Music critic Chris Richards reports from Austin’s South by Southwest festival good news of great joy: Hark! Rock ’n’ roll is still alive!
“Through rosier-colored Wayfarers, SXSW is still the best place on Earth to renew your vows with rock-and-roll,” he writes. Setting the scene, here are five rock ’n’ roll moments he witnessed in his SXSW roundup, plus three bands
1. Music by Portland trio The Mean Jeans “provokes fans to spray cans of beer on one another like hoppy holy water.”
2. “Outside [concert venue Trailer Space], the store has rented a phalanx of portable toilets to keep show-goers from relieving themselves in the yards of the surrounding residential neighborhood, as they did last year.”
3. “One fan [of Seattle band Night Beats] cradles a collie in his arms like a waltz partner. When someone lights a handful of firecrackers near the stage — TAT-TAT-TAT-TAT-TAT!— the dog remains unfazed, tongue lolling.”
4. “A fan noshing on a hamburger throws hunks of his lunch into a ceiling fan overhead. The spinning blades bat pieces of bread and beef across the room.”
5. “After the set, [John Wesley] Coleman lugs his amp out into the balmy Texas air and tosses it into the trunk of his beige Lincoln Town Car, which is covered in bird poop. He wishes he could stick around and hang out, but he’s working shifts at a local pizzeria this week.”