SXSW 2015: Iggy Azalea Surprises, Leon Bridges Astounds & 26 More Standout Moments From Day 2

Amy E. Price/Getty Images for SXSW
Big Sean speaks onstage at 'CRWN Interview: Big Sean' during the 2015 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Austin Convention Center on March 18, 2015 in Austin, Texas. 

With the music portion in full swing at SXSW, we're bringing you daily recaps of the action from Austin. Here are 28 unforgettable moments from music's second big day at the fest.

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12:20PM -- The War On Drugs wrap up their soundcheck at the YouTube Space hosted at the Coppertank Downtown, which had its outside painted bright red and its insides filled with more interactive screens than you could imagine featuring data-driven maps and music videos. -- William Gruger

12:35PM -- There's a reason Bay Area indie-pop outfit Cathedrals has its name: watching lead singer Brodie Jenkins perform can be a spiritual experience. Even at a noon set at the Hype Hotel, Jenkins was in exceptional form as her haunting soprano weaved in and out of sinewy, guitar-and-synth grooves from the band's self-titled EP on Neon Gold. -- Andrew Hampp

2:03PM -- Swedish rapper-singer Elliphant -- yes, the girl from that Apple commercial -- took the stage at the Pandora Discovery Den wearing a silk boxers robe and poom-poom shorts, and dove into her percussive M.I.A.-influenced set. White-person-speaking-patois alert! -- Alex Gale

2:10PM -- "We're happy to be here early in the morning," the Rev. J Peyton told the early afternoon crowd at the annual Guitartown/Conqueroo Kickoff 2015 part at The Dogwood, just after kicking off its set with "Let's Jump a Train" from its latest album, So Delicious. Despite the "early" hour, the rootsy trio was in fine form, tearing through a set that included the new release's title track and a hot take on Willie Dixon's "You Can't Judge a Book By Its Cover." Also notable at the party was the clever one-two pairing of James McMurtry and his son Curtis, who played on the indoor stage just before his dad took over outdoors. A typically fierce performance by Jon Dee Graham that went over its allotted time, but with no complaints from anybody watching. -- Gary Graff

2:30PM -- Newly signed Columbia Records singer Leon Bridges has a voice that'll transport you to one of the most precious, early eras of soul music. The Texas native charmed the ladies with his song "Brown Skinned Girl," and left an impression with the concert-goers at the Spotify house with his popular hit, "Coming Home." -- Erika Ramirez

3:15PM -- A mini-convention of New Jersey convened in the panelists room when the E Street Band's Steven van Zandt and Max Weinberg met up with Frank Sinatra Jr. before speaking at a Grammy Museum panel on Ol' Blue Eyes' centennial later this year. Weinberg was keenly aware he was out of his element in a suit and tie; Sinatra was bewildered by the entire experience. -- Phil Gallo

3:30PM -- Neon Hitch helped kick off the Official SXSW Music Hackathon at a ballroom inside the Hilton Hotel in downtown Austin. Microsoft, Warner Music Group, Ableton, and Gracenote were just a few of the music companies innovating in the space, announcing new APIs and features they'd make available as teams announced the projects they were going to tackle. The Hackathon lasts a full 24 hours, and then finalists are announced (so stay tuned!). -- WG

3:49PM --Rough Trade-signed Indiana band Houndmouth testified their hearts out at the Spotify House, following up Leon Bridge's charmingly low-key set -- no easy task -- with their ferocious Southern alt-rock. -- AG

4:35PM --Belgian pop star Stromae vogued across the Fader Fort stage, entertaining with a capital E. He's singing, rapping, dancing, acting, pantomiming, grimacing, smiling, and taking on different characters at once. It's like one-man Off-Broadway show backed by big dance beats. -- AG

5:30PM -- Alvvays arrived at SXSW all the way from Toronto to bring their one-of-a-kind dream-rock vibe to the Hype Hotel showcase, hosted in a spacious warehouse in East 6th street. The pleasant tone set by tracks like "Party Police" and "Archie, Marry Me" stood in contrast to the rather jarring, elaborate Taco Bell pop-up shop on the grassy lawn outside. -- WG

