The official Day One began at Emo’s with Japandroids and Titus Andronicus for the Brooklyn Vegan showcase and the afternoon sessions finished with tallboys in the sun watching Monterrey’s XYX.
The stuffy attendance at 2p.m. at Emo’s is a dark cloud for those who are not RSVP savvy this week. It’s Day One and Austin is officially infested, which only means further claustrophobia as the week drags on. Titus Andronicus came out swinging with a couple tracks from The Monitor, giving us a celebratory reason to drink in the afternoon. The vegan food was bar-b-que coconut meat, collard greens and pickles – how do vegans survive the day? I needed another waffle and chicken taco not minutes after my health-nut cup. GZA canceled, so I jetted.
The Fader Fort is ridic-ulous. Simply put, there’s SXSW and then there’s this other mini-fest going on at The Fort, which is vender heavy and feels like an exclusive Camp Nowhere, so don’t shed those wristbands – if that’s your scene. Free Energy did its free-wheeling thing, rocking hard and having a ball plus a biscuit. I left early, vibing an attitude like “this place is dead, anyway,” only to miss the special guests Nas and Damian Marley. Shucks.
XYX shredded through its set at Cheer-Up Charlie’s (formerly Ms. Bees, for the vets of SXSW who are still lost). Last time I saw XYX on tour, the set was riddled with technical difficulties. This set ripped on without a hitch and settled my longing for unbridled raw power from XYX. The showcase was primarily for Mexico bands, but ended early due to border complications for the closing act.