Sorry to give away the punch line in the post subject. Well, first I missed them Friday; the rollerskating show didn’t list set times, and my previous engagement ran an hour late (sense a theme?). Instead I saw the raucous, rollicking Athens dec-tet Dark Meat and got covered in confetti.
Did I mention that according to the internets, the Mae Shi signed up to play 16 shows at SXSW? Hence my casual attitude. (Each band plays only one official SXSW showcase, but at this point the unofficial parties probably outnumber the official slots. Other buzz bands playing countless times: Garotas Suecas, Vivian Girls, Wavves.)
However, when I got home Friday after seeing pretty much every band NYC-DIYer Todd P programmed that night, I realized only four Mae Shi shows remained. I raced into town and arrived early. Good thing: the band went on 15 minutes ahead of time.
Totally worth the rush. The band, a quartet, mixed live electronica (was that a keytar?!) with loud guitars. Three of the guys sang, sounding like a double-tracked cartoon character with an angry edge. They also calmly and methodically pulled off fantastic stage antics: Wrapping red tape around the frontman’s thigh; singing while balanced on a chunk of tree trunk; barking.
Best of all, at one point the guys pulled out a parachute tarp and flung it over the front of the audience. We stood with our arms up, waving the parachute, while a singer crouched underneath. Awesome.
p.s. Walked by a huge line on 6th St. in the middle of the day. Friend says: Why would anyone wait that long when there’s so much else going on? I agree. Later he texts me: That was the Rachael Ray party.