SXSW 2008 Day 1 Recap

SXSW 2008 - John McNicholas

03/19/2008 – SXSW Day 1 Recap – SXSW is always a mix of insanity, inspiration, and endurance. So it’s been customary for me to fly out there super early on Wednesday morning so I barely make it to the Yard Dog in time for my set at the BAAMO showcase. Mission accomplished. After my morning flight got delayed I arrived at the Yard Dog about 8 minutes before I was supposed to start playing.

SXSW 2008 - Ed Harcourt

I had a fun set, I played an extra song or two and then settled in for the rest of the show. The Ditchflowers sounded fantastic, as did Ed Harcourt and everyone else. It was a great time and the food was top notch as always.

Next I headed down to the convention center, picked up my badge and my big bag of swag and headed over to the Fader Fort. I caught a few cool tunes from YACHT before heading over to Stubb’s for the R.E.M. showcase.

SXSW 2008 - Johnathan Rice

It’s not typical that I spend an entire evening in one venue, but I didn’t want to miss R.E.M., so I stuck it out and checked out all the bands that were on the bill before them. Summerbirds in the Cellar were bombastic and thick with pre-recorded tracks, broken amps, and video screen behind them. Jonathan Rice was great despite a loose cannon guitar player, really enjoyed his tunes. Next up, Papercranes were OK, but the performance seemed a bit contrived. Dead Confederate, a local Georigia band with a swirling Hammond B-3, and a plodding vibe.

SXSW 2008 - R.E.M.

Finally R.E.M. hit the stage and the place went nuts. They sounded great and I loved the new tunes. I think their new CD is going to be great.

SXSW 2008 - The Lemonheads

The weather turned cold, so I headed out before their encore was over and stumbled upon The Lemonheads playing their album, It’s a Shame About Ray in it’s entirety. They sounded awesome.

SXSW 2008 - The end of  day 1

Day 1 was in the books. I checked into my crappy hotel and passed out. (MORE PHOTOS)

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