Best Live Show: Shakey Graves
Best Food: Raw veggie tray at the Colorado Music Party
My day centered around the Colorado Music Party. It was our final day to celebrate the bands and showcase we put so much time into talking about, and it truly paid off.
Of the 10 acts I was able to see during our local showcase, I had only seen about half of them in concert before. I really like the Fort Collins band Wire Faces on record, but they are excellent live! Roo & the Howl performed their wonderful rendition of Jim James' "New Life" and while the crowd was a bit quiet about it, I thought it was perfect.
I always mention how energetic and tight The Epilogues are in concert, but one thing I didn't notice about the band until now is how subtly hilarious they are. For instance, Chris Heckman cracked me up during sound check with what he was saying as they were checking mic levels. Plus they all just smile with each other when something like a keyboard getting unplugged happens. I sang along with pretty much every song by Ark Life and I had the most fun, party time watching Dragondeer. While resting my ears during DrFameus, I went into the alley and saw Dragondeer's Cole Rudy tuning one of his many instruments!
This was also my first time seeing Shakey Graves whom I have been following online for awhile. He has enhanced his sound growing from a one-man band to a full lineup including Esme Patterson. Their voices together are magic. I was standing at the front of the venue during their show surrounded by Shakey's fans from New Orleans, Chicago, Denver... and well it was so packed I was really only able to talk to a few people around me as my clogs were literally getting stuck to the floor and I could not move!
By the end of the party, I hit that SXSW "wall" that Ark Life's Ben Desoto warned me about---glazed eyes, delayed responses, aching feet. The final three hours of the showcase was PACKED and I needed to take a long-awaited break! I went back to the hotel, got into my pajamas and ordered room service while I blogged about the final day of the party, then I debated falling asleep.
Before I could do that, I got a text that Wheelchair Sports Camp was getting ready to busk on 6th Street, so I put my jean jacket on over my dashiki pajama dress, slipped into my moccasins and ran to catch them. I couldn't locate the group among the loud, chaotic crowded street, but instead caught this cool instrumental funk band doing that catchy Grammy-winning song by FUN.
My feet were still sore on the chilly Friday night and there were too many bands to choose from so I got talked into going and seeing a film with another group of friends, I was pretty happy to go so I could get off my feet while still feeling like I was a part of the festival.
Afterwards, I tried to get into the showcase with Wheelchair Sports Camp and Sage Francis, but it was so crowded I couldn't get in. I listened for a bit from outside the venue (along with the chaos of about 30 other bands), then finally got that sleep I was longing for.