SXSW '10: Ice Cold Metal: Liturgy, Touche Amore, Howl, Iron Age @ Red 7, 1pm, 3/20/10

What the hell, Texas. You give me sunshine and 70 degree weather for two days and you decide to make my final day terrible by waking me up to a rainstorm at 5am, and then becoming so cold and windy that you blow my motel door open while I’m brushing my teeth in my underwear. Awesome.

Then, I could not get a cab at my hotel to save my life, so I walked 3 miles in the 42 degrees, 40 mile an hour winds to downtown. It sounded like a good idea at the time.

When I finally got to Red 7, my hair was a retarded windblown mess and I think my nose was running all over my face. To add insult to injury, the first band I wanted to see, Liturgy, was playing the outdoor stage. So I joined a smattering of miserable looking metalheads who were already drinking beer at 1pm, even though I couldn’t even think about touching something cold.

It didn’t look like the weather bothered Liturgy at all. In fact, the general vibe of their music really fit the cold and the way I felt. I liked their Sonic Youth meets black metal sound. There’s something very familiar about the vocalist….I can’t figure it out but I got this weird deja vu thing. They used their time on the stage wisely- they played, then said their name between every song.

SXSW 2010

Afterward I ran inside to warm up, and caught the end of Touche Amore, where people were going absolutely bonkers. I had walked too far into it and had to immediately bail when punches were being thrown literally all around me.

Back outside, Howl was about to go on, and I watched the vocalist rubbing his hands together. Yeah, I don’t get how these people can play in this cold. I could barely type things into my phone. He started out by thanking us for coming out in this weather, and actually said, “I’m kind of a pussy”. And then they began to shred and growl. I really liked this set. They have a rockin’ girl on guitar, with really cool hair. I’m not even sure if I had heard of Howl before- I just have a fondness for the name since it’s a BRMC album. The vocalist had some other funny banter- like saying how the guy manning merch and him get high and listen to The Beatles and talk about ‘when did they become their fathers’. I like discovering that metal musicians listen to unexpected things. They played several songs from their upcoming album. and they were all really good.

SXSW 2010

SXSW 2010

not from this show:

Unfortunately, Bison B.C. were playing outside the same time Iron Age played inside. I chose Iron Age because I’ll see Bison B.C. in May at the Missing Link show. I really loved Iron Age when I saw them open for Baroness last year. It was great to see them on their home turf, but man, what a weird set. I tried to get close, but then remembered what I saw go down in the pit earlier and backed off a little. Then I looked over and there was Damian from Fucked Up standing next to me, and he goes up on stage. He introduced the set, giving major props to the band. And as soon as they began all hell broke loose.

SXSW 2010

People jumped on stage and dove off, the hardcore dancers were throwing people around, and some of those up front were trying to bail- some of which I suspect were family of the band. A couple guys stepped in front of me to try to block it but even they got thrown around, so I had to take off to the far side. I could see this one particular photographer hold his camera close, take a running start and thrash to the front, take a few pics, and turn around and scurry out. He did this at least twice. Strange maneuver, dude. Honestly, I thought about getting in it just to get warm.

After hearing ‘Dispossessed’ live again, it was stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

not from this show:

Afterward, I decided I was miserable and had to go back to my room for a bit, so I cut my day show short.

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