Our parent company, Village Voice Media, went whole hog with their annual SXSW bash
this year, moving it from its previous home at La Zona Rosa into the Austin Music Hall (which was also the site of last night's MTVu Woodie Awards
), stretching out the event into the late-night hours, and doubling the number of bands on the bill.
The lineup for the evening was almost jarringly diverse at times, but it also gave the event a sense of momentum as the audience waited to see what would happen next. A clear highlight of the first part of the show was a set by Wild Flag, a relatively new act that features former Sleater-Kinney bandmates Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss, and the women leg-kicked their way through an amazing set of churning rock songs that hearkened back to their days as riot grrl pioneers.SLIDESHOW: Yelawolf, Wu Tang, Erykah Badu play VVM SXSW Party
Next up was Trouble Andrew, a slick new wavy post-punk band with a charismatic lead singer, and Rocky Business, a cross-pollinated hip hop/dance/groove band whose high-octane bandleader showed off some killer dance moves. But the first real crowd-pleaser of the night was Houston rapper Trae the Truth, who brought out a full crew of hype men to help work up the crowd.
The evening was closed out by a trio of the biggest names on the bill, with a raucous set by Fishbone sandwiched between up-and-coming rapper Yelawolf and headliners Wu-Tang Clan, who invited guest DJ Erykah Badu out on stage to help them close out the night. Judging from the tweets our photographer, Erik Hess, sent out during Fishbone's set, the crowd was lucky that Wu-Tang was only a little over an hour past their set time by the time they took the stage.
But don't worry, it all turned out all right in the end.