I was able to catch High Waisted across various stages in Austin, ending with the final show at the very fitting Cheer Up Charlie’s (where they also played back on March 15, 2014). During our chats in-between sets and while walking through streets with gear, it was a reminder that rock n’ roll in our generation is not (thankfully) dead. While I caught up with the band before their last set, they were being offered drugs (blame it on the long hair), handed drink tickets, and stopped by fans who admittedly saw their last set and seeing them again. The moment felt like what I imagine when I flip through old black and white photographs of the 60s and 70s – a mix of grungy and beautiful moments. Well hey, maybe we are making some history ourselves right there in Austin.
If so much stimuli was spinning around us during a ten minute talk over free Bud Lights, I asked the crew what a day was like for them as a touring band during the magical/chaotic/electric test of endurance we call SXSW.
“I’ll walk you through Wednesday,” drummer and content creator Jono kicks off. “Wednesday we woke up really hungover and thought we we’re going to play a live broadcasted session with only two songs, so we flipped our set and played our heaviest two songs first. Then we found out we actually had to play a real set. We all were super exhausted. While live on camera, we had to figure out how to play another set. So the AC was working, but there were so many people in this tiny room – this was over at the Do512 sessions – that when we’re done, I just laid on the floor and was like… ‘ah I can breathe again’.”
With just a partial day requiring bands to exude that much energy, you would think the group of friends and lovers would have an attitude closer to complaining, but just from talking with the members, (and undoubtedly seen when they perform,) you recognize this wild, intense world of hitting the road to play live music is what they live for. Trudging through the struggles of tour for a triumphant “fuck yeah” party performance on stage makes every part of tour worth it. “That’s why you do it, for those moments,” Jessica said while sharing stories of when the crowd feeds back great energy and even some beers to the band. Rewarding – seems to be the conclusive feeling the band shares about touring SXSW – you can see it shining in their sweat and smiles.
HIGH WAISTED SXSW TOUR TIPS
+ “Make friends with locals and treat them well because they will save you in a pinch”
“They will save your ass because you will need your ass saved many times.”
+ Plan ahead: safety is the number one priority: Designated Driver
+ Necessities: Portable battery chargers & dry shampoo – “We have more shampoo and conditioner than any other band on tour.”
+ “Turn on your location services on your phone so you can find your bandmates. If someone gets drunk or wanders off you can open it and know where everyone is at.”
See High Waisted’s latest music video release: “Trust” | Jan 8, 2017
Band Shout Outs:
Steve Flynn: Nominee band’s house + Blake, Cameron, Andy, Zooko, Diva
Thee MVPs – “We haven’t heard a band that makes us all 4 of us excited like that in awhile!”
[+] HIGH WAISTED
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Photos © Brittany NO FOMO. All Rights Reserved.