Young frontman donning a trim kelly green cardigan, Durand Jones & the Indications opened their fourth set of the day on Thursday night the same way they do their recent debut album. Fatback drums and yearning organ set the tone for the searing sociopolitical soul of “Make a Change.”
Throwing his sunglasses to the side and baring his mischievous smile, Lil Wayne sermoned through a frantic “I’m Goin’ In” as red lights silhouetted a sea of Weezy disciples Thursday night at a packed Stubb’s.
Disappointment after disappointment, everything from the actual lineup to mostly lackluster performances, Thursday night’s Music is Universal: Def Jam Direct Deposit Live at Antone’s fell almost completely flat. And on deaf ears.
Country-fried Austinites have long had to travel to San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, or even Lubbock to catch Garth Brooks in concert. Not this time. South by Southwest has landed a rare local performance by the superstar singer.
Poor Grizzly Hall. The cozy Riverside club tucked into the armpit of Emo’s never stood a chance against the infinitely hipper Downtown venues boasting breakout punk acts and Pitchfork-approved rappers. Thursday’s South by South Death showcase produced a dismal turnout, but that didn’t stop bands from playing like their lives depended on it.
The Luck Reunion attracts such an impressive gathering at SXSW that it’s grown into an Americana brand. Now hosting events in Nashville as well, the flagship micro festival on Willie Nelson’s ranch in Spicewood just west of Austin expanded its legend in its sixth year. “This is my favorite fucking hang of the year!” exclaimed Elle King on Thursday.
After too many decades to count, I’m retiring from writing at the end of this month, so this topic seemed personally timely. In the end, the panel – moderator Jason Gross from Perfect Sound Forever along with Rachel Brodsky of Paste, Greg Kot of The Chicago Tribune, and current Austinite Chuck Eddy, ex-Village Voice – never answered its own question.
When a surprise Foo Fighters show cleared out of Stubb’s at SXSW 2011, the cleanup crew and a few stragglers remained behind, zero attention paid to fact that another act was setting up on the big outdoor stage. Fitz & the Tantrums slayed too few. Wednesday night at Rodeo Austin – far, far away from Downtown Sodom – they went off like Superbowl Halftime.