5:37PM -- Atlanta rapper Rome Fortune walked through the Fader Fort, waiting for Chance the Rapper and the Social Experiment to take the stage. Wearing an all-white ensemble and an aqua blue-dyed goatee, fans stopped him for photos. He dipped to go see A-Trak at the Green Label showcase, but promised to be back in time for Chance's closing set. -- ER

6:07PM --Is Sam Hunt the first hipster country star? He drops Watch the Throne at the Fader Fort and people lap it up. He's wearing a long shirt that looks like something Justin Bieber would wear. He's a new kind of bro-country -- Nashville in the key of Drake, with smoky synths, hip-hop beats and sad-boy melodies. On this stage, it's working for him. -- AG

6:45PM -- Dej Loaf had all eyes on her at her set at the Fader Fort. The Detroit rapper tried to hype the crowd: "Y'all got to get turnt up. It's my first time here!" But it took a surprise appearance by Trae the Truth and her hit "Try Me" to get the crowd to throw their hands up. -- ER

7:15PM -- I ran into Big Sean while walking back to my hotel from dinner. I told him "congrats" on his first No. 1 album, and that "Paradise" has been my go-to rage after work song for the past week. He's also way better at taking selfies than I was. He was like "Nah dude, we gotta turn around this way and face the light." I guess that's something that comes with being a celebrity, huh? -- WG

7:22PM -- A-Trak closed out Mountain Dew's Green Label Live showcase with a live re-enactment of the Super Bowl commercial that helped nab the song a new deal with Republic's Casablanca Records -- complete with a plushie-suited shaggy dog. -- AH

7:50PM -- "Does anybody in here party," Elle King asked the gathering at Pallada's Epic. Awesome. Showcase. The Ohio-raised rabble rouser said she was sure "someone in this motherf---er has a joint" and promised to find them after the show. The leather-clad King -- who sported Gay-Glo warpaint under her eyes -- certainly did her best to keep the party in gear with 20 minutes of high-octane Americana mix. The set spotlighted her debut full-length Love Stuff, including "Ex's & Oh's," the funky "Last Damn Night" and the gentle "Ain't Gonna Drown," as well as her cover of "My Neck, My Back (Lick It)." She also tossed in the unreleased "Good For Nothin' Woman" as a set-opener, "just because I like to play it," she told Billboard after the show. -- GG

8:10PM -- The overstuffed crowd of concert-goers at the Fader Fort didn't mind waiting for Chance the Rapper and the Social Experiment, whose set was only 30 minutes but felt longer due to the size of the crowd. The rapper and his band wasted no time bringing forth the best call-and-response of the day. Chance's energy was addictive; when he moved, the crowd moved. On top of performing favorite Acid Rap tracks, the Chicago rapper and his band performed new tracks from their upcoming new album Surf. Going off how high the crowd's arms reached, they'll soon become fan favorites, too. -- ER

9:15PM -- Joe Bataan, the New York-born pianist who was a founding father of Latin Boogaloo in Spanish Harlem in the '60s, was on hand for the premiere of Matthew Ramirez Warren's documentary We Like It Like That. "It was bubblegum at the time then it changed to Latin soul and back to boogaloo," Bataan said outside the Stateside Theater prior to the film's premiere. "It's English lyrics over the cha-cha -- Smokey [Robinson] was doing it and he didn't know it." At 72, Bataan, whose life is a central story in the film, says he has enjoyed a revival the last eight or nine years and he owes much of it to the Internet spreading the word about the records he made 40-plus years ago. "Without social networks," he said, "Joe Bataan would be a dead musician." -- PG

9:43PM -- Years & Years had a bit of a delay before beginning their set at Cedar Door. Close to 40 minutes after their scheduled time -- which seemed to be because of technical preparation or difficulties -- the UK band delivered a 5-song set that kept the crowd on their feet. From fan favorite "Real" to their new song "King," the collective performed all five songs with as much energy as if it was their first show. "It's our second show in America. It's had its ups and downs but it's been pretty good," the lead vocalist and keyboardist Olly Alexander mentioned two songs before closing the set. -- ER

