SXSW is a festival known for surprises. Whether it’s big-name acts crashing house parties or a legendary group showing up at your favorite hole in the wall, SXSW never fails to shock us. Even our little corner of downtown was not immune as Japan Nite descended upon the black walls of Elysium.
About an hour before doors opened and with bleak weather rolling in over our heads, the line outside had already started to build up and buzz with uncertainty. Just hours before, we’d been informed that three of the seven bands slated to play that night came all the way from Japan only to be turned away at customs due to problems with their visas. Atomic Stooges, KAO=S, and DEXTRINGS would be absent from this year’s lineup, leaving a huge hole in the timetable. Allusions to a ‘special guest’ was all the information that we had and many would-be patrons decided to leave in favor of other events now that their favorite acts were no longer playing. Speculation ranged from local fillers to a later opening. The only thing we knew for certain was that the show would go on. More