Welcome to the Rock Desk, where Seattle Times rock critic Patrick MacDonald fills you in on the latest news, upcoming concerts, news releases and insider info on the rock 'n' roll beat. Music critic Tom Scanlon also contributes local music and club news.
March 15, 2007 12:00 AM
Posted by Patrick MacDonald
SXSW has taken over this town like never before. They used to block off 6th St., the main drag of nightclubs, on Friday and Saturday nights, but this year they started tonight, closing more blocks than ever before.
The party has started!
Music was pouring out of everywhere, not just from bars and clubs but also from huge tents set up in parking lots. You can hear drum beats in my hotel room up here on the 17th floor, coming from a parking lot across the street.
If the big crowds tonight are any indication, the weekend is going to be crazy. The streets were full of people in a partying mood, sampling the wide variety of live music up and down the street.
The mood was festive, friendly, like a streetfair to a rock beat.
I heard the spirit of Jimi Hendrix coming from the open, streetside windows of a joint called B.D. Riley's. It was "Red House," executed superbly by a surprisingly young trio called Back Door Slam, from the Isle of Man in the U.K.
The club was packed and so was the street outside. Folks were transfixed by this kid on guitar who played with a fiery spirit and sang with conviction, making the song his own.
Black Door Slam plays again Thursday night at a showcase of U.K. bands and I'm not going to miss it.
Checking out about a dozen bands tonight, I was inspired once again by the passion, the energy, the dedication of musicians who want to make their mark -- or just want to have fun and express themselves when they're young and full of spirit.
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