Packed Like Sardines @ M. Ward

18 03 2009

First day of my very first SXSW fest is flying by. After spending a couple hours getting registered and such, I headed over to the Paste Magazine Party at Radio Room today around 4:15 p.m. With a line stretching far out onto E. 6th Street for badge/wristband-wearers and the general public alike, the party was, to say the very least, hoppin’. I was antsy to make my way inside to catch M. Ward‘s abbreviated set, and after spending a half hour staring at the front door, I was finally let inside.


photo by Jillian Mapes

Ward’s stripped-down, signature guitar stylings permeated the sweaty crowd, which remained attentive through the half-dozen or so songs he played. Old favorites from Post-War and Transfiguration of Vincent, rather than songs from his February 17 release Hold Time, comprised the singer-guitarist’s set today. Though brief, the intimate acoustic performance seemed to satiate the elbow-to-blow crowd of badge-wearers and general public alike. Ward’s husky voice, country-blues licks and backwoods lyrical storytelling channels more classic musical influences — a refreshing change of pace in today’s indie rock world.

Paste continues with its party efforts tomorrow at Radio Room, with a not-to-be-missed line-up of Cursive, The Wrens (a personal favorite) and Blogosphere buzzkids The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Keep your eyes peeled for photos from the M. Ward set later.

— Jillian Mapes

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