My last day of music at SXSW and it didn’t come a moment too soon. My feet were tender to the touch, ears ringing, liver screaming, and brain fried from lack of sleep. Of course, it being a Saturday , and with rumors of everyone from Radiohead to John Lenon being in town, Austin was total clusterfuck. I think the two S’s in SXSW probably stood for ShitShow at this point.
In any case, I made my way over to the Fader Fort my mid-afternoon and lurked in the background until Trash Talk took the stage around 5:00. Mind you, this was immediately after James Blake soothed the crowd nearly to sleep (in a good way). The Fort had a strong, and very diverse lineup with the crowd to match. Most of them had no idea what they were in for.
“This is gonna be a little bit of a change of pace,” says Lee. “For the Basedgod.”
Within a few seconds people were running for their lives, and not all escaped unharmed. Trash cans and debris were flying and the crowd cleared about 20 yards from the stage, aside from those intrepid, accustomed, or tough enough to stick it out. Lee kept bringing it closer though, eventually making his way into the soundbooth, where people continued to scatter as he approached. As the set ended, the crowd erupted into a frenzy of simultaneous cheering and booing.
“Mixed emotions,” Lee declares as he marches back towards the stage.
I stopped by Red 7 to see Adam, who couldn’t be happier that SXSW was drawing to a close, as he had been dealing with drunk tourists and musicians from noon to 3AM for five days straight. Little did he know, a packed Sunday show would be moved into his venue, prolonging the torture for a little bit longer. He, and later another photographer, informed me that it was heavily rumored that Kanye and Jay Z were going to pop up there late night. Alas, it was not to be, and my repeated trips back to Red 7 throughout the night were for naught, or so I thought.
From there I made my way to the Mess With Texas show, which had a 2 hour line. I weaseled my way through the back door and ran into Big Freedia, who kindly obliged me with a quick portrait. The place was beyond packed and I left after watching Thee Oh Sees play a few songs from afar.
Eventually, I made it over to Red Bull’s event where I caught sets by Q-Bert, who was barely visible over the oddly constructed DJ booth, De La Soul . . .
Z-Trip, who gave a stellar Nate Dogg tribute that included a dubstep track laced with Nate’s famous “Smoke weed every day,” and was eventually joined on stage by. . . LL COOL J!!!!!!!! LL gave a short, but decidedly strong set over Z-Trip mixes. Starting with Rock The Bells into I Need Love, and a furious rendition of Mama Said Knock You Out. Bananas.I headed back to Red 7, just to be extra sure that I wasn’t going to catch a surprise appearance by the Jigga Man, where I saw a throng of people swirling out back. I hear someone say, “they’re tasing people!” and I make my way into the thick of it.
Apparently, Death From Above 1979’s fans, who couldn’t get into their back patio show at the Beauty Bar decided to pull the fence down. I arrived to see club security with tasers drawn, followed by riot police on horseback. The crowd, being the geniuses that they were, hurled projectiles at the cops and their horses, who responded with generous amounts of pepper spray, causing a scatter and a stand-off that lasted about 15 minutes until the police left and DFA1979 started their set again.