SXSW Coverage By Belicia Luevano - Day 3
Yesterday proved to me that the universe does not hate me. The day started around 3pm because waking up before 12pm is impossible at this point. The Vaccines’ first show was that day and just knowing they were in the same town as me was enough to love that day.
Spotify House had a line to wait in line and it was only 21+ so there was no chance I would catch The Vaccines’ 3:15pm showcase that day. I just wanted to be on the same block as them so we stood around the taco trucks behind the Spotify house but we were too late for the show. As we turn around to leave I quickly turn back around and hyperventilated for a moment because five feet from me was Freddie, the lead guitarist of The Vaccines sitting on a plastic chair. Because I do interviews with many bands I’ve learned to suppress my excitement and keep from turning red but my hands were still tingling. As soon as he finished talking to his friends and turns to leave I walk to him and ask “Are you part of The Vaccines?” and he just chuckled and said yes. We took some pictures and wished him a good week.
After meeting him my Vaccine fever rocketed so my friend and I decided to plant ourselves outside the Scoot-In venue for the Applauze showcase where the band would be playing at 9pm. It was an outside venue and from the entrance you could see the stage so we sat on the cold sidewalk on the other end of the road to hope to catch a glimpse and hear them. The crowd in the venue was scarce, people were leaving, and people walking by would look at the schedule and after decided they weren’t interested, they would keep walking.
Emily and I were upset, here we were doing whatever we could to hear a band we adore and people who did have the chance to see them were leaving or didn’t care. We are huge social media people so we hashed out our frustration on twitter mentioning both Applauze and The Vaccines in our tweets. About ten minutes go by and Emily and I are impersonating The Vaccines in horrible british accents when a man with a flawless british accent asks us “Are you the girls tweeting about the Vaccines?” All we could do was nod. He then tells us to follow him to see if he could sneak us in. Emily and I said nothing on the way to the backstage entrance because neither of us could believe what was happening. While the backstage security was wrapping backstage access wristbands around our
What elevated the experience was their performance which was everything I hoped it could be and more. There was so much passion and joy from each song, they performed 4 new songs including their newly released sing, Handsome, and Justin was very theatrical in his movements when he wasn’t shredding on his guitar. I could say I was not on the verge of tears during Wetsuit or I Always Knew, but that would be a lie. Hearing songs I am in love with despite doubting I would see The Vaccines during SXSW because of my under 21 status was too much for my anxiety to handle.
After their flawless show Emily and I leaned against the rail trying to process all that had happened. While I couldn’t think of how the night could become more perfect, the entire band hung out at the barely populated venue. We did the best we could to approach each Vaccine and get pictures and ask about an American tour and it went successfully. They are humble and lovely guys, plus they were a bit drunk which made them a bit more social.
We took an Uber (taxi service) back and rode back in silence, life was beautiful and words were unnecessary at the moment.
SXSW is truly a festival of the unexpected and I learned that when you tweet about how pathetic you are the band feels sorry for you and sends their manager to sneak you in.
Today is Tuesday, the official start of the music portion of SXSW, and all hell will break loose. Wish me luck.