The first ever Australia House kicked off its formal SXSW run in a big way, pulling in megastar Hugh Jackman for a discussion on the cross-section of social good and market forces. Word must have got out as well, because his 2pm discussion with Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans attracted some enormous queues, from which many people went through to grab some quality coffee from Jackman’s pop-up Laughing Man Coffee shop.
This spilled over into huge platters of free charcuterie, cheese and Australian wines just a few hours after as chef Curtis Stone used the opportunity to showcase Australia’s produce. While the house will continue to host some interesting talks and sessions throughout the coming week, it’ll be the music that will draw the crowds in, with over 60 Australian acts planned across nine different Sounds Australia showcase events. You’d be wise to watch that space, and watch it closely.
Atlanta’s Georgia Power hosted the Choose ATL party at Maggie Mae’s, filling the popular 6th Street venue with discussions and performances that encapsulate and highlight the ongoing community vibe in Atlanta. And of course, they couldn’t have a party without one of the city’s biggest stars, T.I. The King of the South showcased along with Hustle Gang signees Tokyo Jetz and Trae the Truth, capping off the night with a hugely energetic crowd bouncing along to tracks like Jetz’s “The One”, classics like Trae’s “Screwed Up” and “Swang”, and of course Tip’s rowdy hit-heavy set which started with “Top Back” and ended with “About the Money”.
Aside from causing the crowd to jump so hard the ground would shake, the latter set-closer sparked a surprise appearance from Common (who is to perform this week at Vevo House with Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins as supergroup August Greene) who jumped on stage with Jacob Latimore and Jason Mitchell to hype the crowd up.
Tokyo Jetz may have only performed three songs in a shortened showcase set but the young female rapper from Jacksonville, Florida proved she’s more than ready to hit the mainstream, particularly now that immediate comparison Cardi B is one of the biggest names in pop music. Likewise, Texas legend Trae the Truth showcased some new material that has some massive crossover appeal, right alongside those aforementioned classics and Z-Ro’s “Do Bad On My Own”.
Monday night at SXSW served as the first to introduce official music showcases into the mix, with venues like the British Embassy serving up an early dose of live music for badge holders to sink their teeth into. Acts like Francobollo and LIFE performed to great acclaim at the long standing venue, which takes over Latitude 30 for the week. Earlier in the day, the Media Temple Open House saw the likes of Australia’s Mallrat perform, as she hit the stage for the first time outside of Australia.
Indeed, Monday sets are usually the first SXSW performances for early arriving artists, and as Vevo House entered its second day, three incredible female performers kicked off their 2018 South by Southwest schedules: American artists Olivia Noelle and Noah Cyrus, and UK rising star Jade Bird. All delivered strong sets to a packed house, with the trio throwing in covers alongside their own material; Noelle giving us “Hey Ya”, Bird mixing Drake in with some Pixies and Cyrus throwing in a bit of Ed Sheeran, among others.
Stay tuned to the AU for more from SXSW!