Riversyde Rocks SXSW
by Kirsten Peek
Up and coming alternative rock band Riversyde played three shows at South by Southwest (SXSW) last week. Lead singer Shane Blake and lead guitarist and keyboardist Paul Devassy formed the band in 2010, which grew to include bass guitarist Blake York, drummer Sean Gibbs and Parker Jackson on saxophone.
York joined Riversyde after meeting Blake. York said, “The night we met, we stayed up playing music together till the sun came up and we’ve been best friends ever since.” Like York, Jackson joined the band after meeting the members through shared interests. He said, “I became part of Riversyde last semester. I met the Blake’s playing volleyball at my apartment complex, and the rest just blew up in a late night jam. It’s like the universe wanted us to play together. So we did.”
This close- knit group believes their enthusiasm for performing is one of the things that made them the perfect fit for SXSW. Blake said, “There aren’t a lot of bands that maintain our level of energy on stage. We like to create a spectacle.” Blake continued to say that his favorite performance was their second SXSW showcase at Shiners Saloon, where he hung out an open window while he sang. Devassy agreed, saying the second showcase had a fun crowd and a good mix from the monitors.
Riversyde played three different shows throughout the week, putting their energy to the test. Jackson said, “We revamped the set lists quite a few times to get ready for the SXSW shows. Each venue gave us a different time slot so we practiced catering to those durations.” York said, “It one of the most exciting and fun weeks I’ve ever had and definitely a milestone in all of our music careers… I did learn that being in an unsigned band results in a lot of stress coordinating members, transporting equipment, and promoting five shows in eight days.”
The members of Riversyde look forward to spending time winding down from SXSW for the rest of March. After which, Devassy says “Our plans include several CD releases and a mini- summer tour followed by a much larger national tour.”