We started our Thursday off with some shows at the convention center. The rooms are a bit sterile, but the sound is great, and the audience is always respectful of the performers. It is not uncommon to try to listen to a performer at one of the SXSW venues only to have so much crowd chatter and bar or kitchen related noise that the show is essentially, ruined.
The first band we saw was Mt. Joy, and the great sound provided the perfect environment to listen to Matt Quinn's beautiful voice. The intricate arrangements could also be appreciated and well heard.
There is a small stage on the convention floor surrounded by merchants selling posters, shoes, perfume, jewelry, and just about anything else you can imagine. In a curtained off area, the Flatstock Stage resides. Here we were able to see and hear Liz Brasher and her powerful voice and guitar playing.
We returned to the Radio Day Stage to see clean version of Frank Turner's act. His dry humor and British wit, quickly won over the crowd. There were multiple sing-a-longs and no one wanted the performance to end. Despite lacking a full backing band, he was able to rock the convention center.
The last performer we saw during the day was Gordi. She utilizes an autotune, and picks right up where Bon Iver's last album left off.
Our Thursday Daytime Takeaways were:
1. Mt. Joy needs to feature vocalist Matt Quinn the way Radiohead and learned to feature Thom Yorke.
2. Liz Brasher has a voice and guitar chops to really go somewhere big, and it was treat to see her on such a small stage.
3. Frank Turner is a fun performer with poignant lyrics and a great stage presence. Go see him, if you have the chance.
4. Jamie does not like Autotune whether a woman uses it or Frank Ocean or Bon Iver.