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live ‘stache: The ‘stachetastic SXSW 2012

Here’s some fun shots and recaps from a very ‘stachetastic SXSW 2012!

Alan Becker says:

What struck me the most this year was the high profile of all the metal acts performing at SXSW especially ours!  Heck, even uber-hipster label Matador signed one called Ceremony . The enduring-ness of RED labels such as Metal Blade, Fearless, Equal Vision and Relapse who had the largest crowds I have ever seen at their events and loudest reaction ever from both attendees and fans made me realize we have the best in this genre that never goes out of style. I got a chance to see For Today and Job For A Cowboy and both had 1000+ kids enthralled.

Springsteen owned it but RED presented the buzziest of all buzz bands, Alabama Shakes, and all you have to do is read to read the LA Times, Chicago Tribune, New York Times or Washington Post to fact check that statement. Our labels and artists did a fantastic job at every stop we made. I was inspired.

RED labels had a chance to present some of  the most anticipated shows Mom and Pop’s Sleigh Bells at VEVO Presents at The Moody Theatre and  Andrew Bird headlining for NPR Music. ATO’s Alabama Shakes for KCRW  at their Day Stage and Glassnote’s Daughter in the most spectacular Church setting just perfect for their beautiful songs.

Fast growing 30 Tigers and Red Bull also presented acts in front of large enthusiastic audiences, especially noteworthy were Red Bull’s Twin Atlantic and 30 Tigers’ Trampled By Turtles  who were impressive at multiple shows.

That’s a little taste of SXSW 2012 and if you wish to know more just give me a call, Alan

 


Joe Esposito says:

One of my favorite performances the whole week was Oberhofer. The venue was packed so tight I could barely move.  Brad’s performance was so energetic and captivating that they gave off a special aura to the crowd and I could tell everyone felt it (even The Temper Trap’s lead singer couldn’t keep his eyes off the band).  At one point during a song, Brad ran off stage, up the stairs, through the crowd and climbed down the patio back on the stage.  He was a real rock star.

Another special performance was Eleven Seven’s new signing Nico Vega who played at Rusty’s Thursday night.  This was a full band with a female lead and her voice and stage presence blew me away and I rarely remember a crowd so into it as much as they were. All I can say is get ready for this band! A new Victory band, The Royalty, played at Rusty’s right before Nico Vega. The Royalty is a young 5-piece band from El Paso. The entire crowd was young emo/punk rockers dancing and cheering the whole set.  The band was different than your average rock band that might get grouped in to that genre and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed them.  Definitely unique!

One of the last shows I saw was Sleigh Bells opening for Nas at ACL Live, one of the biggest venues at SXSW.  1,500 people packed in the floor, and two balconies above us.  The band was as loud and energetic as always and the crowd closest to the stage was waving their arms and banging their heads while singing along.  At one point Alexis crowd surfed and people were going crazy.  Definitely one of the best shows and turnouts the whole week.  Perfect match for the headliner Nas. 

Finally, the last performance I’d like to highlight is Daughter, Glassnote’s new signing.  The venue was a church and it was dark, quiet, and set the perfect mood for this beautiful and deep music.  Every pew was filled up and the people were enraptured with the lead singer’s voice and the soothing music.  Easily one of the most talented singer-songwriter groups I saw the whole week.

Other shows to highlight were Alabama Shakes and Andrew Bird at Stubb’s Weds night.  Hands down two best shows of the day. Also Heartless Bastards at the convention center on Friday was flawless.  Metal heads were digging Hull at Lovejoys.  Neon Indian rocked the Hype Hotel late Friday night.  And cannot forget Tom Morello at the New West Party on Thursday.  His guitar solos were awesome and the best part was at the end when he called up the entire audience on stage to sing the last song.  Billie Jean and I were about 5 ft from Morello!

Wendy Washington says:

Overall, my impression is that it’s clear that SxSW is no longer an exclusive indie experience, it’s evolved into an authentic multi-genre music & branding experience.

Sleighbells performance at the Vevo party was dynamic.  Alexis owned the stage in a way I haven’t seen before, the sound (even the intentional distorted songs) was clear, they drew a big crowd and the pairing with NAS was what SxSW is all about.  Oberhofer at the Filter party was a great performance.  Although the band is alternative, this band has tremendous pop potential (several accessible songs, cute guys, etc.).  Citizen Cope @ IFC party- he gave his usual great performance to a standing-room-only crowd which was a surprising mix of people singing the lyrics from clean cut frat boys (!) to hipsters. The audience he drew was a revelation- so much so that I had to ask some of the people I was standing next to how they discovered Cope.

Alabama Shakes @ Stubbs- this is a band that has to be seen live to fully appreciate, there is nothing else in any genre out there like them.  There’s a buzz on Harriet who performed@ the Indaba showcase and Hacienda @ the Sony Electronics/’stache media showcase.  Other highlights:  Julia Nunes gave a poignant performance.  Trixie Whitley debuted some new songs she’s working on.

Sleigh Bells at the VEVO showcase (picture taken by Chris Frankenberg) Watch the show here

Pavla Mikula & Sarah Landy say:

Monday:
Caught Oberhofer at the interactive showcase hosted by Tumblr. The inside room at The Mohawk was so packed that people were watching from the entrance/staircase off the side of the stage. The showcase hosted about 20 bands total but there were a ton of online media there to specifically see Oberhofer including contacts from Vice, Refinery 29, and of course Tumblr. Sarah and I chatted with Oberhofer’s manager and he seemed really pleased with the way SXSW was kicking off for him.

