By 10:30pm the South By crowd in Austin was on its final legs… literally. Swathes of folks who have been burning the candle at both ends for days, attending showcase after showcase, were still about on the streets on Saturday night (March 15) but the atmosphere was somehow different, particularly at The Main on 6th Street. There, members of OWSLA kicked off a showcase around 8pm that ended with a final SXSW performance by the label’s founder, Skrillex.
This was Skrillex’s second performance of the day. Earlier in the day he showed up at the Complex Party’s first ever official SXSW party to spin for Cam’Ron and Schoolboy Q. But Saturday night it was just his OWSLA label mates, who opened the set to a sparsely populated venue. On a small stage that faced a comfortably-sized audience of no more than about 900 people, the evening kicked off with sets from Heartsrevolution, David Heartbreak and Valentino Khan.
Tired soles finally began to drag themselves in as Alvin Risk was on stage. At this point much of the audience, mostly younger-skewed, was seated against the walls of the venue in feeble exhaustion. Risk sang on a few tracks of his set, which also mixed in notable Skrillex Hits “Make It Bun Dem” and “All I Ask of You” amongst his stopping anthems (which also included fun.’s “We Are Young.”
The thing about Skrillex compared to other DJ’s involved in the set are not in his audience calls to action, but his lack thereof. Kill The Noise, like Risk, needed to insert a few “Get your hands up!”s and “Now scream!” to keep the audience engaged. Skrillex usually hits the floor running when he hits the stage and never lets up, keeping the audience with him the entire time.
But again, tonight was slightly different. “Thanks for having the energy to hang with us after this crazy freaking week,” he called as he began his set, which included “Bangerang” and expected beats for a set that ended strangely, yet fittingly, with Toto’s “Africa.”