Every year, I’m usually content to sit in my living room and let SXSW quietly pass me by. I do this for a few reasons. I’m lazy, married and lack any sort of social life. During SXSW, downtown Austin is turned into a demilitarized zone. And while it’s always a pleasure to gawk at the sea of attractive hipsters who have become a mainstay of the Austin social scene, it’s not always worth it to wade through all the ugly, ugly mid-90s Seattle grunge scene throwbacks. I give you Exhibit A!
Other common sights are bands playing on the side of the street in hopes of getting discovered and hoards of APD’s mounted cavalry. Anyway, I made the trek downtown this year to hear Neon Trees, a band you may have heard of unless you never listen to the radio, watch MTV, use iTunes, or have been inside a movie theater this past month. Their drummer, Elaine Bradley, and I knew each other back in the day, so it was nice to go down, see the band and catch up.
Neon Trees’ sound is similar to The Killers or The Strokes with slightly more synth. If I were you, I’d check them out. Especially if you get the chance to see them live, they put on a good, high energy show. Then you can get pissed off when they get really popular and complain to all your friends that you were listening to Neon Trees before it was trendy to listen to Neon Trees. You can order their album, Habits, at amazon.com. In the meantime, check out some pictures I took at the show. Are my photo skillz the best you’ve ever seen? My answer: maybe.