BEST SECRET SHOW: Parquet Courts at the Owl
We ended SXSW with a Parquet Courts gig at the Owl, a house-turned-venue a mile or so outside of downtown Austin. The performance space was more like your college buddy’s unfinished basement than a nightclub, if your buddy figured out a way to get the Eagulls to play. When Parquet Courts hit the stage after 1 a.m., they provoked barely controlled chaos: bodies thrashing around, audience members crowd-surfing and hanging onto the wooden beams of the unfinished ceiling, people desperately hanging onto the PA system so it wouldn't topple into the crowd. Parquet Courts themselves seemed totally unfazed, playing a confident, thrilling set heavy on pogo rhythms and slacker wordplay. Special shout out: the dude who tried to light a cigarette while he was crowd-surfing.