SXSW Music 2011 Day 2: Part 1 - Full Metal Texas
Band Photo: Hull (?)
After my struggles to stay awake the previous night, I slept in late so I wouldn’t be exhausted for the rest of SXSW.
I made it out to an afternoon session “Website? Get Real. You Need A Web Empire.” It was a decent talk about not only the band’s website as a central hub, but all of the social media and mobile presence that bands should work on to build their audience. There were some tips given on marketing and SEO and various related topics as well, but overall, I felt the title was a little misleading. They discussed some services such as cashmusic, bandcamp, and Topspin as well. It was an ok discussion overall, but I only learned a few tidbits here and there that I didn’t know already.
From there, I was headed over to Emo’s once again. On the way, I ran into San Francisco violin, cello and drums trio Judgement Day playing acoustically at a street corner. I stopped to shoot a few photos and hear a song, bought a CD and then was on my way. I hoped to catch them amped the following night at a proper show.
Full Metal Texas was the big day show, and it was alternating between the front room and larger back stage (I could be mistaken which is front and back, really, as there are entrances on both streets). I walked in at the very end of a band’s set. Hull was up next, and it was my second time seeing them. I really enjoyed their post-metal/jam style segments and technical riffs/leads when they throw them into the mix. Nothing about the set stuck out to me, but it was as enjoyable as the first time I saw them and made me want to check out their studio material.
While the next band was setting up, I ventured to the other stage. Immediately upon entry, I noticed the average age had dropped about 10-15 years from the other room I was in. No band was playing yet, but The Word Alive was setting up. I expected the worst, but I stuck around for a bit to see for myself and get some photos. Their fashion was entirely not my thing, looking like today’s emo take on goth with all black hair and clothes, but that horrible hair style that is in style for the younger generation now. To my surprise, the music wasn’t that bad, however, sounding a bit like Killswitch Engage at times - some aggressive metalcore with clean-sung singalong choruses. I stuck around for a few songs until the crowd began packing in a little tight and bouncing up and down. Then a hardcore dancing pit with a half dozen wannabe ninjas opened up in the middle of the floor and I decided it was time to leave, fearing for both my camera and self control.
When I returned to the smaller room, Trap Them was nearly ready to get started. I’ve heard some of their studio material and it didn’t do a lot for me. But I was pleasantly surprised with their live show. I expected a lot of extreme hardcore with in your face screaming, but the band sounded a little dialed down and focused on the grooves more than I’d expected. A few songs in, Trap Them played a song that had a more crossover punk/thrash feel, which I really enjoyed. There were a few more of those to come, which made the set especially memorable since I’m a sucker for good crossover thrash. In the rest of their more hardcore/metalcore material, the breakdowns were not overabundant and were well-timed even. Trap Them was definitely one of the bands that most surprised me at SXSW and I plan on checking out their new album.
I didn’t bother going to the other stage in between sets and waited patiently for YOB, who had a lot of buzz at SXSW. Again, I’ve heard their studio material, but was not blown away. But I figured YOB’s style of doom would translate well to the live setting, and that it did. Vocalist Mike Scheidt stated matter of factly, “4 songs in 40 minutes,” and the band began their set. Again, I couldn’t tell you the song names, as I’m terrible with song names anymore. But with the bass jacked up pretty loud, the band churned through those four songs of psychedelic doom. The band members weren’t particularly lively on stage, but it didn’t matter, as the crowd was compelled to headbang to the doomy grooves for the entire set, as if in a trance. Those forty minutes felt like twenty and the set was over seemingly too soon. Luckily, YOB would be playing again that night as well.
That wrapped up the day show, but the night shows were to start just a few hours later. (to be continued...)
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