While everyone was busy net-twerking and getting their booze-on at the day parties, BC spent South By Southwest 2010 at the Mess With Texas showcase.
Mess With Texas is probably my favorite South By showcase, in that the line-up is full of punk, hardcore and electro bands. And it’s free and open to the public. That means no wristband or no 21+ age limit. Just show up and have your face rocked. MWTX alumni include NOFX, The Black Lips, Kid Sister, Circle Jerks, Les Savy Fav, Cursive, and Lucero.
This year’s Mess With Texas line-up included buzz bands like Neon Indian, The Soft Pack, and Crystal Antlers, and such legends as Andrew W.K., GWAR, and Billy Bragg.
Despite a 30 minute bus ride from West Campus, followed by a 15-block walk to the MWTX grounds, we made it just in time to catch punk icon Billy Bragg’s set. He ripped through classics like “To Have And Have Not” and “There Is Power In The Union.” Bragg is always awe-inspiring with his political banter and aggressive songs, considering his act consists himself and an electric guitar.
As miserable as the weather was on Saturday, it didn’t seem to bother anyone watching Fucked Up tear up the North Stage at MWTX. As usual, singer Damian Abraham (aka Pink Eyes) was shirtless and pants less, even taunting the cold by pouring audience members’ drinks into his underwear. Though I’ve seen Fucked Up before, I still can’t get used to seeing Pink Eyes naked. And I’d like to let you feel my pain, enjoy!
Pink Eyes also wowed the crowd by sticking plastic cups to his head, and climbing a ladder… I guess to show off his junk.
I am fucking awesome!!!!
Fucked Up, as always, is fun as hell to see live. They even closed with a cover of The Ramone’s “Blitzkrieg Bop”.
After Fucked Up, we waited for Andrew W.K. to take the stage. Actually, we waited for Andrew W.K. to party onto the stage, party our faces off, and party Austin into Armageddon. Needless to say, he did exactly that.
From the moment Andrew W.K. ran out on stage, the crowd was going completely ape shit. He played with a full band, complete with three guitarists and a back up dancer (who happens to be his wife, celeb fitness instructor Cherie Lily). They partied through classic tracks like “We Want Fun,” “She Is Beautiful,” and “Party Hard.” We were up in front, and maybe it was everyone jumping around, shouting to every song, or perhaps Andrew W.K. simply pumped a cloud of pure “party” and “fun” into the audience, but it was one of the most fun sets I’ve ever been a part of.
Then it was time for GWAR. Now, if you aren’t familiar with GWAR’s infamous live performances, you have obviously been living under a rock. GWAR wear sci-fi/horror inspired costumes and sacrifice pop culture celebrities on stage, spraying blood and bile into the audience. Oh, and they also play metal.
During their set, they managed to dismember Lady Gaga and rip the face off of a resurrected Michael Jackson.
Somehow avoiding the splatter-fest of GWAR, we trekked to the South Stage to catch Neon Indian to close out the night. Fighting against the wind, they sounded great and the dancing helped bring up my body temperature.
Other SXSW 2010 shows we caught:
3/18 – Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings - WOXY In-studio
3/18 – The Cool Kids – Auditorium Shores
3/19 – Cheap Trick – Auditorium Shores
3/20 – Zlam Dunk – House of Guys house party
All photos and videos by Shawn Dullye (aka BC)