SXSW Day 4: Kanye West, Dead Prez, Vivian Girls, Mason Proper

If the zoom on my camera was better, this photo of Kanye would be so much cooler:

Kanye West @ SXSW / Fader Fort 2009

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The last day of SXSW always is a bit of haze. It’s hard to consider watching bands all day and eating free food as “work”, but man, tell that to my feet. Dang. I started the day off at the Rachael Ray party, an event that had one of the longest lines I’d seen all week. I was able to bypass it and get in early (dont hate), and went on to drink way too many Rachael Ray mojitos. Ate her food, too. This beer and beef burger with chedder bacon biscuit ruled my life. I would seriously cut someone in the neck for another one. (I saw Rachael briefly, but she was crowded. I wanted a photo of her for my sister, but it didn’t work out)

It was then off to The Hot Freaks party again, this time catching Vivian Girls, Mason Proper, and Viva Voce. This is how it went down: Vivian Girls‘ instruments broke down after a few songs. The pains of doing too many shows, I think. Their hearts weren’t totally into the set, but I enjoyed what they played. If it was any other band I might not give them the leeway, though.

Mason Proper sounded AMAZING live. Seriously, they recreate the sounds of their album almost too perfectly live. Lead singer has a lot more energy onstage than I saw most bands all week, so that was a refreshing change. As for Viva Voce, well, I dunno dudes. When I saw them as a two piece they seem to have amazing fire and energy in them, but their set as a four (5?) piece wasn’t as inspiring. I’ll have to check them out again in a non-SXSW environment.

Vivian Girls @ SXSW 2009 / Hot Freaks
Vivian Girls

It was then off to the Fader Fort for one of the worst kept secrets of SXSW: Kanye West performing. Before he went on, there was some good stuff though. Diplo and Switch’s new band, Major Lazer. If I had any energy in me, I would have danced like a crazy person to this, but I was already running on empty. They threw out several hundred t-shirts to the audience and it made everyone sort of lose their mind. It was fun.

I spent the next few hours hanging out with the SCHED team, talking about next year’s SXSW. Side note: I’ve learned that at SXSW you don’t need to see 20 bands a day to have a good time. In fact, I saw fewer bands this year than any other but probably had more fun. Hanging out with old friends goes a long way, let me tell you.

Before Kanye’s showcase, Dead Prez came out for a three song set. I have proof:

It was then time for Kanye West‘s G.O.O.D Music Showcase. I’d never seen Kanye live, unfortunately, so catching him in a smaller venue was a real thrill. In keeping with the SXSW spirit, he played some of his songs while also introducing his up and coming artists of his label. People went absolutely insane for Kid Cudi, man. And when Kanye brought out Common and Erykah Badu, people just about lost their marbles. Definitely a special event and I was glad to be there. Read Pitchfork’s story for a more thorough write-up.

After that I went to to see Silversun Pickups, but their show was running late and I had a 6:30AM flight to catch, so I went home for the night, already plotting out SXSW 2010.

– SXSW is the greatest music festival, hands down.
– Shout out to my Irish roommate Niall of Nialler9. You don’t know it yet but I’m crashing at your house within the next 2 years.
– Thanks again to Energizer’s Energi to Go. You can see the photos I took on their Flickr, some videos here. Also they’re on Twitter and Facebook.
– Don’t forget to get some vitamins in you during SXSW. Pizza is delicious, though.
– It was great meeting old and new friends alike.
– For readers of DW who aren’t into SXSW, coverage is over! (for now)
– 2010 SXSW can’t come soon enough.

  • We shared a bed but you “forgot” to tell me you saw Mason Proper???? Seriously, somebody should get them on the Loyal Divide bill at Skully’s in April.

  • dcgrrrl

    I can’t believe you skipped out on SSPU. You could have just slept on the plane! They killed it. You totally missed out.

  • more camron coverage would be nice.
    bored of sxsw.


  • wes flexner

    i just got an email that he is featured in espn magazine.
    post it when i have a free moment.

  • i do. i do hate. i kept getting twitter updates from people in rachel ray and i couldn’t get in. I tried both to charm the credentials off exiting people and get those folks leaning over the balcony at Maggie Mae’s to put some mojitos and burgers in a bucket and lower it down to me, but it was a no go.

    Every year during sxsw, I always hear how nice everyone in Texas is (we are!), but I encountered the snottiest person outside kanye at fader. I was with a friend without a wristband, I’d already used up my +1, plus I wasn’t going to be able to stay long enough to see Kanye anyway, so I gave my fader wristband to one of the door guys to give away or sell. This lady with crazy eyes went all mental about how the door guy was just going to sell it for money, but that was the point, crazy lady! Kanye turns hipsters into crazy jackholes.

    “- Don’t forget to get some vitamins in you during SXSW. Pizza is delicious, though.”

    I instituted a rule two years ago: one sit-down meal a day, preferably with something green or organic in it. It’s served me well. Humans can not live on Roppollo’s alone.

  • naz

    completely agree with you on viva voce…though anita still shreds!!

    my highlights this year:
    – delta spirit Wed. night. fantastic performance!
    – daniel johnston w/ hymns!
    – king khan!
    – dead confederate playing at my favorite bar!
    – and the best, by far, was Dan Auerbach playing in a shack off east chavez @ 3am saturday morning!!!

  • in espn mag?
    cant wait to read it!
    love cam!


  • CMF

    3rd straight SXSW. Keeps getting better. I didn’t catch too many C-bus/central Ohio bands, since I see them here anyway. Caught Psychedic H**t couple times and Heartless Bastards once.

    Best new bands I heard (which I didn’t know of before): 1) The Morning Benders, 2) Casiokids.
    Biggest regret: Not seeing Metallica at Stubbs – probably the last time anyone will get the chance to see them in a relatively small venue
    Bands I wished I had gotten to see more with a longer full set: 1) Blank Dogs, 2) Michael Jordan, 3) Passion Pit
    Biggest waste of time: the hip hop showcase at Austin Music Hall on Saturday. Rick Ross and Killer Mike cancelled. Dead Prez did too much talking, not enough spitting rhymes.
    Best only-at-SXSW moment: seeing the bands on the last night at the pedestrian bridge before the police shut ‘er down.

    Duffy – continue the annual SXSW coverage!

  • condi rice

    i got to rachal ray’s during the hold steady and walked right in, no line. i thought they were the ny dolls. kind of sounded like them. i saw the first viv girls show at red 7. that was enough for me, never again. daniel johnston sucks. the hymms made it a little better. they should have played with him throughout. the best show was wayne kramer at the cactus cafe. the place started out packed from the previous act. as he played songs about death and heroin addiction the place emptied out. at the end there were 10 people left. too bad he did not play more mc5. club 1808 was great. that bob’s/red bull event was extravigant. did dan auerbach ever play? i gave up at 3:30am and went to the lamar pedestrian bridge, but that had just ended. circle jerks at waterloo park were unbelievable, kids flying through the air. monotonix played their whole set at waterloo park in the audience and crowd surfed most of the time. sxsw is the best. is there anything in the world like it? i woud go.