GBM and SXSW (who doesn't love a tag line of acronyms)
After a crazy start to the year it is always exciting to get an email from our favourite band goodbyemotel.
“Hey guys you should come to SXSW we are playing some shows and would love to have you both there” I scratched my head SXSW?????
Craig happily asked what rock I was living under and how could someone in our industry not know what SXSW was? He triple checked the email to make sure I was correct and said “I guess we are off to Austin next month then” Sure why not, who is going to say no to a quick jaunt in the USA and the opportunity to attend the biggest interactive and music conference in the world (now I had been educated about SXSW).
28 hours, 2 countries and 3 different US states later we finally arrive in Austin Texas.
Our first gig of this tour is 11am the next morning for Spin Magazine at the very cool Mohawk bar. After driving through the maze of roadblocks and traffic it is the usual load in vibe. Get it in Get it up and let the band dazzle the crowd with the 4D experience. Playing to a full room of punters all happily wearing their 3D glasses the band smashed through their gig and left the crowd feeling amped for the rest of the day’s festivities.
Packed down and van loaded the band to head the freebies room and it’s time for the bdesign team to indulge in a post gig beer in the beautiful sunshine (our first and only in Austin as beer brewing seems to be a lost art in the Lone Star state). Enjoying the beautiful weather and changing to the free cider available to people with the bands we settled in to catch some of the other acts of the day.
After a hectic day and plenty of drinking in the sun jet lag finally got the better of us and it was time for some sleep.
Double gig days are always difficult but when you are playing 2 gigs on 6th street in 2 different venues while SXSW is on, where the only mode of transport between venues is on foot eeek!
Getting through the ocean of people all trying to get to their next gig between the public, the bands, street vendors, and the hip hop act filming their next music clip it can only be described as mayhem incarnate !
We started the day at The Bayou and boy was it is a fun one. As we walked into the bar we instantly knew we needed to be creative. If there is one thing projection hates its daylight and luckily for us there just happened to be 2 massive widows next to the stage flooding it with light. Craig and I both instantly had the same thought. “What the hell are we going to do now”. In true touring fashion it was a quick trip around 6th street to find anything we could to blackout the windows. A few cardboard boxes and some gaff tape and we had our blackout and it was time for the guys to take the stage. Kicking off the set to another packed out room full of people and their 3D glasses. Another great set another great crowd and it is off to Big Bang for the second gig.
Being tasked with gear guard duty while Craig and the band ferry gear down 6th Street to the next venue I got to meet some of Austin’s colourful locals. First was bubba a very funny homeless man who asked me for a pair of 3D glasses because the government took his shades. He gave me a few quick insights into Austin before sliding on his new pair of shades and heading into the people ocean. Second was Gray who told me to use the pole I was holding to keep the crazies off my gear. He asked where our next gig was and told me to keep my eye out for him later. As it turned out Gray walks up and down 6th street at night in an adult diaper and offers to twerk for people Mylie Cyrus style for money and just happened to be hanging around Big Bang that night.
Big Bang was our second venue for the day and home to the smallest stage I have ever seen. Another odd setup was required but this time it involved gaff taping the lights to the handrail on the side of the stage. I am now firmly a believer that gaff tape can fix anything! Another packed room another great gig and it was off to celebrate a job well done. Venturing off to a few other venues it was quite comical to see people wearing the bands 3D glasses at other gigs.
Working with the guys from goodbyemotel is always an adventure full of laughs and it is always bittersweet when any tour with them comes to an end. There are many memories that I will take away from this tour but I think it can all be summed up with this “All my ex’s live in Texas”. Thanks Paul Ambrose for inflicting that on me there are still random days it pops into my brain and I sing along!!!
Not only are they a talented group of musicians but they are also big softies and all-round good guys! goodbyemotel are doing their part to help the environment with their “Download for Tree” project. The guys are aiming to plant 1 million trees! How can you help well we are glad you asked, follow the link below, fill in a few details and help out the environment. Please share this with your friends and family and lets help the guys meet their 1 million tree target!
For a review of the goodbyemotel Spin Magazine gig click here.
And if you are in the mood for a giggle check out the bands tour diaries from their past US and Japan tours.