SXSW Recap: The Finale
It’s all over now. Except for a few straggling bands playing random shows today, the fun is over. Saturday was one for the books with so many surprises. Justin Timberlake surprised everyone by playing the Myspace Secret Show and all those lucky enough to have gotten a Samsung Wristband for the Prince performance were surprised with A Tribe Called Quest as an opener. If you were one of the thousands of people at Fader Fort last night well, you were surprised with Mackelmore came out with French Montana to do “Thrift Shop” and then were surprised again when Diddy came out for a couple songs.
It was the hottest day yet in ATX and unbearable for some. “It’s fucking brutal out there today man,” said one of the many members of East Cameron Folkcore yesterday at Holy Mountain. “I used some of my son’s diaper cream this morning—total game changer. If you’re parents and haven’t thought of that yet, you’re welcome. It improves the quality of life greatly out here.”
In search of free beer after a morning of work, I found myself back at Holy Mountain at the 101X Never Clock Out party. Jetta turned up the vocals inside and played a great performance. The UK pretty girl and the rest of her hip band were rockin’ out and also croonin’ some ballads. There was a little bit of an Emeli Sande vibe to Jetta. Her voice was mature and she could really belt and hold the right notes without sounding like Adele or that she was trying to hard to show off.
The Civil Twilight was a mid-day chill out at the Baebel Music Launch Pad at the Knuckle Rumbler Lounge, and the air-conditioning was BLASTING in there. The South African trio have a haunting sound that sound a little like graveyard lullabies. I think it’s the falsetto coupled with minor chords and a floating sound of guitar.
Next up, there were these three English sisters called The Staves. Bless their English hearts, their sound check took forever. Whoever was running the soundboard kept piercing everyone’s ears with sharp feedback and couldn’t get it all right in the monitors for almost 45 minutes. The three saved the terrible situation by basically defining what the three sirens must have sounded like in ancient Greece. The Staves voices harmonized so beautifully, the entire 200+ crowd was absolutely silent. There was little background music, mostly just one of the sisters’ guitars. There was a little bass and drums on two songs, but it almost detracted from the sounds of the girls’ voices. On top of being beautiful girls with beautiful voices and enchanting stage presence, they were hilarious. In between songs the sisters Stavely-Taylor were making jokes about the weather, getting high and being SXSW veterans this year.
At Fader Fort, Bun B came out and did a few tributes to Pimp C as well as some classic UGK favorites. The crowd at the Fader Fort stage had most likely been packed in there the entire day Saturday. Squeezed in like sardines. Trapped like rats. Sweating and hollerin’ and drinking too much Bushmill’s (an official sponsor of Fader Fort).
French Montana was the star of the Fader lineup for Saturday and as I said before, Mackelmore showed up and they did “Thrift Shop” together. Mackelmore jumped around on stage waving arms lined in leather fringe while French Montana took a back seat. There were rumors floating around all day, all over Austin, that Diddy was scheduled to go on sometime with French Montana. So, when French Montana continued, all of a sudden Diddy showed up. The crowd went nuts of course and Diddy held them there. He stayed for two songs, talked about how much he loves Austin and how he was one of the first ones out here long ago. After they all got on stage together and took an Instagram, Diddy left and French Montana did one more song before leaving as well.