I knew going into it that Saturday was going to be a rough day. So many good bands were playing simultaneously that it was impossible not to miss something awesome. The festival fatigue was kicking in, my tired old joints were giving out, but I persevered. And, glutton for punishment that I am, I started the day off with the most sweaty, crowded show I’ve been to thus far.
First up was Midnight and Toxic Holocaust at Beerland. Immediately upon entering I was blasted with both a giant wave of stinky damp body heat and the glorious sounds of blackened thrash. There was nowhere for me to stand so I climbed on a shelf near the ceiling further increasing the effects of the overwhelming heat. By the end of Midnight’s set I was dripping in sweat and felt thoroughly savaged. My pictures sucked but I got to sing along to “Endless Slut” while hanging out in the rafters so I don’t even care.
I also got to see Jamie’s beautiful Venue tramp stamp. Next up was Toxic Holocaust, another former one-man operation turned proper thrash band.
Note to all metalheads, cutting the sleeves off all of your shirts not only looks cool, it also prevents a farmer’s tan which about half of the northern thrashers suffered horribly from after three days in the Texas sun.
Once the thrash attack was over I wandered over to calmer climes at the Wierd/Dais/Sacred Bones showcase. There I encountered the ungoogleable NYC by way of Detroit minimal synth act YOU. A recent line-up change results in the entire live outfit being made-up of employees of Academy Records in Brooklyn. Go hassle them and listen to the record on Blind Prophet. It’s great and should be less of a secret than it is.
The Rosenkopf played. The folks over at Noisey have already sung their praises and I’ll gladly echo. Their music is simultaneously sparse and dense in a wonderfully controlled way. The deep spirit vibes were enhanced by some seriously quality lighting, but what else would you expect from a Wierd Records band?
Once again, Japan was calling at the Mohawk. Zyanose was probably the second-most anticipated Japanese punk band playing the fest behind Skizophrenia. The crowd was crazy, I got further banged up and now have a swollen left knee to show for it. It’s hard to describe all these bands without sounding like a broken record but them playing was the most important and exciting thing at the fest to a lot of people.
UK crust legends Deviated Instinct went on next. As usual it was a difficult task to follow the mayhem of the previous set. But their tour van and all their gear was stolen on their way down to Texas in Cleveland. Support the scene and help them out.
The sun had just gone down and I was already exhausted when I wandered out of the Mohawk down Red River in search of sustenance. I couldn’t have timed it more perfectly.
I walked smack into the Queer Bomb march. The overlapping of these two events made the streets of Austin a joy to wander: crusties, queer crusties, elderly lesbians travelling via pedicab, ancient drag queens and a positive prideful populace plus multiple marching bands and a giant pink unicorn were all sources of pure bliss.
After my magical detour I made it back to Club Deville in time to catch Royal Headache. I saw them once before at Death By Audio with Black Marble, Family Curse, and Cheveu and wasn’t that into it. They sounded like a mediocre pub rock revival act. Well maybe it was just the weird booking context or perhaps the sound, but they were incredible at Club Deville. The energy was high and it was the perfect thing to follow up the parade.
Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments were up next and the vibes were great, the set was great, I’m getting tired talking about enjoyable music, so instead let’s talk about this incredibly unflattering photo of the singer. He did the best little dad rock dances too. The crowd was happy, I was happy. Then I ducked out to check out Winter next door at the Mohawk.
I forgot how boring bands like that are live. It was too tired to give them the intense focus that death doom like that requires. The crowd was made up of a few devotees moshing in slow motion and a bunch of punks anxiously waiting for Antisect. Disappointed I went back to Club Deville to watch The Clean.
The crowd had somehow transformed from happy old dudes to cranky retired indie rockers. The Clean were cranky as well; David Kilgour’s guitar kept going out of tune and a couple of press photographers ran across the tiny stage in the middle of their set. I bailed and went back to see the main event of the night, Antisect.
Okay, if you’re keeping count that brings the band count up to 10. Thank god for Antisect, they gave me the kick in the ass I needed to make it through the rest of the night. This was by far the most intense crowd of the entire fest and with good reason. They fucking killed it and then came back for an encore and killed it some more. Apologies to The Clean, but I am so glad I went next door before they were done.
Afterwards I found a tiny baby shoe. Maybe she was tearing it up in the pit.
I tried to make it to see Black Witchery and Double Negative at Red Seven but I just didn’t have it in me. I regret missing Black Witchery terribly, I’ve always been a fan and I hope they play Brooklyn soon.
Back at the familiar comforts of the Parish I soothed my heat and music overloaded brain with Xeno & Oaklander.
Liz is so perfect and beautiful and she and Sean are so talented they make me have faith in humanity. Seriously.
Iceage played one of the best sets I’ve seen them play and I spent a couple of weeks on the road with them and Cult of Youth so I’ve seen them more than a dozen times.
They are at their best when Elias puts down the guitar and engages the audience. This crowd was especially worshipful. Their fans are some of the most intense and sincere I’ve seen for such a young band. They deserve every bit of praise and hype they receive and none of the backlash.
During Iceage some lame girl tried to fight me. I briefly obstructed her sightline while photographing the show. She shoved me, I told her to fuck off, she grabbed my purse and tried to fling it across the venue, I smacked her arm, she smacked me back, I wrestled my purse away from her, put it out of reach and she spent the rest of the show glaring at me while I continued to have fun. What a baby. I think I won.
The show was over and things got Wierd.
And because twelve bands in one day wasn’t enough we went to the aftershow at the Broken Neck after terrorizing Sacred Bones headquarters at the Hilton.
Because nothing says party like Squirt drinking crusties.
Skizophrenia, Crazy Spirit and Iceage played the show. Things were a little less crazy because everyone was so drunk and so tired. Things wrapped up around 5 am.
Back at the Hilton Timmy celebrated another successful day. Good job Timmy. You’re a hero.
Day 3 Breakdown:
Show count - 5
Band count - 14
Bands watched - Midnight, Toxic Holocaust, YOU, Rosenkopf, Zyanose, Deviated Instinct, Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, Winter, The Clean, Antisect, Xeno & Oaklander, Iceage, Crazy Spirit, Skizophrenia.
Injuries sustained - Further bruised knee, welt on my arm from the Iceage fight.
Set of the night - Antisect