Sunday, March 22, 2009

IHEARTCOMIX Showcase at Beauty Bar, Thursday, March 19th

My whole time at SXSW has been pure gold, and Thursday night was no exception at the Beauty Bar, with acts like The Death Set, Juiceboxxx, HEARTSREVOLUTION, The Golden Filter, not to mention Ocelot, Radioclit, and Drop the Lime.

HEARTSREVOLUTION was in my top five want to see live list, so I headed over to the Beauty Bar extra early to make sure I could get in. When I got inside it was obvious I hadn't missed anything, so I headed to the Backyard of Beauty Bar to check out the stages there. None other than Ocelot, a pair of DJs from England, was on the stage, with the whole house jumping up and down.

When I got a little weary of the thumping of the ten foot tall speakers, I headed back inside and totally didn't realize that the Death Set were playing. The Death Set had brought out their punk set with drum machines in full force. There was definitely some moshing going on, I walked up only to have one of the members almost kick me in the face as he was crowd surfing. It was pretty impressive though--the crowd was totally into it, willingly holding up the dude from the Death Set so that at more than one point his feet were actually touching the ceiling.

I decided this was a good place to be, so I stayed on to see Juiceboxxx, who for some reason I've never seen before even though he's played in Lawrence like ten billion times. And man, does he not give a shit. He jumped up and down hitting everything on stage. At the beginning of his set he declared, "Nobody can get on stage! It's my stage!" A really excited Japanese kid didn't hear this part and got on stage only to have Juiceboxxx yell at him, "Get the fuck off the stage, man! You can't be on stage." Anyways Juiceboxxx was part rapper, part pre-constructed beats and full of mad energy. I was glad I got to see him.

Finally, after waiting around for hours upon hours, HEARTSREVOLUTION got up on stage. They used a live drummer, and it worked out really well. The girl was wearing her signature pink make up smear across her eyes and over the bridge of her nose, not to mention a really cute outfit. Listening to HEARTSREVOLUTION live was no doubt magical for me, but half of the appeal was probably their stage presence. Lots of the items on stage used for the performance, like the mic handle and a megaphone the girl used were discoed out and covered with tiny jewels. Also, some of their cables were pink! So awesome. The girl had a really gutsy stage personality--coaching the audience to "Shut the fuck up" and "Shut and listen. I'm going to sing now." The music itself was a total success live, a virtual disco-rock rave. It was one of my top three favorite performances of SXSW.

The night wasn't over yet. Earlier in the day I had heard the magical sounds of the Golden Filter drifting out of the over packed Peacock Lounge after I had interviewed Harlem at the Gorilla Vs. Bear party. I decided to stick around and see them for real, and they were totally rad. They pretty much sound like what Glass Candy should have evolved into, but didn't. They're a three piece from NY with a girl drummer, really tall, blond, I think possibly English vocalist, and a quite short dude synthesizer player. Another great show for this great night.

There wasn't much left to the night by the time the Golden Filter finished playing. I headed out to the Beauty Bar Backyard one more time to catch the last act. It was Drop the Lime, which I'm proud to say I've seen now, but he was freaking out at the sound guy and flipping him off the whole time because the dude was doing a bad job. I don't know who to blame, but the his was kind of tainted because of both of those things. Still, over all, the IHEARTCOMIX Showcase, was a dream come true.

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