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To SXSW and Back: Showcasing in Austin

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Rusty Maples
Corlene Byrd
Max Plenke

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 5: The first showcase The stage may have smelled like meatball sliders and whiskey sweats afterward, but our first official SXSW showcase of the week felt like it might be on the favorite show shortlist, at least for this trip. SXSW V2V hosted Rusty Maples as the sole-billed band, having us play for hungry geeks who swarmed platters of macaroni and cheese balls like vultures to lightly breaded carrion.

We were prepared to be background music, the easy-listening Kenny Loggins to freeloading festival revelers lined up for the bacon-wrapped something-or-others and what looked like a bodega’s worth of froufrou vodkas and mixers, at least enough to turn a few hundred tech folks into apparent networking geniuses. The surprise was how many stuck around and watched the set, long after they were fueled and greased. At SXSW, it seems the most flattering thing is an audience member with an empty plate.

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  • If the venue continues to book rising stars, it might just be the best place to see them before they get big.

  • There were loud sing-alongs and vigorous mosh pits throughout the night, but it was all still fueled by nostalgia.

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