Super Happy's Festival Overflows SXSW Itself

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Photos by Altamese Osborne
It sure is hard seeing over... no one.
Oh, Super Happy Fun Land. Can't live without you; can't get inside you...

Despite becoming one of our favorite weeknight music haunts, Tuesday evening wasn't the first time we'd found ourselves sitting in front of the darkened, locked doors of the venue, staring absent-mindedly into the East End and contemplating a Flakey's Pizza from the food truck out back.

Whereas Monday's installment of the venue's SXSW Overflow Festival made a respectable showing, Tuesday's event fell victim to a couple of coincidental mishaps: the cancellation of two scheduled bands -- they start to fizzle out after SXSW is over, we overhead owner Brian Arthur telling a curious attendee -- and a nonexistent crowd, which caused the doors to open a little later than expected. So at approximately 6:30 p.m., we were the only ones there -- well, us and an ear-splitting train that made its way 'round the bend every hour or so.

By 7 p.m., Tomas Sanchez, lead guitarist for The Dirty Seeds, had arrived, looking as confused as we were. Two hours later, there were only nine people in the audience watching that Houston band play, including HolySexyBastards, the Venezuelan band slated to play after them.

According to Arthur, this, sometimes, is par for the course.

"Some of the touring bands have a draw and bring in folks," he told us via email late Tuesday night. "Like tonight, the Venezuelan band (HolySexyBastards) had a bigger draw than the local supporting band; they brought out about 20 people, mostly Venezuelans who live in Houston to see them, which is pretty good for a band from another country to do on a Tuesday night.

"Actually, the Japanese band that played (Otonana Trio) had a good draw too when they played last week; they were awesome!," added Arthur. "Some nights, especially on, say, a Monday night with ten bands scheduled, there can be more people in bands than actual paying audience members, but those shows are a lot of fun too, because with that many band members, you actually can get a pretty large audience going on."

In addition to HolySexyBastards, The Dirty Seeds and others, we have found quite a few amusing curiosities at this festival, particularly during Tuesday night's prelude: a cat roaming throughout the venue, a child playing on his bike outside and a help-yourself bowl of chili, with sprinkled cheese and Frito's nearby, just in case one fancied a Frito pie.

You won't catch Garfield or Tiny Tim walking around Toyota Center, that's for sure. And you damn sure won't get free food in that high-priced place.

Sanchez, a bespectacled, burly figure rocking a Katy Perry tour tee, was funny, too, carrying a beer to drummer El Guapo before the band began its hour-long set of grunge rock (or "stoner rock," as they call it).

"Appreciate it, man," said Guapo. "Beer: It's what's for dinner."

"Yes, it is," responded Sanchez.


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Super Happy Fun Land

3801 Polk, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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