White Rabbits at Antone's - Photo by Stacy Schwartz
Stacy Schwartz's SXSW Day 3 wrap-up, part 2
6:15ish – Back to hotel assuming they will have room service. I am wrong. I am sad. I whine a little and think about the offerings from P.F. Chang’s across the street. Meh. I do not want Chinese food. I just want a sandwich. Is that so wrong? I snack on a granola bar and some trail mix while dreaming of turkey and Swiss. My main goal is to finish editing enough photos for the Pitchfork guys of their day party before I am due at Antone’s for Basia Bulat’s show. Bulat is a sweetheart and she and I have corresponded via email for a while. I promised I’d be there.
8:00 – Finally done editing. Kyle Matteson and Andrea Myers have returned to the room and we discuss plans. We all decide to attempt the lineup at Antone’s – Me w/my badge, Kyle w/his wristband, and Andrea with neither. Antone’s is a bit far away, so we begin our walk.
8:30 – The line is so, so, so long and Andrea is immediately denied as a big sign proclaims “badges and wristbands only.” Sigh. Kyle and I wait in line and get in about five minutes later. Not so bad. We spot Bulat across the room and make our way to her. She is with her booking manager and we talk very briefly as Bulat has a set list to write. I move about, surveying the crowd trying to figure out how and where to stand. The crowd is thick with anticipation of Vampire Weekend at 11pm. I maneuver my way to the right side of the stage and am behind only one row of people. They vary in height, but I think I’ll be ok. I strike up good conversation with the guy next to me from New Orleans. I love meeting people from all over the country. Pretty cool stuff.
9:00 – Bulat takes the stage and kills it. She has a bit of difficulty with the sound guys, but still pulls off one hell of a show. She opens with a gospel-ish hymn and the crowd is immediately silenced and overwhelmed by the huge voice coming out of this small woman. Her set includes songs off her latest album, like “Pilgriming Vine,” “In the Night,” “Snakes and Ladders,” and a few others. I am disappointed though as she leaves out “Before I Knew,” one of my favorites. You can check out Bulat when she opens for DeVotchKa at First Avenue in May.
10:00 - Next up is Foreign Born, who I just saw open for St. Vincent at the Cedar Cultural Center last month. They play a tight, energetic set, and I like them a lot. I think this lineup is definitely the best I’ve seen at SXSW so far.
11:00 – Oh boy! Oh boy! The crowd is a bit frenzied. Vampire Weekend bound onstage in their pretty attire, ready to take over the Harvard-educated world. Whee! They play a solid set with tracks off their new album. They don’t talk a ton, but they are personable and seem to be enjoying themselves. I am enjoying them, too! To be perfectly honest, I am sort of a spoiled brat here. I am at an awesome show where I should be hopping about and all I can think about is White Rabbits. Omgwhiterabbits!! It’s. All. I. Can. Think. About. They play at midnight on the opposite end of the festival and I’m all paranoid I won’t get there before they start or I’ll get there but the line will be huge and I won’t get in, or… ahh! After 3 – 4 Vampire Weekend songs this annoying bald-headed huge beast of a drunkard bellows, “Vampire Weekend rooooccckksss!!!” and pushes to the front of the stage right in front of my camera. He says, “just one shot man!” and holds up his point and shoot to get a photo of himself with the band in the background. He’s sweating profusely and squishing the nice girls in front of him. They are pissed. He keeps yelling and sweating and bounding around like a bull in a china shop. He’s flailing his arms around and blocking my view about ¾ of the time. Gah!! Me = pissed off. The band starts playing “A-Punk,” one of my favorite bounce-around tunes and so I have to be happy. I dance around and sing along. However, once that’s done, I move through the crowd towards the door, away from the sweating bald man and toward the rabbit hole.
12:00 – I arrive at Club DeVille and there is only a short line. I get inside and grab two glasses of Sprite. I am still starving, having not eaten yet, and thirsty and need something with sugar. I gulp one down on my way to the stage. Eeeee!! OMGWHITERABBITS!! Matthew and Steve are on stage setting up their gear. I get a nice prime spot and Matthew spots me. He gives me a nice big hug and I am so happy I ditched the other show for this one. Steve says hello and Jamie waves. Sweet. Another photographer I met at Lollapalooza is there as well and he and I talk shit while the band sets up. White Rabbits gets their set going and play great tunes like “The Plot,” “Kid on My Shoulders,” and “As We Go Dancing,” off their album Fort Nightly. Alas, they leave out my ultimate favorite “Sea of Rum” in favor of a few newer songs. White Rabbits just signed to Radiohead’s label this week. Woot! Yay! No more crappy dented van for them hopefully. As their set winds down and I am breathless from dancing and flushed with happiness, I make the executive decision that White Rabbits will be my finale to Friday night. They are coming to Minneapolis in a few months, and I tell Matthew we’d better be on for dinner before the show. He laughs and says that would be sooo much better than road food. Awesome.
12:50 – I head down 6th looking for a sandwich. SANDWICH. Give me a sandwich!! I pass by pizza, brats, tacos and nachos and finally a glaring neon light proclaims “sandwiches!” Hooray! I stop in and order a chicken sandwich to go. I grab my food and head back to the hotel. I get in, put my feet up, and finally eat my meal. It’s satisfying and my legs are much happier. Oof do they hurt. I edit some Basia Bulat and White Rabbits photos, ‘cause I have a compelling need to do so, then bed. Another long day tomorrow.
3:00am – night night.