Las Vegas band Rusty Maples is touring its way toward Austin, where official showcases at this year's South by Southwest festival await. Drummer Max Plenke, a journalist who frequently contributes music content for the Weekly, checks in with a series of reports from the road.
Day 6-7: Esther’s Follies and Life Is Beautiful Before playing the Life Is Beautiful/Caesars Entertainment showcase with a bill full of Vegas bands, and before the Wednesday night calamity on Red River Street, we played our official SXSW Music showcase at the comedy club Esther’s Follies, a room daunting in its arrangement: all seating, theater-style, with no room to dance up front.
At first we were on edge in front of an audience that looked ready to hear a TED Talk—highly attentive, anticipatory, judgy. They were everything but. Dancing, standing on chairs, hootin’ and wild-cattin’ and egging us on to play louder, to play harder, to tear the place apart.
When Blair asked the crowd where they were from, we realized why: At least half of the audience was from Las Vegas. We played harder than we had all tour.