Last Saturday, San Antonio Sound Garden presented the official launch and celebration of their completed recording studio and working space in the form of "11/11: You Vote. They Win. Party" at Alamo Beer Hall. There were light shows, food trucks, beer-induced dancing, and, most importantly, a host of ten local artists performing in a Battle of the Bands-style competition to the tune of a $2,500 to $30,000 business package reward.
Despite the high stakes, the atmosphere at Alamo Beer Hall was anything but ruthless, instead reflecting the kind of collective atmosphere SASG intends grow through networking, mentoring, and equal access to state of the art music recording technology. Artists patted each other on the back and stressed the importance of community support, while audience members found themselves in the wonderful communal intimacy of mosh pits and crowd surfing (seriously.)
Swinging in just in time to catch Amea's set, I was struck by the variety of genres and music styles represented in SASG's showcase. The Dirty River Dixie Band's jazz bumped shoulders with the progressive ska of Young Costello, while pop R&B artist Amea's set led into that of teen-angst gods Junkie and was subsequently followed by the super-noise electronic 80's aesthetic of Rivers Want. The message was clear: the growth of San Antonio's music scene will not be defined by an emphasis on a single style, but by the embrace of unique local talent across the board.
As the music jammed and the beer continued to flow, SASG's launch proved itself to be one for the books. The sense of crowd participation and proud community involvement pervaded long past the opening hype; if "You Vote. They Win. Party" was any indication, SASG is well on its way to becoming a key player in fostering San Antonio's lasting contributions to the local music scene and beyond.