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SXSW 2010 Through Our Lens: Day Three

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SXSW Saturday was a slow descent into Hell GWAR. As LAist's Molly Bergen probably mentioned, the weather dropped about 30 degrees from the night prior, startling the hung-over 90% of us that were completely unprepared clothing-wise. (Not like I own a truly warm coat, anyhow).

While this might have shaped the musical choices for some (the Twitterverse was full of the indoor show lineup times), we decided to bundle up as many layers as we could and head down Congress to catch LA-based singer/songwriter Johnny Rossa do a low-key set at the incredibly cool (and very warm) Luther’s. Foregoing breakfast and lunch, we high-tailed it back to FYF’s MWTX event, where we caught up with GWAR preparing to do a meet-and-greet at next door’s Levi’s/Fader Fort. Tagging along for the ride (Thanks Phil!), we found the moment to be pure SXSW, with Oderus Urungus and crew being denied access because they didn’t have the right wristband. Seriously, people. It’s all about the wristband.

Having almost killed my memory stick on that escapade, I jumped into the photo pit on the North stage to catch the tail end of Japanther, Big Freedia (Queen of the New Orleans Bounce), and a GWAR-introduced Crystal Antlers before heading back to the hotel to wolf down a delicious gluten-free pizza from the Brick Oven and dump photos onto my laptop. Twenty minutes later we had made it back just in time for Andrew WK, where I narrowly avoided a swift kick to the head from an enthusiastic crowd surfer.

Afterward, the entire VIP section was emptied and the photogs sent to wait outside before the headliners took the stage. While we shivered in the cold, a salty dog told me that shooting GWAR earned me serious photo stripes, to protect my lens above and beyond all else, and last, but certainly not least, “When the cannons come out, DUCK”. WHAT CANNONS?!?! I wrapped my camera in a plastic trash bag, pulled my sweatshirt hood over my face, and braced myself. After the first song I was completely soaked in fake blood, mostly because the band was aiming directly for me (and the rest of the photogs) like some real-life arcade game. We dodged and parried, survived it, and ended SXSW on a high note. Leave it to Angelenos to bring the noise to Austin, yeah? Best. Night. Ever.