Tonight was the moment we had been gearing up for the past month and a half: our first Official SXSW Showcase!
6:00pm – Bands arrive for load in. Gustavo Galindo & Orlando are stuck in traffic. Chikita Violenta is M.I.A.
7:00pm – Crew is in place, minus one legged Jerry. Deals are being negotiated by all bands about backline with 69 Nombres. Producer Dare-ik finds a way to position the SDE Banner in a crucial spot on stage. All set to rock!
8:00pm – 69 Nombres from Colombia are able to sound check to a certain degree. Truly a sweet luxury aloted only to the openers. Mi Casa Cantina starts filling up y arrancamos. Los colombianos have great songs that translate really well live. The band played an impromptu showcase the night before and seemed to have brought a crowd with them tonight. SDE Staff reflects and agrees a better opening act could not have been chosen.
9:00pm – Pedropiedra gets underway… performing Sol Mayor and various other songs with just his guitar and keyboard (Francisca’s keyboard to be exact). 20 minutes into his set he introduces the rest of his band and they join him on stage. At this point Jose Galvan loses his mind since the drummer & the bassist happen to be prolific songwriter Gepe and SDE favorite Fernando Milagros! A true display of the Chilean musical power!
10:00pm – After a short snafu with Orlando’s guitar, his set gets underway. He sounds amazing with his newly formed backing band. It’s at this point we realize that our Twitcam feed is insanely distorted and proceed to resolve the issue. Orlando plays on and closes with a cover that seems to get the crowd grooving. He’s such a great talent and very charismatic on stage. Still no word from Chikita Violenta.
11:00pm – Jose introduces Francisca Valenzuela and also wishes her a happy birthday at her tour manager’s request. There is a keyboard, drums, and guitar on stage… but she sits down at the keyboard alone and performs an amazing acoustic solo set. Buen soldado, Muerdete la lengua, Quiero verte mas, never sounded so good. It’s the most intimate performance of the night by far and it appears that all the industry folks have made their way into Mi casa cantina to check her out.
12:00pm – Recent iTunes chart topper, and one of the hardest working dudes in the business takes the stage, to a somewhat surprised crowd. Many were expecting Los Negretes, who could not make the trip, but were delighted by Galindo’s fill in spot. Ripping through songs off his recent debut, Gustavo puts on another amazing performance for a second year at SXSW. Alan Ity of Vicente Gayo is spotted in the crowd, as are industry bigshots, Marissa Lopez & Porfirio Piña from BMI. Members from Chikita Violenta start to arrive. SDE Staff is relieved. Twitcam issue unresolved.
1:00am – Chikita Violenta take the stage for what is to be their third showcase of the day. They immediately grab the crowds attention with opening jams, Tired, All I need’s a Little More, & Laydown. It’s a strong crowd for the 1am slot. No doubt a lot of would be fans that heard their track on the free SXSW compilation put out by iTunes this past week. It’s a strong 40 minute set finishing with Roni and some melodic feedback. Oh yeah… Rey Pila filled in for their absent bassist. Strong!
2:00am – Wrap up. Banner? check. Computer? check. Flip cams? check. Producer Dare-ik? check. Jose Galvan thanks the crowd and SDE Staff heads to the hotel on a bike cab (or bike rickshaw as some at SXSW prefer to call them)
3:00am – Pizza has yet to be delivered to hotel room. SDE staff goes to bed hungry.