The Middle East @ the BV official showcase @ Club DeVille
Early in the day The Canadian Blast BBQ & Showcase broadcast live back to Canada. I caught an in-form You Say Party! We Say Day! who, according to the presenting DJ, were making their first performance in the US in four years. (A little research found they were banned from performing after touring without visas in 2006.) Earlier on I managed to catch the last half of roots rockers Justin Rutledge and The Beauties. (The Beauties played their own official SXSW show later that night at Soho Lounge.) From there it was on to the evening showcases and the first stop being St. David's Historic Sanctuary for singer-songwriter Miranda Lee Richards who was at the grand piano when we walked in and nearly in the dark off to the side of the altar. She was followed by another singer-songwriter with backing band, Sweden's Sofia Talvik.
I then moved on to the BV party to catch The Middle East who were playing their second-ever show on American soil. The set started slowly but was buoyant by the time they got to "Blood" off their recordings of The Middle East EP. A brisk walk across town and a behind schedule Tap Room at Six allowed me to catch all of England's indiepop quartet Allo Darlin. Behind schedule became a theme as I settled into the Galaxy Room Backyard (KCRW Showcase) where Fitz and the Tantrums were still setting up. Their set was something else. Fun all around, tight contemporary Motown dance numbers that had people dancing and singing and when the sound guy told the band they had only one more song, Fitz responded, "We're playing at least two more." Sadly, they did only play one more. The last band of the night was Sweden's Miike Snow and their dance pop numbers. It took nearly 40 minutes for them to change out from The Tantrums' set and the crowd had been patient but getting anxious by the time they went on. They battled a few sound problem during their set but Animal was the song everyone came to hear and when they closed their set with it, the crowd danced and shouted along to every word. Heading back to the car I stumbled upon Black Top Demon who were set up between 6th and 7th Streets along Red River. St. Patrick's Day revelers were moving and shaking in front of them and their stripped down kick drum, guitar setup as they played all kinds of blues and rock numbers and even a Johnny Cash tune.
More pictures from the day below...
You Say Party We Say Die
Justin Rutledge and the Beauties
Miranda Lee Richards
The Middle East
Allo Darlin (it was their first-ever US show!)
Fitz and the Tantrums
Black Top Demon