I lost my voice Thursday night, which also inhibited my ability to swallow. The next morning, my ears were still ringing and my legs were tired as all hell. But, dammit, this was the penultimate day of SXSW, and there was NO CHANCE anyone was fucking stopping me from going all out. So I scarfed down three slices of Hoboken pizza (yeah, dammit, we’re talking about food again!), and walked my ass clear across downtown to catch me some White Ninja.I think what most surprised me about White Ninja’s set was how true-to-record these guys, sounded, which is impressive, considering how hazy their recordings can be at times. But, just like the recordings, the show would have probably sounded better accompanied by…um, “mood enhancers.” So, not a bad show or anything. I mean, any time you get to hear “PCU” while drinking watered down Glenlivet, that’s one for the win column, really.
After encountering the most dick-headed SXSW volunteer (“the line’s over here, brah”), I entered the Sounds from Spain showcase, which featured the largest assortment of La Liga jerseys this side of Madrid (go Real!). The whole time I was thinking, “if Gio and I are the visual equivalent of the mipster, who the fuck are these guys?! Spipsters? And is that said with or without the lisp?”
Anyway, I was there to see Bigott. He was really good! He was in high spirits throughout, barely pausing in between songs. And, for once, I saw a SXSW crowd engage in ACTUAL dancing (to a song called “Cannibal Dinner,” no less!). There was also some ace guitar playing to “Dead Mum Walking” and some colorful band interplay to “Sparkle Motion,” not to mention that this guy is just as funny and charismatic live as on record. If anything, I’m bummed that this was his only SXSW showcase—I’d definitely see him again if I had the chance.
(I also caught Nite Jewel last night. All I’ll say is, it took her 30 minutes to soundcheck and the synths were STILL way too compressed in the mix. Oh, and also La Vida Boheme, which is apparently Spanish for “tries too hard.”)
Last up for the night was the unstoppable short bus that is 3Ball MTY. The energy inside the venue was palpable. No one was wearing pointy boots (BOO!) though Gio made an excellent point that 3Ball’s staff was “very chuntaro looking,” which is a half-win. As for the show itself? TOTAL. FUCKING. FRENZY. 3Ball’s 45-minute MegaMix was a bevy of crowdsurfing, obstructive camera phones, and, oh yeah, I had to break up a fight. Regardless, the set was more than impressive, and its abrupt end due to a 2 a.m. curfew nearly set off a small skirmish from overhyped fans.
Leaving the show, I realized I still hadn’t gotten a sense whether 3Ball MTY is an actual project, or merely short-term (particularly for Erick Rincon, who dictated virtually everything onstage as if going through the motions). As “Inténtalo” remains #1 on the Billboard charts, the opportunity was theirs to take this festival by the balls. Yet here we were, with only one show aimed at the long ago-converted. Who knows, maybe there was a good reason. But we’ve known for months that “Inténtalo” is a game changer of a song—now should have been the time for 3Ball MTY to become a game changer of a band.