One can't avoid being drawn to SxSW in Austin. It's an amazing festival of film, music, and the internet. I've attended in the past and it's a great time. This year I saw some amazing bands (with Jessica and Joe above) including: Dionysos, Sparkle Horse, and Architecture in Helsinki.
My visit to SxSW made me wonder - what makes a great band? There is so much musical talent out there. "So many bands, so little time" is almost the mantra at SxSW. So if time is the issue, you must choose carefully.
The good vs. the great. Here's what made the difference for me.
-- Energy - People pick up on it and want to be a part of it. They follow. AKA, groupies.
-- Audience connection - Do they connect with the audience? One band had a member who kept his
back to the crowd the entire time....hmmm...can you say disconnect?
-- Uniqueness -- do they sound like everyone else or like something you've never heard before?
-- Personality - do you want to hang out with them...do they create intrigue?
Everyone plays good music at SxSW; the list above is about greatness.