Hey, look – it’s Derek from Heavy Lights performing at South By Southwest. Happy Birthday, Derek! Photo courtesy of Cassandra Mullinix. For more of her photos, visit https://www.facebook.com/bucketofrock.
It’s time for part four (Wednesday, March 18) of Cassandra Mullinix’s time at SXSW this week. Isn’t it fun? Really, though. It is. You can check out part one here, part two here, and part three here. Enjoy!
I wake up in a motivational meme, fist shaking at the giant mountain of SXSW showcases to conquer. Actually, it’s only one showcase today, if I’m lucky. Targets are locked in on the Lagunitas showcase at the rather small Container Bar (a venue made of shipping containers) with headliner Charles Bradley.
It opens at noon and I bet all the bad decisions ever made at SXSW that I’ll need to be there, at the very least, an hour early. These days, the rooster doesn’t rise until 10 a.m., so it’s an all out scramble supported by Emergen-C, decongestant, and vitamin B12 to pour myself into a cab fully dressed with my charged camera batteries.
It’s relatively early, the line is already wrapped around the block, and the Texas sun is flexing its muscle this morning. But we’ve done better than most, and I get in. We Tim Tebow the SXSW gods on this game day. Those who have come before me are drawn to the sources of flowing Lagunitas drafts, but like my motivational meme, my eyes are on the prize: Stage, front and center.
I’m deliriously nervous wondering if anyone is going to hassle me for not having one of the trillion proper passes or wristbands for photography. Click. Look left. Click, click, click. Look right. No security guards have sidelined me from stage right or stage left. We’re good! It’s a touchdown with a two-point conversion.
The rest of the day is set, but it’s going to be a marathon. No food, no water, no bathroom break, and sadly, no free Lagunitas for me. That’s ok, though. This lineup is sick and completely worth the sacrifice.
Up first is some band filled with middle-aged guys that no one cares about (the highlight of their set is a joke about needing microphone Viagra). Next, however, is NPR Tiny Desk Contest winner Fantastic Negrito and holy moly, what stage presence, what charisma, and what a performance. I even get to rub elbows (in the literal sense, not figuratively speaking) with Bob Boilen during their set.
I’m completely awake with the adrenaline of taking photos in my veins and up next has been a bucket list artist of mine: King Tuff. He’s one of the great modern garage rockers and a Burger Records alumni. His set is everything my little heart wishes for: Fun, quirky, and rocking. Heartless Bastards and Delta Spirit are also coming up and the free Lagunitas are catching up with the other showcase tribe members.
The front row is getting interesting. Delta Spirit’s set is shortened, but it seems to be a highlight for many. I mean, besides Charles Bradley, of course. It’s my first time seeing Charles Bradley and it’s also the religious experience that was foretold by the few I talk to before the set. Container Bar automatically transforms into this dank house of soul and everyone’s under Charles Bradley’s spell.
Glamorous outfits. Microphone stand flips. Jumping knee dives – absolutely amazing. What a show, what a day. I’m exhausted and so are my camera batteries. Time to have fun for the rest of the night!