As far as SXSW music goes, its hit or miss. You either find the talent or you don’t. It’s a real treasure hunt of covering blocks and blocks every day, but when you find a big score of a band you remember why you’re down here in the first place. Your feet that have been aching all day, seem to turn from stone to gel; its magic and you’re almost glad you had to work through the struggle to find Graceland.
Maggie Mae’s Rooftop is a great place to be for a concert; well at least the view is pleasing but as for the technical side, it was a disaster zone and Middle Class Rut had to suffer because of it. The band took the stage after an extra fifteen minutes of setup-fifteen minutes of trying to stop the high-pitched screeching coming from the amp. But in a way this worked in the band’s favor, it enraged them and as luck would have it they just happened to be a punk band, so it was the perfect fuel for them. The first line spoken out of Zack Lopez’s mouth was, “If you want to hear some shitty punk rock music, you’re in luck.” And from there, zang!
The band exploded right into their first song with an energy of madness that was raw and ready to kill; the lead singer screamed and jumped around working out all the aggressive energy that Maggie Mae’s audio engineer gave him. And so did the drummer, I guarantee he was hitting twice as hard as he usually would. It was something else; it felt like going 200 mph down the highway.
But then it happened-the smack of bullshit, as the kid next to me started freaking out, jumping up and down in a crazed frenzy. He was a fan connecting with his favorite band but then one of the staff came over and made him stop. It was true fat pig behavior, true slap happy crap. It was a murder of a whole experience; of a special moment in time that kid may never get again. So I say spit on the front door of Maggie Mae’s if you walk by and call out “justice!”
Other than that all I can say is Middle Class Rut are true professionals-masters of their craft finishing a short set on a high note, without playing “New Low” but still they rocked the fucking house with thunder. And right before the band left the stage Lopez said something that I hope republicans and shitty venues remember-“Don’t build a house if you don’t have the tools.”
by Josh Davis