Day Party Crawl

The XX
The XX (Photo by Sandy Carson)

Babelgum/Dig for Fire/Other Music Lawn Party

French Legation, Thursday, March 18

The only guarantees in life are death and taxes and the certainty that set times for South by Southwest day parties are merely suggestions for when to show up. Thursday's party was behind before it even started. The best course of action was to accept your fate, grab a $3 veggie burger and a brewski, and settle in for an extended rendition of that time-honored classic: "Check, check. I need more vocal in the stage monitor." After Rough Trade signee and Louisiana native Dylan LeBlanc finished up his Texas-leaning songcraft, the Antlers' Peter Silberman channeled Jeff Buckley's emotive falsetto amid a backdrop of shimmering keys and a heartbeat kick drum. This was followed by the disastrous Zola Jesus, an off-key goth Stevie Nicks backed by three synths. Spotted heading into the tent for Real Estate's springy indie rock was Avey Tare of Animal Collective, while dogs and toddlers cavorted on the idyllic lawn, popsicles in hand. Those with the foresight to come early so as not to miss headliners the XX descended around 5pm, with plenty of time to see Brooklyn's fuzzilicious Dum Dum Girls, who sported vintage Silvertones and black Victorian-era fashions. Sweaty. Thank goodness the Ice Cream Man showed up to disperse Cherry Garcia-flavored blessings to the assembled faithful.

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