Top to bottom: Sharon Jones, Frightened Rabbit, City on the Make, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Free Energy, Broken Bells. Photos by Stacy Schwartz.
AUSTIN, TEXAS—Rock and roll, and live performance in general, operates on a disaster principle. This perverse variation of Murphy's Law posits that anything that can go wrong will, and that we want it to go terribly wrong, making for thrilling moments when everything does go wrong and the performers nonetheless pull through amidst the chaos. Some musicians introduce this chaos on principle (Stravinsky, any band with extended jams) or by personal proclivity (the Replacements, Guns n' Roses; in fact, a lot of bands in the 80s). The most common disasters, though, are logistical, and with exponential exacerbations of crowds, cramped stages, and hectic schedules, South By Southwest offers plenty of opportunities for logistical disaster.MORE »