St. Patrick’s Day at SXSW 2011 was unlike any March 17th I had ever experienced. The Deli Magazine teamed up with Brooklyn Lager, GAT5, and Black Knight Productions to showcase thirty bands, eight of which I was proud to present, on three stages at Hotel Vegas/Volstead Lounge in the heart of downtown Austin at the Brooklyn BBQ. My day began with The Gay Blades, who are becoming a household name. Unfortunately, the set was cut short by a loss of diesel power. The crew quickly replenished the generator for the outdoor stage, but TGB unleashed some mega-phone free-styling, a resourceful and entertaining solution to the unexpected events.
Fueled up, Fan Tan (top picture) hit the stage, while speed metal, Goes Cube, shook the indoor “Dive” stage. Bouncing between stages, I encountered Butcher Bear Soundsystem with Charlie who included a man in a yellow bear suit, pretty painful for the 86 degree Texas temperature. Following the plush performer was reggae-tinged rock quartet, Deadbeat Darling, special guests, fashionable and punky The Vandelles (pictured below), and ethereal Dream Diary.
As the sun set, the crowd grew and feasted on BBQ , enjoying on-the-house beverages (during the last quarter of ever hour), and one of NYC’s top artists, soothing, bass-driven, The Dig, outside, while piano accompanied poet, Emily Greene (pictured below), played the acoustic “Volstead” stage, and The Wicked Tomorrow’s sultry sound stopped attendees in their tracks.
Continuing the rock duo them, The Courtesy Tier echoed throughout the “Dive” space, followed by guitar-heavy Blackbells, and simultaneously, in the backyard, Black Taxi drew the crowd into a dancing frenzy. The ear-catching melodies and moving vocals of Brooklyn trio, Apollo Run, pulled the audience indoors before the last, but not least, dynamic and rhythmically complex decibel., closed the BK BBQ with a bang, literally, as the duet landed in a pile atop the drum kit. All in all, the day was a memorable and proud twelve hours for New York music. - Meijin Bruttomesso