11:07PM --Freddie Gibbs put on a rap clinic at the Boiler Room party, dropping his signature breathless bars over dusty Madlib beats, as heard on the pair's excellent but under-appreciated 2014 album Pinata. On "Thuggin'," the DJ -- the legendary J-Rocc of L.A. crew the Beat Junkies -- dropped the track and let Gibbs go a cappella, so the crowd could hear just how impressively nonstop and rhythmically precise his flow is. -- AG

11:04PM -- Had MS MR's Lizzy Plapinger not announced it, the crowd at StubHub's Culture Collide showcase at Clive Bar would never have guessed that her band was playing nearly a half-dozen brand new songs live for the very first time. After establishing a unique brand of "gloom pop" on 2013's brooding Secondhand Rapture, the duo displayed a shimmery new sound that blends disco, math-rock and even hip-hop flourishes, which the crowd ate up, singing along by mid-song to standouts like "How Does It Feel" and forthcoming first single "Painted." -- AH

11:53PM --Ghostface Killah took the Boiler Room stage to the sounds of Odd Future-endorsed jazz band Bad Bad Not Good playing Isaac Hayes' classic "Walk On By." Although the Wu-Tang Clan rapper and BBNG's teamed up in February to release Sour Soul, a criminally slept-on collection of street rap over grimy live beats, they stuck to the classics. That meant deep Ghost cuts like "Mighty Healthy" and unreleased street favorite "The Watch," landmark Wu track "C.R.E.A.M." and an Ol' Dirty Bastard tribute. Ghost's old Wu-mate, Killah Priest, and underground Los Angeles vet, Ras Kass, watched from the back of the stage. -- AG

12:20AM -- Rae Sremmurd exploded onto the stage at the Boiler Room. The success of these two brothers stems from last year's SXSW -- the original video to their breakthrough hit "No Flex Zone" was filmed on the crowded streets of 6th street at least year's 2014 SXSW festival. This year, they followed up with new crowd favorites "No Type" and "Throw Sum Mo," but unfortunately omitted "Unlock The Swag" from the setlist… leaving the swag under lock and key for another day. -- WG

12:56AM -- Brandi Carlile wrapped her 90-minute microphone-free concert at the Central Presbyterian Church with a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain" and her own "I'm Coming Home." With guitar, bass, cello and violin behind her, Carlile admitted she was "terrified," yet she confidently filled the hall with a healthy dose of songs from her new album, The Firewatcher's Daughter, and older favorites: "The Story," "A Promise to Keep" and "What Can I Say," the wedding song for Carlile and her wife, Catherine Shepherd. -- PG

12:58AM -- G-Eazy just wrapped a year's worth of touring in support of debut These Things Happen, but he made a special stop at Samsung's Milk Studio to perform a tight, energetic set for the SXSW crowd. "Traveling around the fuckin' world to another hemisphere, going down under and being in a venue like Australia that's sold out where people know the words is something I'll remember the rest of my life," he tells Billboard. -- AH

1:11AM -- Surprise headliner Iggy Azalea whetted appetites for her recently rescheduled Great Escape Tour at SXSW. She sported a black-and-gold letterman's jacket emblazoned with "90" (her birth year) and played tracks that haven't made their way into her recent setlists, including "Iggy SZN," "Rolex" and "Don't Need Y'all," the latter of which comes off as more pointed now than a year ago, before a fresh wave of critics started coming for her. Azalea was assured and nimble, spitting her guest verses for Ariana's "Problem" and J. Lo's "Booty" remix with fresh fire. -- AH

1:41AM -- Funkmaster Flex made for an odd sight on the Boiler Room stage with cool kids like Kaytranda. He started his short set with five Jay Z songs in a row. It seems like a big change from January, when the Hot 97 DJ went off on Jay and his website Life & Times in one of his infamous on-air rants. Is the beef over? -- AG

1:48AM --Dip-Set -- Cam'ron, Juelz Santana, Jim Jones and, yes, Freeky Zeekey -- reunited on the Boiler Room stage. Cam'ron, his pants sagging well below where they should be, performed his Kanye West-produced classic "Down and Out" while Zeekey slow danced with a barely-legal brunette onstage. Toward the end of the set, the crew brought out Just Blaze, the producer behind many of their most unforgettable bangers, and tore through "I Really Mean It." Action Bronson, his hair in a bun and a long blunt in his mouth, looked on from beside the stage. -- AG