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

sxsw2015 Fri Mar 20 2015

SXSW 2015: Day 2 Tour Diary from In Tall Buildings

Chicago at SXSW 2015

As In Tall Buildings, Erik Hall had just one show to play in Austin for SXSW this year. Here's how he spent the day before and after, in the mix with other Chicago friends and musicians who traveled south.

Morning: There's cool air and cloud cover. We drink coffee for a while and then sit down to breakfast tacos at El Chilito. (Funny how much more American the Mexican food tends to be here than back home, despite the proximity to the border.)

Afternoon: We're casually running through tonight's set around the dining room table when Quin receives an urgent invitation via text to join Ryley Walker and his band at the Austin Psych Fest day party at Hotel Vegas. The astoundingly effective Uber — which I've only just started to use this week — gets us there within minutes, and we're suddenly taking in our first show of the week. The band is already playing its first notes when Quin slides onto the stage, seamlessly drizzling cymbals and drums into the mix. Lots of friends present, and it's good to say hey. "Delicate" Steve Marion, Ben Boye, Scottie McNiece, Grey Gersten, Dustin and Kristin from CHIRP.

Evening: Austin is abuzz. All types of people out. We're eating fish tacos downtown while watching them pass by. Incubus is sound checking somewhere in a nearby courtyard. Some spectacle is taking place at 7/11 that — judging by the size of the crowd outside the window — might as well be Kanye buying a candy bar.

We play our show and all goes well. The cozy room is warmed even further by the crowd as we make our way through the songs off the new album. The gratification of meeting the other musicians on our label exceeds my expectations. Everyone is amazingly kind, and it feels like some kind of new extended family. Joe O'Connell aka Elephant Micah commands the room with nothing but his Telecaster and perfectly unaffected voice. Later, Ava Luna are a wild-yet-humble, effortlessly-tight ensemble, and they absolutely blow me away with their mix of beautiful and weird. I'm grateful to be among all these artists.

Wee hours: We're sitting around the table in the back patio of our friends' place observing how quiet the town has become. It's 3am, and there are no more shows taking place, no more pulsing sub bass radiating from anywhere. Instead there is a lulling chorus of toads, bugs, and night birds all around, and I remember how far south we are. Happy to be able to sleep in tomorrow before catching some more sights and sounds.

- Erik


Catch In Tall Buildings at SXSW:

March 19: at The Hideout (617 Congress Ave) in Austin, TX.

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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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