SXSW 2012: 9 Things Seen, Heard & Thrown Saturday
A drunken brawl at the A$AP Rocky Show... a throbbing set by Skrillex... Matthew McConaughey playing his beloved congas... Here are 10 things from Saturday's South By Southwest that you might have missed -- even if you were in the audience.
1. An all-out brawl ensued at the Vice Kills Texas party late Saturday/early Sunday after A$AP Rocky and his Mob reacted with fists to getting beer and other beverages thrown at them. According to Spinner, at least one audience member had a "gash" on his head. Police soon arrived and the place was cleared before the last act, Fidlar, could play their set. Fuse writer Jason Newman tweeted from the scene that, "Someone threw full can on stage. Got heated then contained. Another thing got thrown and Rockys crew spilled into crowd." -- Full Story
2. The Shins may just win the award for Most Accessible Band of SXSW. Nearly all of the band's shows in Austin were live-streamed in some capacity, from their Thursday set at Google Music/YouTube's "Live From the Lot" showcase to their Friday afternoon show at Auditorium Shores (streamed by Sirius XMU) to Saturday's Vevo showcase. The band played a mix of fan favorites ("So Says I," "Caring Is Creepy," "Kissing the Lipless") and tracks from their new album "Port of Morrow" ("September," "Marisa," new single "Simple Song.") Miss all of those performances? Fear not. The band tapes *another* live-streamed set Monday for CBS and Vevo's "Live From Letterman."
• PHOTOS: The Scene From Austin
3. Skrillex was in Austin this week, but it's hard to imagine the dubstep DJ played a heavier set than Daedelus' BandPage HQ performance. The Los Angeles electronic veteran -- a fixture of the Low End Theory scene -- eschewed his usual psychedelic style for a evening of inventive, brutally throbbing bass music.
4. Special guests at South By Southwest performances are not unusual, but Saturday offered a particular - and occasionally peculiar - bonanza. For the latter, how about actor Matthew McConaughey sitting in on congas with The Cult at Austin's Auditorium Shores. More sublime, perhaps, was Blitzen Trapper hosting former R.E.M. members Peter Buck and Mike Mills and Ken Stringfellow of the Posies and the latter-day Big Star for a cover of Big Star's "Feel" at Stubb's. Also at Stubb's, and as advertised, ZZ Top's Billy F. Gibbons joined The Cringe for John Lennon's "Cold Turkey" at Rachael Ray's Feedback party. (Cringe frontman John Cusimano is Ray's husband).
5. Syndicated TV host Rachael Ray told the crowd at Stubb's on Saturday that her annual Feedback party at South By Southwest is "like Christmas" for her - except she was the one giving out the presents. As in previous years Ray fed the masses with a free and open bash whose menu included special brisket and ground turkey sliders and mini corn dogs. The music, meanwhile, offered both quantity and quality with one of the most diverse day party bills of the week. Feedback's three stages hosted 14 bands, from headliners such as Train, Jimmy Cliff, Blitzen Trapper and The Heavy to Austin favorite Bob Schneider and upstarts like Givers, the Wild Feathers, the Black Belles and LP. Iceland's Of Monsters and Men had a good time trying to understand America's St. Patrick's Day customs ("Do you really drink green beer? I saw green beer," said singer-guitarist Ragnar "Raggi" Þórhallsson, while Las Vegas' Imagine Dragon offered the large bass drum that's part of its show "to the first completely naked person we see. We're tired of carrying it around." There were, alas, no takers. ZZ Top's Billy F. Gibbons, meanwhile, made his annual pilgrammage to play John Lennon's "Cold Turkey" with The Cringe, the group fronted by Ray's husband John Cusimano.
6. Newly signed to Universal Republic, rapper Mr. Muthaf---in' eXquire played a rowdy Saturday afternoon set at Fader Fort that culminated in him and his seven-person posse taking to the crowd. Taking giant swigs from a giant bottle of Jack Daniels, eXquire led the crowd in a chant of "File Marshall Bill," the Jim Carrey-inspired track from his "Lost In Translation EP."
7. SXSW 2012 apparently wasn't too kind to 2010 buzz band Best Coast. Singer Bethany Cosentino said during the band's midnight set at Hype Machine's Hype Hotel Saturday night that she'd played "some shitty-ass crowds" in Austin this week, and asked her current audience to be kind. Considering the constant stream of free booze and Doritos Tacos Locos from sponsor Taco Bell were enough to do the trick, as the crowd roared with support all through the band's energetic set.
8. New York's Savoir Adore were perhaps the only band in Austin to bring along their own light show. As the group tore through energetic indie rock with shades of vintage U2 and modern Metric at the Swan Dive, a collaborator sat side-stage frantically manning the shifting, strobing installation.
9. Technical issues delayed Emma Louise's Maggie Mae's set, but the Australian singer was worth the wait. Her vocals have the dry seriousness of UK colleague Laura Marling, though Louise operates firmly in the rock realm, with synthesizers pulsing gently below her luminous guitars on songs such as the anthemic "Jungle."
Watch Highlights and interviews from Billboard's SXSW showcase: