ay 6 and I feel pretty good, all things considered. The long ramp up rest to get out on day 5 is paying dividends. Nothing hard set on my conference schedule I was more into live music as a consumer than discussions on the business side of it. This does mean I miss a great SXSW panel with intellectual and conscious hip-hop performer Talib Kweli talking about the business of music. Guess I’ll just have to make up for it by seeing Talib perform sometime during SXSW! #day7teaser
Before I hit the streets, members of the Domination Team (#domteam) have already crawled out of bed to attend a technology in business panel with Uber, Homeward, Build-A-Sign, and more and hosted by Chris Fowler of ESPN. Great discussions over drinks is the recipe for a great start to the day!
Twitch TV and Reddit have team up to take over club Rio, a 2nd and 3rd story venue that rocks a pool on their rooftop. The Domination Team had representation for the talks and drinks, focusing on the future of streaming video and later on the business culture of being a “video” gamer.
I hit the town in the mid afternoon, set in wandering a bit and and finding random music. Yes, this “random wandering” is technically planned in my schedule, but the destinations are at least random and unknown to me; such random walks have lead me to discovering such artists as B.o.B., Jheno Aiko, TV on the Radio, and much much more!
After wandering through live shows at Pandora, Fader Fort, and Camel House, and Showtime House, I finally find an artist I stuck around for the full set: Kweku Collins. The underage hip-hop youngin brought a surprising level of energy to the show, winning over a crowd that didn’t know his hip-hop/singing energetic music, yet also diverting a few politically charged songs showing intelligence and story telling.
He wasn’t full polished, but there definitely was potential for a hidden gem. I saw the now internationally known R&B songstress Kehlani on the very same small stage Kweku had just performed on when Kehlani was little more than a high school talent show act.
After the day shows ended, I recharged, my phone literally and brain metaphorically, at The 4 Horsemen, an Austin authentic and original bar on the middle of dirty 6th. There’s usually a 2 hour between the end of day shows (6pm’ish) and the beginning night shows (8pm’ish), and a relaxing spot with food is the best move to ensure you have the energy to experience the night to the fullest. Not all of the #domteam agrees with this philosophy, so many of them were at the Driskell for a sponsored Happy Hour with an open bar to continue the festivities rather than waste of time relaxing.
At 8:30pm I break out of rest mode and hit a small show with Korean Pop artist Neon Bunny. She was clearly nervous, a bit overwhelmed, and didn’t seem to speak much English, but she pushed through her act with the help of encouraging and loving fans.
Next I made a bee line to YouTube house to see Solange and her band, St. Heron. YouTube was packed to the gills, and not even all SXSW badges could make it in. Even still, a double digit number of the #domteam was present, as always. Solange’s show was mesmerizing, such a well executed show, excellently choreographed, perfect vocals, spectacular band, and top notch production. Solange is following a path different from her sister, reminding me of Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, and En Vogue. One of the best shows of SXSW as of yet! Had to be good if I could remember much after a good few drinks from their open bar.
Solange started and finished earlier than most sxsw headlong acts, making it possible to still catch other headliners. Finishing the night, the Domination Team scattered to various shows. Some went to Sony’s event for Trae the Truth and the A$AP family perform headed by A$AP Ferg. Others saw Grandmaster Flash for Showtime’s Collide event at Clive bar, while some went to Monster Energy Drink house for Ugly God and Young MA. A few even spotted comedian Hannibal Burress DJing at Bat Bar on dirty 6th street. 2 headliners in one night was a big win for many of the #domteam, yet even still, nothing new to them at the same time! Day 6 completed.