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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The last straw

My final evening at SXSW 2013, and it was spent at the Heart of Texas Rockfest, located on the corner of 7th and Neches. It was free to get into, but a donation was requested. Two stages, side by side, and non stop rock and roll for hours upon hours. After leaving our Bungalow ( on Rainey St we made a quick pit stop at the corner of 6th and Red River to retrieve one of the cameras from Angel Skye (apparently the crowd was WAY to damn wild at the Woe is Me show.)

Walking into the Texas Rockfest ( was like a veritable Who's Who of Austin, Texas music royalty. There was a TV personality, Dave TeeVee (, his royal highness MC Overlord (, radio personality Patrick Davis, and the KINGS of Austin ROCK - Vallejo (! Pretty damn impressive AND WE DIDN'T NEED BADGES!!!!! I can't say that the music was diverse because it was, after all, Texas ROCKFEST!

We had the pleasure of hearing 5 different bands with styles ranging from 'what the fuck is this shit' to Mexican metal. I will write up the performances in the order we saw the bands and it starts with 'What the fuck is this shit?!'

Indofin ( had just gone on stage when we arrived. Sounding like something between metal or punk and a little bit of confusion mixed in. My regular blog readers sometimes bust my balls for being 'too nice' or 'perpetually positive', well sorry, that's not gonna happen here. It didn't sound rehearsed, there was too much talking between songs, and just seemed like they weren't prepared. When a producer, a manager, and a videographer all remark (at different times and no where near each other) about the things I mentioned, about the quality, or musicianship...somethings up! I really don't know if these guys 'got it'. In the festival setting every band has their 30 minutes to bang out the performance, show the audience who you are and what you are about. That is the time to bring your 'A' game. I really did try to like them and really did try to hear something in the music that would make me tell you go see them or that I would want to see them again. Sorry Brother...not this one.

Liftoff ( is from Canada and these guys really put on a performance. Using the full stage to their advantage with dancing girls on the speakers, lighting effects, and a front man who was pretty damn charismatic. This band really attracted your attention. There was not a lot of conversation in the crowd while they were onstage as it seemed the audience was pretty struck by them. There was, however, a little conversation at the end of the set. It seems there was a pretty interesting resemblance to the lead singer of one certain 'Green Day' band that didn't go unnoticed by some in the crowd. The music was not exactly the same as that, but definitely had the same kind of 'damn the man' feel to it.  Good stuff my friends, check them out.

Treetop Sailors ( sailed onto the stage next. I have been asked several times to go to a show of theirs. I have, sadly, never really made the opportunity to go. As fate would have it, the best part about seeing them here, I was with my heartbeat...and she LOVED them! No doubt about it, these guys are freaking awesome! The lead guitar is pretty fucking outstanding and the lead singer/keyboard player is, well to be frank ...get the fuck outta here! Blues rock with a heavy, HEAVY, accent on the rock portion of that statement. It is a kind of raw and grungy sound, but so unbelievably polished. DUDE! Really, the amount of talent to make yourself sound raw while being that tight is mind boggling. My girlfriend was just amazed with the lead singer, his look and the sound of his voice. While I was sneaking around and took pictures, I did manage to slide up next to her at one point during their set. She grabs my by the arm and shakes me "Oh My God! These guys are great! Why didn't you tell me about them before?" AHHHHH the excitement and enthusiasm. Thankfully they are a local (for now) Austin band, so now I get to go to more of their performances with the stamp and arm shake seal of approval from Ms Cruz. Watch out guys, we'll be seeing ya!

Vallejo ( are The kings of fucking Austin, Texas Rock-n-Roll! This band is the epitome of fun, excitement, energy, and enthusiasm. They DO NOT know how to stop once they get on stage. They are the utmost professionals and they are musical divas onstage. Absolutely and unequivocally! They mug for all of the cameras in the audience, while they are doing their set. They will point you out in the audience, acknowledge you and make you feel like the rock stars they are up on stage. The music is non stop infectious with their Latin infused grooves underlying that rock and roll blood as they pump it through the crowd. This has been and will ALWAYS be one of the 2 premier rock bands to go see in Austin when it comes to a GREAT live music experience. I have always taken every opportunity to go see them, I have not seen them near as much as I have wanted to, and now I beseech you...GO! Seek out the fun and rock and roll that is Vallejo! and if you can't then here is a video from that show to hold you over

Seis Pistos ( was the final band we saw before an early, but exhausted exit from Rockfest. With the lead singer doing a lot of Spanish speaking and really horrible broken English, I thought it was a joke. HELLLL NO! These guys are straight up from Mexico, but they are great proof that rock music has no boundaries. The music had this definite and irreverent 'I don't give a fuck' attitude, but they were serious. Mixing some old classics with their new style, it was actually impressive. I really liked it. In fact, I would say that I loved it. Metal is metal no matter where you go in the world. Nope, I couldn't understand a damn thing the singer was saying (even his hilariously shitty English), but it was great. It was great in every way that rock music should be. Powerful, driven, and in the end, gracious that you were there to witness it and appreciate it. They were kind enough to pour their souls out for us and I will definitely be kind enough to go see them again!