SXSW :: Manitoba bands just killing it in Austin


by Sheldon Birnie

It’s been a hot few days down in Austin, but as the old song says, “the road goes on forever and the party never ends.”

Yesterday, Manitoba Music hosted an afternoon showcase at the Canada House, right smack dab in the middle of all the 6th Street madness. Sets from Boats, Chic Gamine, Royal Canoe, and Imaginary Cities.  It was nice to get out of the sun, down some cold beverages, and see some familiar faces.

The place was packed, too. Royal Canoe’s set was particularly jammed with bodies, and the boys really delivered a solid, tight set of their complex trademark jams. Each of the acts showcased also had a busy schedule of late night showcases and day time sets lined up as well, and this was really just a kick off.

After a few days of walking up and down and all around downtown Austin, I set myself some time to just sit and chill in one venue for the evening last night, catching an amazing Muscle Shoals showcase and some Texas legends Ray Wylie Hubbard and Billy Joe Shaver. But I was determined to catch KEN Mode, and luckily they were playing across the street at the Dirty Dog. While there wasn’t a line up at the door, the place was packed and KEN Mode just killed it.

We’re getting ready here now for the final two day push. Plenty of great acts to catch, and plenty more sunscreen to apply. We’ll keep you posted.



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