SXSW 2014 Wednesday Day Session: Tennis

P1100240We arrived in Austin around noon, dropped off our stuff at our hotel, and hoofed it over to the Convention Center to pick up our badges. Since we were already at the Convention Center we decided to see some things while we were there to start the day.

My wife opted for the St. Vincent interview with Ann Powers, while I wandered over to the Radio Day Stage to see Denver’s Tennis.  In what would develop into a theme for the week, they were running late and the soundcheck took what seemed to be  a long time.

The Radio Day Stage has its pros and cons. On the good side, there’s no lines (only badge and wristbands can get in), there’s seats (which can be a godsend after standing for hours), easy access to drinks, a decent sound set up, and no need to worry about weather. On the negative side, it’s sterile, cavernous, and can be prone to small, lethargic audiences. Which means it can consume bands that don’t have a ton of energy and cause bands to play scared or apathetic.

I wondered if Tennis would get overwhelmed as a similar indie pop band we saw last year, Cayucas.  Fortunately, they did not and played a pleasant set of five songs.  Started as a husband and wife duo, they’ve added a drummer, and for this set a bass player. Singer Alaina Moore has a pretty, though not overly rangy, voice that goes well with the summery music the band plays.  I’m not that familiar with the band, so I only recognized Mean Streets and Petition.  Mean Streets is really catchy and packs a little more attitude than some of their other songs.  It was just as good live.  I would definitely go see them again, I’d imagine they’d be even better in a smaller venue.  A good start to the day, I met up with my wife to hear about the interesting interview with St. Vincent (I was only slightly bummed to have missed it) and we headed out of the confines of the Convention Center and into the city.

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