Today was relatively relaxing. I was able to sleep in and catch up on some much-needed rest, as my only assignment didn't start until 9pm. Today was the last day of the Film & Interactive festivals and the start of the Music festival, which will last until Saturday, March 17.
I checked in at 3:30pm and picked up some earplugs to use when shooting loud bands for hours on end. I made my way to the Interactive Trade Show to see some more exhibits before they closed shop. Afterwards, I sat down to check my email and catch up on homework when I discovered that Samsung was holding a competition to recruit bloggers and vloggers for the 2012 Olympics in London. So I did what every procrastinator would do and threw down my homework and spent the rest of my afternoon making a 30-second entry video.
Once dusk turned to night, I put away my camera and headed down 6th Street to scope out the location of my assignment, Bat Bar. I absorbed the hipster scenery and talked to a few friendly folk over brats and burgers on the strip. Once I recharged, I headed back to the venue to secure my spot in fron of the stage.
The best part about the Music festival is that showcases a lot of independent, up & coming bands that a lot of people have never heard of, so it's a good place to discover new music. The first band to perform was The Apache Relay. With two guitars, a trumpet, and a violin, they had a sort of feel-good new folk sound with a melodic bass that gave them a pop rock twist. They turned out to be my favorite band in the lineup.
Ume (pronounced "You Me") followed, a three-piece rock band with a petite blonde front woman. Their songs began soft with her angelic voice leading through the intro until the hook came and she exploded into a heavy metal goddess with a booming scream. It was amazing to see so much energy come from such an unassuming little girl. Her vocals reminded me of a cross between Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Lacey Sturm of Flyleaf.
The last band I shot was Yellow Ostrich, another trio of 30-something males. Their sound was a bit softer than the preceding bands and a little more rhythmic. I remember thinking that this was a band that would open for Andrew Bird or Beck. It encompassed the relaxed vibe that emanated from Austin evenings in the Spring, the type of music I'd listen to while I was packing my bags to head back to Tampa.
Being the newbie SXSW photographer that I am, I left the venue before shooting the two main acts, Caveman and Polica. I assumed since my shift was over at midnight, I had shot everything I was assigned to by then. Nope! I later realized that I am responsible for shooting all of the artists at the venue for that evening. I won't make that mistake again, considering my shifts now end at 2am from here on out.