Saturday, March 15, 2008
SXSW - day 3
Friday we camped out at the Pitchfork party from beginning to end. A stellar line-up alternated between the inside and outside stages every half hour. The temps were in the 90s, but Emo's offered free hydration options and more importantly, lots of shade.
High Places started off the day to a relatively sparse crowd at noon. Too bad because they were one of two great discoveries of the day. Think Animal Collective, with a more dancable beat.
The other revelation of the day goes to Swedish pop singer Lykke Li. Her songs were a rush of pure sugary pop, delivered with a magnetic stage presence that had the audience swooning. She's a crossover success waiting to happen.
Fuck Buttons will be blamed for any permanent hearing loss I may have suffered this week. I'm sure they would take that as a compliment and rightfully so. Their brand of Eno-inspired drone was hypnotic and driving. When the dust settles, I'm betting that Bon Iver's several performances this week will figure among the most talked-about of the entire festival. Justin Vernon's album is heartbreaking in its solitude, but here in a three-piece band, his songs brilliantly translate into something new altogther. They won over the crowd instantly...Vernon even had hipsters participating in an irony-free sing-along. It was my favorite set of the week. Love the album, but I wasn't sure what to expect out of Atlas Sound in a live setting. After seeing them twice this week, I can tell you that Bradford Cox sends out a assured and surprisingly jammy vibe that was a perfect remedy for the hot and the tired among us. And he's just such a jovial, witty fella. I don't understand any of the controversy around him. Another highlight of the week, Yeasayer played a thrilling set near the end of the day. Their drum-circle energy is contagious. And in case anyone cares, 2080 is still one of my favorite songs.