Pictured above is Superorganism at SXSW.
After three days of musical bliss, the musical showcases continued to grow in number the closer the weekend came. Unfortunately for many, Saturday night proved to be a bit of a disappointment.
Beginning Thursday at noon, the Mohawk, a bar located in downtown Austin, was certainly the place to be. The daytime showcase presented by See Tickets and Paradigm Talent Agency, called “Sound + Vision,” hosted a wide variety of artists. The artists ranging from Kelela to Cuco to Superorganism to Kweku Collins and Flint Eastwood, among many others. Fortunately for attendees, there was little, if no need at all, to choose which artists to watch throughout the day.
The Mohawk excellently handles such a large number of acts. The bar holds two stages that alternated thirty-minute sets throughout the day. The inside stage allowed fans to be up close and personal – within as little as a few inches from their favorite artists. On the other hand, the outside stage provided a similar proximity but open to a larger audience which made the shows feel a bit less intimate.
Notable performances during this showcase included Kweku Collins and Andrew W.K. Collins, a young rapper from just outside of Chicago and W.K., the long-haired heavy rocker hailing from Michigan. The artist was riding the recent release of his new album “You’re Not Alone.”
Later that evening, attendees flocked back to the venue to catch a glimpse of the popular Billie Eilish. A 16-year-old crowd-commanding singer and songwriter from California. Throughout the week and into the weekend, Eilish was to perform at numerous major and minor showcases. Although plagued with several technical difficulties throughout the set (as many artists were), Eilish put on an exciting performance for what would have appeared to be a “sold-out” show.
Past Thursday, the inundation of talent to the streets and venues of Austin continued well into the weekend with epic showcases hosted in some of Austin’s most intimate venues.
The first of which was the Paramount and Pitchfork day party titled “Heathers”. The party brought together a diverse group of individuals for an even more diverse musical lineup. With bloody marys in hand, attendees moseyed between stages to catch performances from Superorganism. The group is an eclectic group of musicians lead by Orono Noguchi. Noguchi is a young graduate of high school that opted to join the band rather than pursue a college degree. To add, JPEGMAFIA, an intense rapper from Maryland among many others also performed.
That night, DMC of the infamous and iconic rap duo Run-DMC, performed at Clive Bar on Rainey Street. Hosted by Showtime and the newly created television series “The Chi,” the evening felt akin to a house party as guests were invited to witness the evenings performers.
Closing out the weekend was supposed to be The Roots & Friends presented by the super-sponsor of SXSW, Bud Light. Eager to witness the award-winning group “jam” with notable musicians like Ludacris and Tank and the Bangas, fans lined up hours before the event began in an attempt to guarantee entry.
Unfortunately, they went on to cancel the showcase nearly an hour after its set time.
According to authorities, the venue remained on lock down due to a bomb threat. Despite clearing the premises, SXSW officials along with Bud Light and The Roots decided to cancel the events for the safety of the fans.
Questlove posted a series of tweets informing fans of the cancellation before SXSW or Bud Light officials made any announcement. With heads hung low, fans made their way back into the heart of downtown and caught one of the many other performances. Whether it was Cut Copy at Lustre Pearl on Rainey Street or White Reaper taking the stage at Clive Bar, the weekend ended on a high note. Consisting of fans embracing the opportunity to catch new performers and a plethora of new music, SXSW was a success.