New Madrid SXSW Tour Blog: Day 1

Flagpole kicks off SXSW week with part one of a tour blog from local rockers New Madrid. Look for photos and festival recaps every day this week.

So, we’ve hit the long road west for the first time as a band. Destination: Austin, TX. We left Athens Saturday afternoon, en route to Birmingham, AL’s Parkside Café. Passing through Atlanta was really as it always was. Rolling along I-20, our U-Haul trailer started spitting sparks. A fellow traveler looked at us slack-jawed and eventually mouthed through her window a bewildered warning. All in all, we made it to “The Magic City” in one piece.

This was our first time this year to play outside. The weather was right. The seasons seem to be settling past their schizophrenic leanings. Probably not, though. The stage at Parkside overlooks a back patio area that is warmly lit, with bulbs strung all around. A rock garden of sorts with an Airstream in the back. Trees were growing out of the patio. Some Stereolab pumping through the bar’s sound system was an all too perfect continuation of the car ride.

One of Parkside’s employees greeted us wearing an Olivia Tremor Control shirt. Felt like home. Though it was a mostly seated crowd more comfortable with head nods than gyration, the energy was still great. No glut of jibber jabber to compete with, warm breeze blowing. It was good in all the invisible ways. A tame greasing of the gears.

Next stop: N’AWLINS!!!