SXSW Travelogues: The Photo Atlas electrifies the crowd at Peckerheads

Saturday, March 18

Over the last six years playing SXSW, I've watched the "Denver parties" grow more and more every year. Last night, as the Illegal Pete's Starving Artist Showcase pushed the walls of Peckerheads to the limits with a one in, one out line around the corner, Denver has made its official crushing mark on SXSW and the city of Austin Texas.

Our Day began around 3 p.m. after the bar closing night before. Mark picked us up outside a cafe where I had the nicest meal I'd had in weeks, and we went back to the house to prep for our two shows that night. Around 8 p.m., we headed for our first show at Annie's West for the SeaNow party (sponsored by the TV show, Whale Wars), nervously anticipating how we were gonna manage 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. sets back-to-back on opposite sides of the town.

And, of course, the SeaNow! party was running incredibly late. We ended up cutting our set short for a house full of hipsters to make the Illegal Pete's showcase on time. We raced across town nine blocks, guitars in hand cutting through the packed crowds of Sixth Street. We made it to the doors of Peckerheads minutes before we had to hit the stage, running up the stairs past tons of familiar faces, including Tim Pourbaix, Ben Desoto, Portugal.the man and the Halos.

The crowd waiting for us to play was packed up against the stage. The heat and the anticipation in the club was through the roof, as American Tomahawk finished up its set on the stage in the other room. I thought the heat would stop the mob from dancing, but this was the not the case; the club exploded when we struck our first notes fist pumping and feet twitching.

The first initial push left people falling on the stage. We finished up our sweat-drenched, tambourine-flying set to calls for "one more song," but the Epilogues had already started up in the next room. There lights blistered across the room as the packed crowd seemed to be 100 percent caught in the Epilogues visually and unbelievably passionately rocking set.

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I can only imagine what next year will bring for Denver's presence at SXSW, seeing as how it keeps getting bigger and bigger. I was proud of what us little bands from Denver could do on this night. I'd never seen so many people at a Denver party. Today we'll be hitting up the Reverb party, and the Pure Volume house, as well as trying to catch a set from Air Dubai and then playing a final set at the Thirsty Nickel.

Thursday, March 17

We left the house headed for Fith and what seems like the middle of nowhere, where the Epilogues and Input were playing, trying to catch a good combination of local and national friends' bands playing, anticipating our sets on Friday and Saturday night. We walked across town making better time than traffic with some setbacks -- like our drummer Joshua Taylor being clipped by a car!

After a forty-minute walk, we arrived at the Epilogues/Input show only to find their sets have been pushed back two hours, so we went to the liquor store and drank Whiskey with Gus from Input on the side of the venue. Finally the Epilogues started... dealing with the worst sound guy i've heard in my life (which is saying alot).

JP Manza from Take to the Oars swooped in to save the day and salvage both group's sets. From there, we walked back to Sixth Street, where we ran into Air Dubai and My Body Sings Electric. Being the pros that we are, we drank tall boys on the streets with our Denver crew that now has built up to at least twenty of us, and we wait to catch a set from our LA friends Royal Heist.

From there, we met back up with the Epilogues and headed to the Pure Volume house to catch the Bravery and Innerpartysystem. We moved to the VIP area to try to sly our way in, being friends with both bands and being past label and tourmates. We approached the door girl, who turned out to know us from past Pure Volume shows and from the Inca House(our house in Denver).

We headed inside to see two amazing sets (and light shows) from both bands. After a few Tito's vodka drinks with Dirt and Sam from the Bravery, we found ourselves being the last ones in the club and being shewed onto the streets of Austin at 4 a.m. Bill and I headed for a hotel, while Mark and Josh got lost trying to find the Epilogues/Input house. We stumbled to sleep highly anticipating the Illegal Pete's Starving Artist showcase and the SeaNow! Party we're playing Friday!

All week, various Denverites will be checking in from Austin with travelogues about their trip to SXSW this year. Read the various exploits of Brian Frederick, The Epilogues, A. Tom Collins, Danielle Ate the Sandwich, the Photo Atlas, Air Dubai, Take to the Oars and Wheelchair Sports Camp.

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