Despite the fact that Rainey Street has been completely swamped during the evenings of SXSW, the area has been relatively calm during the early part of the day. That calm was shattered yesterday with Megabig’s Day Party at the Blackheart which had one of the best lineups for arson inspiring rock.
Casino Clocks, who have been working the college crowds for almost a year, kicked things off with their half and half style of ’70s and ’90s inspired rock. Following behind them were Rare Birds, a band that recently moved to Austin from Cincinnati. This was the real surprise of the day. The 3-piece act, sans bass, managed to wrestle some amazing riffs into the tightly wound machine that is their band. With a sound that draws on Zep, Queens of the Stone Age, and maybe a little Black Keys, this is definitely an act to watch.
Vegatron, an act featuring members of LAX and At All Costs, positively burned down the stage with a set that harkened back to Hardcore’s resurgence of the ’90s mixed with some Dimebag/Zakk Wylde inspired leads. The effect was something like the meeting of Corrosion of Conformity and CIV… and that’s fairly awesome.
Local heroes Burning Avalanche took the stage and raised the rock bar even higher with one of the most blistering performances this journalist has seen from them to date. Brining Avalanche, they of the sleazy sounding school of southern rock, might as well have thrown a Molotov cocktail on the stage as they burned through their set with a sense of righteous verve.
Finally, Megabig closed the bill out with their unique, borderline schizophrenic, mixing of genres. The band can move through a slinky blues jam, spin it into a stomping behemoth of rock riffage, and then fold it neatly into a Link Wray styled “cool yer jets” instrumental. You never exactly know what you’re going to get from Megabig, but you can rest assured that the band will play with precision, and that’s part of what makes them one of Austin’s best rock acts.
Be sure to catch these acts as they bounce around Austin during the rest of SXSW.
Written and Images by Clayton Hodges (email@example.com)