The Washington Post

SXSW: 5 rock ‘n’ roll moments

Music critic Chris Richards reports from Austin’s South by Southwest festival good news of great joy: Hark! Rock ’n’ roll is still alive!

View Photo Gallery: The six-day conference and festival attracts a swarm of artists and concert-goers to downtown Austin.

“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.”

Read more from Richards’ trip to South by Southwest. And check out our list of the strangest band names from the festival.

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts for the Weekend section and Going Out Guide.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
What can babies teach students?
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
A veteran finds healing on a dog sled
Play Videos
A fighter pilot helmet with 360 degrees of sky
Is fencing the answer to brain health?
Scenes from Brazil's Carajás Railway
Play Videos
How a hacker group came to Washington
The woman behind the Nats’ presidents ‘Star Wars’ makeover
How hackers can control your car from miles away
Play Videos
Philadelphia's real signature sandwich
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
Europe's migrant crisis, explained