm fence, riot police descend, duo’s legend bolstered.”

“Riot At Death From Above 1979’s Secret Reunion Show At SXSW…!!!”

“Three broken toes, head to the chin, i feel amazing!” -this person hasn’t ‘spoken’ yet this morning….

“We made those two minutes last forever.” -a whole new meaning to speed dating…??

“Sitting down to pee cause my god damn feet hurt” – a boy, obviously. cute. 🙂

“Sleep. Maybe?”

“Home is where I want to be. Pick me up and turn me round.”

….until next year.

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