photo diary: Ratboys at SXSW
In a special Photo Diary series, we’ve teamed up with Topshelf Records to post a selection of words + photos from some Topshelf artists that attended SXSW. This photo diary comes to you courtesy of Ratboys.
This was our fourth year in a row heading down to Austin for SXSW, and by now we had a pretty clear idea of what to expect. We knew we’d be running around town cramming in multiple sets a day, and we also knew that meant sitting in lots of traffic and circling blocks like hawks hunting for elusive parking spots. We also knew that we’d eat lots of delicious, cheap food, see lots of great bands, make new friends, and hang out with old friends who we rarely get to see.
One night, all of those aspects of the typical SXSW experience collided. After a jam-packed day playing both the Grey Estates/New Professor & The Alternative/NOEARBUDS showcases (and catching amazing sets by Rosie Tucker, Bad Moves, Weakened Friends, Sidney Gish, Greet Death, Laura Stevenson, and many more), we piled in the car to hustle over to Eden St Co-Op, to catch the tail end of Phluff’s Untitled Fest. We were specifically psyched to catch Pope, one of our favorite bands and some of our best buds in music.
Anyone who has seen Pope play in Texas knows that their home-state shows have a special kind of energy. This one was up there for me as one of the most fun sets I’ve ever gotten to see. Everyone was packed into the living room of the co-op, the floors were shaking, and Pope ripped into their songs (mostly new ones). Everything felt so raw, but so comfortable. It reminded me why I love house shows, why I love guitars, why I love my friends.
Right after Pope’s set ended, a woman named Ollie tapped me on the shoulder as I was walking out and told me she had to introduce me to someone. She then held up her pet rat, Clementine, and I just melted. It was such a nice moment, such a cute rat, and I got to hold her for a while. New friends, indeed.
We ended the night at the In-N-Out nearby. Got burgs and shakes before bed. Pope walked in as we were leaving and we all exchanged hugs and goodbyes. Another great day at SXSW 2019 was in the books, but we had to get to sleep to rest up for the next day.