SXSWland Tales – Nick Cross

We didn’t go to SXSW this year, but a lot of people we know did.  We’ve thrown out the invitation for them to document their experiences here, in a little segment we’re calling SXSWland Tales.

Here’s the final entry from our friend Nick Cross – tour manager for Asobi Seksu and co-host of the podcast Nick & Mat’s Infinite Shitlist.

SXSW Final Day.  Super Moon thing happening (I still don’t understand what the Super Moon is).  Everyone is running on fumes.  We started the day doing the Filter/Dickie’s party, which was great.  Totally laid back scene, and somehow the people running it hadn’t lost their minds yet and were friendly and accommodating.  Got more free shoes and clothes, drank a few Shiner’s, ate some free tacos, had a good show with a great crowd, total afternoon success.  After that, we went over to the Parish to load in for our big Saturday night label showcase.  Dropped our gear, and had 5 hours to kill until set time.  Billy (Asobi Seksu bass player) and I went and scored some free beers using our MOKB wristbands from the day before and watched a little bit of the tournament, and then went and met my friend Gray Blue for some dinner.  Ate some enchiladas, drank more beer, and popped into a Windish showcase for a second on the way back.  The day was turning into a winner.

When we got back to the Parish, the people at the front door told us it would be easier to go in through the back.  Ok, seemed weird, but whatever, around the back we went.  The dude at the back door however, wouldn’t let us in.  They claimed we needed someone to come down from the show to verify who we were.  What the fuck.  I finally got our Polyvinyl rep on the phone to come let us in, but the bullshit did not end there.  The club was out of wristbands, so they now said we needed to be escorted in and out by 1 of 2 people otherwise they wouldn’t let us back in if we left.  This for a band who was PLAYING THE FUCKING SHOW.  When our label guy tried to talk to the venue manager about this, I witnessed him start screaming at him that he was “fucking up his night.”  When I asked this fuck if I could get some people from our PR team in his response was, “who are you? oh wait, don’t answer because I don’t care.”  Wow.  Who is this festival for again?  Anyway, after a lot of fighting and sneaking people past the front door crew (who were halfway decent), we got almost everyone we wanted in.  Then came the actual set.  They were running late because of the first couple bands, and now the venue manager wanted us to cut from 40 to 25 minutes.  No Fucking Way.  I sent my guys on and waited for the fight.  Sure enough at 25 minutes he came out of his office and headed straight for the side of the stage.  In I stepped and proceeded to argue with and delay him for 15 minutes while the band kept playing.  Finally I told him “one more song,” right when they started the last song of the set.  He stormed back to his office.  Victory.  Short after set partying with managers and booking agents and James Blake for some reason.  Heard Michael Stipe was in the crowd for our set.  Loaded out, shitty pizza, a few hours of sleep, and now 13 hour drive to continue tour for another week.  Austin, I love you, but SXSW kind of blows.  Bring me back another time of year.

(picture is of me, now, thinking about how I have to drive 13 hours today)

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