Day five, continued, and my final assignment for SXSW.
As I've mentioned in previous posts, the life of a concert photographer is seldom a comfortable one. I have to say, though, this was quite a cushy gig. For starters, the chap at the front gate was kind enough to give me a wristband allowing me access to the lounge, so I was able to get food and drinks and somewhere to go to relax between performances. In addition, I had access to the photographers' pit for the first two songs of every act, so there was no need to jostle for a decent position.
The stage itself was built like a giant Doritos vending machine. If you were downtown during SXSW you probably found it towering over you at some point. This place had been completely packed the previous night because of a surprise appearance by Snoop Dogg. Tonight it was slightly less crowded, but still busy nonetheless.
First up, Turquoise Jeep. I'm not quite sure how to describe these guys. They're definitely a parody band, but they play it completely straight. They have all the choreographed dance moves you'd normally associate with a boyband (albeit with a lot more gyrating than usual), but their lyrics are definitely much more risqué. It's all very much tongue-in-cheek (sample lyric - "How you like your eggs? Fried or fertilized?").
After each band had finished their set, they were ushered to a little Maxim / Doritos booth in the lounge, where they were interviewed by a somewhat cartoonishly-proportioned young lady. This was all being filmed, so I assume it was maybe for the Maxim website.
Next up, Chappo.
Before a showcase, if I can, I like to do a bit of research on the bands I'm going to see. In this case, I had become addicted to the song "Come Home" by Chappo, and I was looking forward to seeing them.
I really like the photos I got from their set. Frontman Alex Chappo is another true showman.
When it came time for the Maxim interview, it dawned me that no one was looking at the interviewer directly. I can only assume they didn't want to be caught on film staring at her cleavage.
Just for the record, everyone she interviewed failed in the end, but Alex Chappo is the only one I caught on camera trying to catch a sneaky glance. This photograph below makes me laugh.
Third act of the night, Austin's very own Run DMT.
On camera, DJ sets can often look quite underwhelming, but I think the excellent lighting helped a lot here.
Every Maxim interview had a cringe-worthy moment where our busty interviewer friend would get the interviewees to give their opinions on a new Doritos flavor that they were trying to promote (Doritos were sponsoring the whole event, after all). Pretty much every musician looked suitably horrified when they they were asked to do this, but Run DMT took it in their stride like champs.
The penultimate act of the night were another Austin band, White Denim.
There's been a lot of hype surrounding these guys for a while now, and there was clearly a lot of people excited to see them.
And finally, !!!.
I'd actually seen !!! at a music festival in Japan about five years ago, but I was so far away from the stage I didn't really see what was going on. If I had, I would have realized that Nic Offer is the world's most insanely energetic frontman. The guy is just some kind of relentless dancing machine, whether he's gyrating away at the front of the stage or thrusting his way through the audience (which he did several times throughout the set). A genuine crowd-pleaser, and a great way to cap off the festival.
Until next year!