Friday, March 18, 2011

SXSW Guest Blog: Satchel Grande in Austin, part 2

Apologies for the late post. I had some technical difficulties on my end that meant I'm posting this a day late. So don't blame Satchel Grande. Those gentlemen are above reproach.

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Well, sadly our Official SXSW Showcase is over. But the most anticipated 40 minutes of Satchel Grande’s career couldn't have been more entertaining and satisfying. And when you can get nine dudes to agree that this was above and beyond the most solid SG set to date, that is a minor miracle in itself.

It started out with our full court marketing press where we distributed and teased potential concertgoers with our BluBlocker encrusted handbills. You had to come to the show to get a pair, and as our new fans, including the Karma Lounge staff and SXSW volunteers sporting the signature Grande look, it was truly a sight to see. All in an amber tint of course.

Yes we had our concerns with the 8:00 p.m. sharp start time, especially since this wasn’t one of those loose Benson gigs where we could improvise with the clock. But as we warmed it up with Internal Stereo the crowd swelled around 100 strong during our set. The Karma Lounge had the disadvantage of being a few blocks away from the built-in mayhem of 6th street, but people made the trek up the hill to hear the elusive funk/soul showcase. And I think we made it worth their while.

We also had the fortune of listening and befriending some of the coolest musicians in the world. Literally. We met Akina Adderley and her band who hails from Austin and made quick friends with Melbourne’s own, The Vaudeville Smash. And we got to know Har Mar Superstar’s briefs a little better than we had hoped. All amazing people who love talking music and life. Some of us strayed from the Karma to 6th street corridor after the show and caught shows along the way. Watching people is often more entertaining than anything. I ended up at the Club Deville, and caught sets from Tennis and Yuck, both quality acts. But on the walk back to the Karma to load out, a huge line caught my eye, and the familiar sound of “Ordinary Day” was hear as Duran Duran wrapped up their set. You never know what you’ll stumble into in this town, and it’s only the first day.

My summary for the day though is this…while the thought of competition at these showcases came up in conversations before we came down, that silly idea dissipated in a hurry. Tonight was about lovers of music coming together to enjoy and explore something new. And something old if you’re a Duran Duran fan. What an incredible first night in Austin.

-- Andy Kammerer

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