Words by: Teresa McCullough
Starting off Day Two at SXSW, I headed over to the wrong venue and stumbled upon something much better, backstage at the MTV Woodie awards. With an all-star line up, and a flood watch for the day at an outdoor venue, I braved the rain while trying to stay dry.
I didn’t have any artist setlist so I didn’t know what to expect. Out pops Robert DeLong on stage 1. A stand up performer with a focus on non-conventional ways of adding to his sound, he played with a Wii controller, paired two microphones together, played with something that looked like the buzzer in the game Taboo, and straight killed it.
Next up was Ty Dolla Sign. The crowd was loving this. Busting out hit after hit like, “They Know”, and “Shell Shocked” this was a nice preview of the day to come.
Switching it up next was New York based, Misterwives. They really brought some energy to the stage. At one point lead singer and sweetheart, Mandy Lee, layed down a towel on a wet stage and started to do push-up’s while talking about gender equality before singing their hit “Not Your Way” followed by a dance off between the saxophonists.
Next up, cue me coming out of the bathroom backstage and watching Hip hop duo, Rae Sremmurd, some of the youngest known rappers to hit the ground running since Lil’ Bow Wow, pop out of a white van as a videographer follows them in on some B Roll. This was by far the best performance of the day…so much so, that a slew of kids piled out of the show after their performance as if the show was over. Like they had taken the cake for the day. Performing well known hits like, “No Type” and “No Flex Zone” It might as well been my favorite performance of that showcase. Kids onstage walking around with Miley Cyrus like cutout’s of the duo’s heads, the vibe had been brought.
Action Bronson, rapper/chef was up next, and I overheard kids say, “You’re leaving before Action Bronson?” I myself, felt the same. Action comes out, large blunt in his hand, ready to start a spiritual experience for the crowd covered in mud. One of my personal favorites was his song “Terry” with lyrics like “Smoke good, fuck, eat, drink, drive a nice car, wear all green mink”. Cue Chicago favorite, Chance The Rapper, coming out on stage to rap with Bronson. “This is the most rapping you’ve ever heard in 20 minutes” says Bronson. He was right, it was.
I rolled into the Wiz Kahlifa show after seeing an instagram post from Philly’s own DJ Bonics. Walked backstage and instantly started making new friends. This was a pretty dope showcase thrown by Lugz NYC, ACL Live at The Moody Theater. The all star line up included acts like Donmonique, Bekele, Leather Corduroys, Danny Seth, Father, Smoke DZA, DeJ Loaf, Phony Ppl, Ghostface Killah, Mike WiLL Made-it, Taylor Gang, with Wiz and Bonics closing out the night. In other words, Dopest. Show. Ever. #TGOD
Words by Megaan Matuzak
For a little slice of Philly for the day you had to venture out to Dozen Street, a building covered in a peacock mosaic made of mirrors. There Jen from Vita and the Woolf performed under a duo, self described as The Woopsies. This is duo is a bit of a separation for Jen, it’s folky and guitar centric in nature rather than her usual piano balladic voice. Chris Zurich, a soulful singer, sang an acapella version of “Grinning In Your Face” by Gov’t Mule which transfixed the crowd.
Hotel Vegas warranted another visit Friday night. Twerps and La Luz took to the outdoor stage, where the crowd stood in mud and looked slightly worse for wear. But with each act that took the stage, the crowd came alive.
Twerps, a four piece from Melbourne Australia, are a homely group on stage. The crowd at Hotel Vegas had become accustomed to loud, in your face bands throughout the day, so Twerps demeanor admittedly threw them off at first. Things turned around quickly, and even though it wasn’t the brash punk they wanted, as Twerps played and featured tracks from their recent release, Range Anxiety.
TSI first ran into La Luz at the She Shreds Showcase last year at SXSW. This time around they took to the Hotel Vegas stage and the group was visibly more confident and comfortable on stage.
Several people in this town will tell you, when it rains, it pours in Austin. For the brave souls who ventured out for SXSW, it was a wet game of how many people can fit under one tent, awning, or overpass. The bands playing yesterday, TSI’s Day Two, was the only thing that could draw the crowds from their dry hideouts for a soaking, and often muddy, performance at SXSW.