Welcome/SXSW Day 1

Howdy, and welcome to my new blog! I’m gonna give the tour/gig journal thing a shot, and try to document my experiences on the road, in the studio, and elsewhere. Ideally this will be a place I can spam out whenever I please, without the guilt or annoyance of blowing up my friends’ facebook news feeds etc. But I’ll probably just end up linking to every post on facebook anyway…ah well.

This thing may not even get off the ground, who knows…I’ll consider it an experiment in the meantime.

WELL LET’S GET STARTED! IFD is here in Austin to play a couple of SXSW-related shows. We played a party yesterday (more on that later) and have another one later today. The rest of the band heads back home tomorrow, but I’m sticking around until next Tuesday. Later in the week I’m playing bass for the most excellent Jon Langford and Skull Orchard, one of his 34 concurrent bands. I’ve only been to Austin once (to watch Gremlins at the Alamo Draft House with MC Chris) and even spending just one night here was a rad time.

Setting up the stage

Yesterday’s show was part of the “Power Up!” party, sponsored by Gree (a Japan-based mobile gaming company) and Alternative Press magazine (who featured us in their “bands to watch” edition last year). The party was set up along the side of the beautiful Palmer Center, where the ‘Screen Burn Arcade’ event, a pretty huge gaming convention, was happening inside. Austin’s recently crappy weather streak broke just as we were pulling in, and it became a beautiful day for a show.

FOH and Monitors utilized these Soundcraft digital boards, which I hadn't seen before. Slick design.

The show itself was shaky at times. We had some tech issues right from the outset (Chad’s wireless pack had a dead battery, Bill’s keyboard was losing connection at times, holding up the start of a couple things), and the party atmosphere had a much different dynamic than a dedicated show, but I think we did fine all things considered.

Oh yeah…during the opening DJ’s set I had to check on something with the FOH sound guy. I ran back to the tent, and lo and behold dude was sleeping on the console. Upon being awoken (with a really awkward ‘hey man…?’) his eyes were BLAZED. I can only hope we sounded okay…

Motion City Soundtrack

Motion City Soundtrack were the headliners here. I haven’t listened to them much, but they are an excellent band. Super tight, great sounds, and while I’m no pop punk connoisseur I really dig the songwriting. Justin’s voice was right on – he’s got a high range that cuts through but it doesn’t have that whiny quality that turns me off from a lot of pop punk type stuff. We hung out with them afterwards and they were great guys, too.

Speaking of hanging out – we all went out to this Hawaii-themed bar (complete with outdoor beach volleyball court!) and, just as we were starting to wrap up, some dude went sprinting out the front door. Apparently this dude was trying to drink-and-dash. Everyone in the place ran out to the parking lot, where dude was trying to drive out (poor drink-dash technique if you ask me). People were standing in front of the car, banging on the hood and windows, and the car was pretty much stuck. Eventually one of the bartenders ran up, jumped on the hood, and gave the windshield a BRUTAL stomp. Pretty much spider-webbed the whole glass. I guess that was punishment enough, as the crowd got out of the way enough for the car to pull out. Crazy….so we got the hell out of there and that was essentially the end of the night.

Austin's beautiful skyline, captured on my awful phone camera.

I’ll try to stay up on my gigs and criminal activity sightings throughout the week so stay tuned!

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