The Best Stuff We Saw, Heard And Ate At SXSW On Monday
After getting in to ATX late Sunday afternoon, checking in at our Airbnb (shout-out to Erik!), and spending the evening getting acclimated to our new environment (which may or may not have included Ghostface Killah and Raekwon), fellow Slant editor Kyle Harvey and I went to sleep with dreams in our heads of an epic week at SXSW.
Monday kicked off with a simple request from Harv, the birthday boy: breakfast tacos, stat.
We moseyed on over to South Bites, a hub of dank food trucks over by Rainey and found ourselves standing in line for the Migas taco at Veracruz All Natural.
We washed down our Migas with a Mexican coke and headed to the Convention Center to pick up our press badges.
After crushing some work at WeWork Congress (thanks for your hospitality!), I proceeded to hoof it to the Spotify House. It was almost half-hour walk down 6th, in 90-degree weather, but the journey helped me get my bearings and gave me some perspective on how massive Austin is (and this is just one small part).
I arrived at Spotify House just in time to catch Hannibal Buress, the venue's Master of Ceremonies, introducing Lucius.
Lucius, who I talked with last week, released their second album, Good Grief on Friday. Clearly energized from the warm reception that record has received, the aesthetically-coordinated quintet opened with album closer "Dusty Trails," and launched into a set filled with old favorites like "Genevieve" and "Nothing Ordinary," as well as new cuts like "Gone Insane" and "Born Again Teen."
Just as I was feeling a little homesick for the Slant office near Madison Square Park in NYC, I realized the lunch option for Spotify House: Shake Shack.
Don't mind if I do...
I swear the temperature in Austin rose a couple degrees when Miguel took the stage at Spotify House. His set, which spanned the R&B rocker's whole catalogue, included a smartphone-assisted cover of Rihanna's "Kiss It Better," as well as a sexy-ass performance of "Waves."
Post-Miguel, I caught up with Harv, who decided he wanted to buy himself a birthday gift at Waterman Supply Co.
After a stroll down 6th in search of outlets to charge phones and a brief respite from the Austin heat, we made our way to the Capital One House at Antone's for Rayland Baxter and Houndmouth.
Rayland Baxter kicked things off with a bluesy, boozy, energetic set featuring personal favorites like "Mr. Rodriguez" and "Yellow Eyes."
Houndmouth dropped in for a one-and-done show at South By (a rarity for a festival where bands rack up gigs in the double digits), before shipping off to Australia and New Zealand for a tour. The limited vibe gave the show a slight sense of urgency, and the Austin crowd ate it up. Houndmouth is a band where all four members sing and seamlessly swap instruments with one another. Highlights included "Sedona," "Black Gold," and an intense crowd sing-along for "Gasoline."
We'd had enough quality live music for several weeks, let alone one night. Walking to grab a cab, we passed a bar and were drawn in by searing blues guitar.
The gentleman wielding that fiery axe goes by the name Eric Tessmer and HO-LY CRAP, he was incredible. For a small, but rapt crowd, Tessmer showed exactly what the electric guitar is capable of. Dude absolutely destroyed it. He ended his final guitar solo by RIPPING OFF EVERY GUITAR STRING AND THROWING THEM INTO THE CROWD. That's a rock god power move if I've ever seen one.
And that's only Day One! We'll keep you posted with the best stuff we see, hear, and eat on Tuesday.
Cover photo: Spencer Dukoff