SXSW 2012 - Austin Music Awards

March 25, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

SXSW Music day two!

My assignment for tonight was the Austin Music Awards at the Austin Music Hall. But we'll get to that in a minute...

I was really excited about today because I got to see one of my new favorite bands, Light Asylum. I've been pretty much obsessed with these guys ever since I heard the song "A Certain Person."

I knew that Light Asylum was playing a bunch of shows during SXSW, but they were all at night when I would be on assignment elsewhere. I was resigned to the fact that I probably wasn't going to see them, and this made me very, very sad. The previous day, I had actually met the photographer who was assigned to one of their shows. He was a lovely chap, but that didn't stop me from cursing his name repeatedly within mere minutes of meeting him. However, it appeared that fate (overlooking my childish, jealous temper tantrums) was smiling upon me. I discovered that Light Asylum were playing a free daytime show at Shangri-La, and all was right with the world again.

Being an outdoor, daytime slot, I think that certain visual elements of Light Asylum's regular live show were missing (lasers, smoke machines, etc.). Nonetheless, Shannon Funchess, their frontwoman, is amazing to watch, and I loved every minute of their set.

Shannon Funchess of Light Asylum, SXSW 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OK, on to the Austin Music Awards. Here was the lineup:

  • Quiet Company
  • Joe "King" Carrasco and the Crowns
  • Sixteen Deluxe
  • Carolyn Wonderland
  • Ruthie Foster
  • Christopher Cross
  • Alejandro Escovedo and the Sensitive Boys

I was looking forward to this assignment for a number of reasons. Firstly, the Austin Music Hall is a big venue, and I had access to the photographers' pit in front of the stage. Most of my assignments for SXSW are in tiny venues, and whenever I'm in front of the stage I'm usually squashed right up against it with the rest of the audience. Having the freedom to move around is a very much appreciated luxury. Secondly, upon my arrival at the venue, I was told that none other than Bruce Springsteen would be making a special guest appearance! I can tell you without any shame or embarrassment, dear reader, that I almost peed my pants with excitement. I am a huge Springsteen fan (to a nearly incontinence-inducing degree, apparently), and here I was, resting my elbows on the very stage he would be performing on.

The night as a whole was fantastic. In between sets, a slew of awards would be given out. Another of my favorite recent discoveries, White Ghost Shivers, won the "Best None of the Above" award. These guys are Austin-based, and they've been around for years now, but they only came to my attention in the last month or so. They play 1920s / 1930s-style swing band music, and they're awesome. If you live in Austin or nearby, I urge you to check them out.

White Ghost Shivers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sadly, they didn't perform, but there was some fine musical talent on display regardless. Bruce Springsteen's appearance was hinted at all night, and he finally showed up towards the end of Alejandro Escovedo's set, which up until that point had already seen an impressive number of guest stars. Springsteen walked on after a request was cheekily made for "one more guitar player," and the whole venue just erupted. He played four songs with the band, including a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Beast of Burden." I went home a happy man.

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