Musicians put in overtime during SXSW
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When the Polyphonic Spree took the stage at 1 a.m. Friday, it was their fourth show in less than 48 hours.
They'll play two more times before South by Southwest wraps up later this week.
The festival is made up of thousands of shows. For the artists, playing multiple gigs is part of the job.
"Hey, you just got to be tough,” said Ryan Gullen, vocalist for The Sheepdogs. “As you can hear, my voice is a little 'rashed.'"
The band just wrapped its fourth show of the day early Friday morning.
"That's what you do. You tour, you make records, plus we're from Canada, so it's freezing cold there right now,” Gullen said. “So it also means you get a bit of a suntan."
When closing time comes at downtown bars and venues, the work is just beginning dozens of bands who play the periphery of the festival.
Providing their own power, a group of do-it-yourself musicians put on what has become a SXSW tradition -- a free concert on the Lamar Street pedestrian bridge.
For the artists, every extra show can mean new fans and more exposure.
"Never seen them before, never even heard them before, they're just unbelievable,” said one fan who caught the Sheepdogs show. “A bunch of friends of mine came and said they were going to be great. We watched the show, it was fantastic. The music was amazing."
It’s a reaction like that that makes the work worthwhile for the musicians.