Tuesday:

Media Temple hosted a showcase at Stubb’s with Twin Atlantic, Kasabian and Miike Snow. There was a massive line/crowd to get in and Twin Atlantic opened the night to amazing reception. People around Sarah and I kept asking us “who is this band, they are awesome” and by the time Twin Atlantic finished their set, Stubb’s was packed. The band sounded the best I’ve ever seen them and The Red Bulls were stoked on the show.

Wednesday:

Wednesday’s highlight was definitely the ‘stache/Sony Electronics showcase. We had a ton of media in attendance kasabianincluding ESPN, Flavorpill, Fuse, Tom Lisack from CBS, Indaba, L Magazine, Livestream, NY Times and Rolling Stone. Key contacts from Fearless, Equal Vision, The Collective and Friendly Fires all came out to support their artists and everyone commented on how smoothly and on time everything was running. I worked with Maya and Jenn from Sony Electronics on coordinating on-camera interviews with Sony Tablet product placement featuring our artists: Static Jacks, Eve 6, WATERS and Alberta Cross. All of the bands were really excited about being gifted Sony products and playing our showcase.

‘stache was also hired by IODA and the French Bureau Export to do online marketing for three different showcases, also happening on Wednesday. We were on-site meeting media and coordinating artist interviews during the day and spent time with several team members from both IODA and The Orchard.

Thursday:

Saw fresh New West signees White Violet kick off the daytime New West showcase, then headed over to the Sony showcase to catch performances by Dry The River and Trampled By Turtles. This was a private rooftop event and both artists played to a full terrace of people and new fans. Alabama Shakes at the Hype Machine’s event, Hype Hotel, were also fantastic. The Hype Hotel space consistently had a line around the corner as they had commissioned some of the top tastemaker blogs such as Aquarium Drunkard, Gorilla vs. Bear, and My Old Kentuckly blog to curate and co-sponsor showcases. A number of RED artists were part of the Hype Hotel week long line-up including: Alabama Shakes, Jimmy Cliff, Youth Lagoon, White Rabbits, and Tennis. The anticipation in the room ahead of the Alabama Shakes set was electric, it was already impossible to move 20 min ahead of the Shakes’ set time and the performance certainly proved to be a SXSW highlight for many as the band lived up to and beyond their buzz. Later that evening I caught up with Andreas at The End’s showcase, and spent some quality time with the Kirtland Records team and Phil Costello at Club De Ville where Sarah Jaffe, White Rabbits, and Tennis all performed.

Friday:

The Equal Vision showcase was pretty incredible – they reached capacity right before Say Anything went on, and kids were lined up and swarming into the street trying to gain entry into the venue. During the set, the entire room was singing along to Say Anything lyrics so loudly that you could barely hear the band’s vocals. Natalie and Francesca from Equal Vision were really pleased with the turn out. The Fearless Records showcase was also really tightly run and organized and I managed to catch a really fun set from The Static Jacks before running to support ATO at the Filter Magazine showcase where Lucero were playing to a gregarious full house. Earlier in the day, I also saw the Indaba team at their showcase, which was curated purely from unsigned bands from the Indaba community – really impressive talent overall!

 

Tara Wurts says:

Waterloo instores.  All 9 were packed.  I have to say that my favorites were Lucero, The Cult and Oberhofer. TX Legend, Ruthie Foster, did a soulful in-store performance and owned the room as Ruthie always does.  We had crowds for all 9 in-stores…with nearly 2,000 for The Cult.  The Cult played songs from the new CD and a couple classics.  Lucero blew me away so much that I saw them twice (last time I had seen Lucero there were only 4 guys in the band…..it’s even more amazing with the expanded lineup).  I also wanted to give big ups to Say Anything…there were easily a hundred kids waiting in front of the stage at 10:45am for a noon in-store.  The band was super nice and super easy to work with…they may have had the largest signing line of the RED artists that signed (The Cult did not sign).  Shows I saw that rocked other than Waterloo in-stores had to be: Oberhofer and the Filter party, The Features at the Do512 party, Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown, Lucero, Hacienda, Trampled By Turtles, Joe Pug just to name a few.

Thought this was pretty cool and it shows all the people the Oberhofer connected with during SXSW: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6tc8b-NnaQ

 

Edie Lundeen says:

It was great to be back to SXSW after missing the last couple years.  Not only has the festival practically doubled but seems like RED’s coverage in bands grew as well.  We really seemed to dominate!

We had a ton of radio programmers and jocks at the festival and Danny and got them out to many of our shows.  The key note and performance by Bruce Springsteen was definitely at the top of everyone’s list but it was pretty incredible that our RED artists, Tom Morello and Jimmy Cliff shared the stage with him!  Both of them played 3 songs each and everyone in the crowd knew who they were.  This performance was also taped for Austin City Limits so it will air on TV.  There was a definite buzz on Alabama Shakes and Dry The River!  Quite a few of the radio guys were looking forward to catching both bands again on their spring/summer tours. KNDD program director, Mike Kaplan was so blown away by his performance on Saturday.

Billie Jean, Sarah, and Pavla did an incredible job with the Sony Electronics/’stache media showcase on Wednesday night. We were able to get KROQ, Sirius XM, 91X all to the show for some time as well before they headed to see Twin Atlantic at the KROX show.  The Fearless showcase was over-packed and they had to cut the line off.  Eve 6 had an incredible set.  They had the crowd going with their hits as well as their new songs.  I was really impressed with The Features at their showcase on Saturday afternoon. The closer of the week was a massive performance of Mumford on the field of  the University of Texas.  If I had to take a guess of the crowd size, I would say there were 10,000+ there in addition to about 20 radio programmers.  It was a great way to close SXSW!

Danny & Edie with radio friends & Glassnote at Oberhofer 

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