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Friday, March 31

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« SXSW 2015: Day 1 Tour Diary from In Tall Buildings SXSW 2015: Day 3 Tour Diary from The Waco Brothers »

sxsw2015 Thu Mar 19 2015

SXSW 2015: Day 2 Tour Diary from The Waco Brothers

Chicago at SXSW 2015

In our second SXSW Tour Diary update from The Waco Brothers, guitarist Deano climbs up out of his hangover to give us a pretty remarkably lucid recounting of the first night's events.

At five o'clock, the whistle blows, I am freed from the salt mines and my SX weekend officially begins. I step out onto West Sixth Street and I'm greeted by Austin's most perfect weather. I'm also greeted by sensory overload. Aurally, it's a mash-up of 15 bands playing simultaneously within about a three block radius. Visually, it's a parade of music players and fans, along with spring breakers (SX has become a popular spring break destination over the years). Most are doing their best to look crazy, sexy, cool. I'm trying my best not to look like a fossil. SX usually gives me the rare inspiration to actually purchase some new clothes. I'm sporting a newly acquired thrift store shirt and a spankin' new pair of PF Flyers. I'm still just as rockin' as these kids, dammit!

toronto party.jpg
Are we in Toronto yet? Jon & I hobnobbing with the power brokers of Toronto.

Facebook posts inform me that my Waco Brothers have arrived. They have checked in at Polvo's and taking in some Tex-Mex rock fuel. Me, I'm making my way through the madness to eventually meet up with Jon at an annual party for Canadian industry folk. It's put on by Jeff Cohen of the Horseshoe Tavern and Lee's Palace in Toronto. Jeff saw the Wacos at Yard Dog during SX many years ago. He became a super fan and our Canadian ambassador. Over the years, this has developed to the point where we feel like we have a Toronto family. The opportunity to eat free smoked meat, drink Shiner Bock and rub elbows with the Toronto music elite proves irresistible and Jon meets me there. The now traditional Rob Ford jokes are exchanged. Consumption and storytelling begins in earnest. This is the definition of SX. Folks seem obsessed with some newcomer/old timer, Buck Hogarth, who has a Saturday night set at ABGB. This years' buzz I guess.

We don't have a Wednesday gig until 1am. So, after the TO party ends we make our way to our SX office. Guero's Taco Bar on South Congress. Each year, we become a fixture here. Their top-shelf margarita, the Silver Train, has contributed to both legendary sets and (Silver) train wrecks. Sometimes they are one in the same.

Waco group-day2.jpg
Guero's doing it's best impersonation of a Paris salon in the '20s.
Musicians Bill Anderson (in Jon's band The Far Forlorn as well as the amazing Churchwood and my band Ice Cold Singles), Walter Salas-Humara of the Silos, Joe Camarillo and Tracey Dear.

In fairly short order, the bar fills up with fellow musicians, fans, our favorite rock photographer and friends of the band. The Silver Trains are coming at me fast and furious. This does not bode well for the 1am set. Eventually, Wacos drummer Joe Camarillo and mandolinist Tracey Dear make their entrances, to much fanfare. Sadly, our bassist Alan Doughty is not here as he has taken a higher paying gig in the Philippines with Right Said Fred. Our deputy Waco bassist, Hunter Darby, is smart enough to steer clear of this madness. Many bullshit stories are told, many drinks consumed, we close Guero's and wander off to the Continental Club. I'm somewhat legless by this point.

Home at last. Jon gets blurry at Guero's. Me, I'm perfectly clear-headed.

To all of you youngsters in what I will call "drinking bands", a note of caution. When a dear friend suggests a shot of tequila along with a vodka soda just before your set, just say no. By the time we stumbled onstage, my guitar, effects pedals and amp may seemed like the control panel for a nuclear reactor. I didn't understand how to operate them and just a few mistakes could cause a melt down. Thankfully, my band mates and a kind, gentle audience pull me through. Day One has come to an end. Hangover in place as I write this, I will make rebound today with a show of precision and professionalism! The is a SX lesson learned over the years. Play as many shows as you possibly can. Even a broken watch is right twice a day. Off to the legendary honky-tonk the Broken Spoke to begin a long Day 2!

- Deano


Catch The Waco Brothers at SXSW:
March 18: Bloodshot 2015 SXSW Showcase @ Continental Club (8pm)

March 18: Continental Club, (1am)

March 19: Twangfest @ Broken Spoke (Noon)

March 20: Bloodshot SXSW Day Party @ Yard Dog Art Gallery (Noon)

March 20: South by Sapporo Party @ Cheers Shot Bar (2:45pm)

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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