I had about 10 minutes to spare as I hustled to Rusty Spurs, which is normally a gay bar, to see She Wants Revenge for the second time that day as well as Street Sweeper Social Club– a line up that seemed to by made with me in mind.
On the way, a really cute boy in some band stopped me to invite me to his show the following day, and in the spirit of SXSW, we hugged in the middle of the street. I love it here.
Though I had RSVPed to the event, I had trouble at the door as it was a badge only show. Luckily, I was meeting up with part of the Texas NIN ladies, and they had come much earlier and managed to get in and leave me a +1. The place was pretty packed by the time that I got there- 11pm- but we were able to squeeze in at the side of the stage, which gave a unique view of the set.
The showcase, called AustinRox, featured LA bands and was put on by the Roxy. Saint Motel was on stage, a band that I’ve received a ton of press releases about but had not checked into them. They were really not my thing.
It was interesting to see SWR twice in one day. The setlist may have been the same, but the vibe was totally different. It was also cool to watch them work from almost behind them, and also see the front row’s reaction to the music. Justin and Adam were great to still play to us over on the side of the stage. The sound left a lot to be desired, but I’m so familiar with the music that I can easily fill in what’s missing. Some people got rowdy up in front, and Justin told them to stop or he’d have them kicked out. This is the second time I’ve seen him do this- and I think it’s a nice gesture because, I mean really, moshing to SWR? No. This stuff is about love.
There was a looong break before SSSC, and this was filled with confusion. People around us were going, ‘is Tom Morello really going to be playing…right there?’. Yes. I forget that SSSC is still a underground thing to many, since this is….oh….like my 7th time to see them. The other confusing thing was that an accordion was placed right in front of us. My friend goes, ‘I don’t remember an accordion in any of their songs’, and I said, ‘maybe it’s in a new one?’. Then we saw a new guy in a SSSC-esque uniform. But then I remembered who I was about to see- and by now I know that every time Tom Morello usually brings a surprise. There were a ton of people on the stage setting up, and there looked to be technical difficulties- a guitar was missing a string. Then I saw the guys come out, and then go back. Also, I was trying to make this crazy day end with a perfect score, and I intended to go to a 1am set to finish out my night….and it was pushing 12:15.
But finally it started, and the usual five-some clad in their uniforms jumped on stage, and immediately me and the NIN gals remembered how much fun they are. They started off with a new track, which sounds just like you’d expect. Then they proceeded with their familiar but high energy, fun set- ‘Clap For the Killers’, ‘100 Little Curses’, ‘Paper Planes’, ‘Fight! Smash! Win!’ and ‘The Oath’. My friend, Ronda, and I kept looking at each other going ‘awww….we missed Boots’ dancing!!’ SSSC will always make me feel like something good is about to happen- they kicked off the NIN/JA shows for me and that feeling of the beginning of awesomeness pervades to this day when I see them. Plus, their songs are so fun, it’s one of the only bands I’ll go see and full on do the crowd participation thing. I thought it was funny that even though it’s been a little while, I’m pretty sure I got a ‘really, you again?’ glance. It was so good to see Morello again- he’s one of my favorite musicians of all time and he reminds me of what all a musician can and should be- hardworking, intelligent, and accomplished.
Towards the end of the set, they brought out some members of Anti-Flag and Outernational to play a song with them. The vibe was so totally different that it kind of messed up my flow, though I know that Morello was definitely helping them get some exposure. Plus, there were just way too many people on one stage. But once that was over and they finished up with ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’, it was the perfect jam to give me the energy to go to my final item on my schedule for that day….