Tuesday marked the fifth day of SXSW for 2018, and as is tradition, it served as the changeover point for the festival between “interactive” and “music”, whole “film” continues throughout the week.
Red River Street between 8th and 10th seemed to be one of biggest hotbeds of activity for the Tuesday, with two venues in particular attracting queues so large it became hard to tell which line was for which venue. One of those was of course Mohawk, hosting Tinder’s “Swipe Sessions” with a huge R&B double-bill featuring two of the scenes brightest and most talented: Miguel and Jhene Aiko. Demand was at fever pitch, with the queue still growing during Miguel’s headline set while those who had given up trying to get in were content on listening to tracks like “Banana Clip” and “Do You…” from the street.
Equally high in demand was the legendary Stubbs, with the local institution giving their venue and backyard over to Media Temple for their annual Interactive Bash, which still has a tremendous reputation amongst SXSW veterans. This one was a no-brainer, with people slowly but surely filing into the enormous outdoor space, which was framed by neon-lit bars and food stalls, for performances from KYLE and perennial party-starter Steve Aoki. The former, lifted by boosted bass and a heavy dose of energy, filled the crowd with good vibes with tracks like hit “iSpy” and a cover of Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness”, spitting positive raps imbued with optimism before the wub-wub textures of Aoki swept over the crowd and sent frenzied fans into mosh-mode.
After sticking it out at Aoki, many hopped on over to Elysium to end the night with the great Cut Chemist, who showcased a huge range of his material in the intimate venue, ending with some new cuts from his forthcoming album Die Cut.
Meanwhile, Twitter House played host to a special mid-afternoon Australian showcase, featuring burgers and sausage rolls, as well as “shrimp on a barbie”, as the likes of Mallrat, Lime Cordiale, Fatai (whose cover of Sia’s “Chandelier” was a particular stand out) and Stella Donnelly (who won over the crowd with ease). And closing the showcase was none other than G-Flip, an artist who – under this psuedonym at least – was not just making her SXSW debut tonight, but playing her first live show ever. It impressed the packed house, but that comes as little surprise – Georgia’s past project Empra had travelled to many festivals around the world. Plus she’s got the might of Future Classic behind her. Throughout the set, Georgia played both behind the drums and in front of them, supported by a two piece band. The drum kit was notable with a screen that sat against the kick drum, synching words and visuals to the songs she was playing. A nice touch for the new project that’s sure to get everyone talking.
Pandora House opened up with Mt Joy in the afternoon and closing with Nathaniel Rateliff and Lukas Nelson in the evening. Pledge Music House at Blackheart also kicked off their 2018 program, with Sunflower Bean, Morgan Saint, Kyle Craft, Jade Bird, Shame, Nilufer Yanya and more across an intimate indoor and an outdoor stage. Vevo House meanwhile continued their buzz-act driven invite only showcases, with Dermot Kennedy, Billie Eilish, DUCKWRTH and Jazzbo hitting the stage for the fourth night of the venue.
Photo: G-Flip (by Larry Heath)