[VIDEO] Willow Wood SXSW 2014 Showcase
We held an unofficial showcase in Austin during SXSW music week back in March. The event was to celebrate our little business/collective/family turning one year old. It was also to showcase a selection of bands from across the US and Australia that we had either met or been introduced to on our various travels and musical pilgrimages during this first year.
We chose The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company as our venue, due in part to the fact that the owner, Mark Jensen, based his business on the same fundamentals that we did when starting Willow Wood. Anyone who gives up their successful career and moves to a new city to pursue their passion is ok by us. Oh, and it helps he has a great taste in music and an impeccable selection of in-house-brewed craft beers. This warehouse turned micro-brewery, part music venue, part pizza barn, part beer garden had everything we could have wanted to host our showcase. The ABGB is a favourite haunt for the locals and a little off the beaten path, providing an oasis from the madness that is 'dirty 6th street'.
The evening kicked off with Portland-based Quiet Life, who got people up and dancing, trying their hand (or feet) at a little two-step. Following this was an energetic rock'n'roll set by Them Vibes, who we met during our visit to Nashville last year. Fellow Californian's Jesus Sons continued on the old-school Rock'n'Roll trip, complete with an American flag draped over their drum-kit. Much-hyped (and well deserved) James Supercave brought a more sultry and alternative feel to the evening. Finally, Aussie swampy blues-rockers OXBLVD brought the night to a close by getting the late-night crowd up and dancing. Throughout the night, in the beer garden outside, we were graced with the sweet and sassy tunes of songstress Lizzie Franck and our favourite travelling nomad Clayton Severson.
All in all, our goal was to curate an event that was a bit more heartfelt and wholesome than Lady Gaga playing at the Doritos stage off 6th street. Without the financial support from any sponsors, and with the helping hand of some wonderful friends and family, we think we did a pretty good job. At least, the venue staff, bands, and attendees thought so.
Have a look at the lovely video our new Austin-based friend and videographer, Brian Shaw, made to capture the goodness of the evening.