ay 7, which means that for a committed few, they have been at this for a week now. I’m one of those few, the bags under my eyes confirm that!
As with most days, food is the first thing on the mind, and those from the Domination Team that have the fortitude to get out before noon (…or for those who just weren’t out the night before), panels, presentations and promotions all over food is the prize.
The “Buy Me Brunch” sponsored by Forthright at the Four Seasons is the initial target. Mountain Dew has a VR promotional event to play against And 1 dribble master “The Professor”. Drinks, food, swag and other activities keep the early crowd entertained to the late afternoon. A dominator at Fader Fort even wins a $1500 Shredder guitar! One Domination Team’er even hits a Floodfest show where they get an IV to make a quick back bounce from a hangover. Committed with the #domteam is legendary.
I start off at the JW Burger Bar for some high calorie and carb food to get me through the long day. First music stop is at the Mazda Spin Vibe house where Rapsody is on stage rapping with legendary producer 9th Wonder DJing.
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I duck out of Mazda Spin Vibe for a moment to pickup one of the scarce Fader wristbands for the downsized Fader Fort 2017. I hope back in Mazda Spin Vibe house and catch a great set from Lizzo, who subs in for a cancelled Jojo set. Lizzo is particularly professional about the opportunity, thanks the venue, sponsors, fans, and even Jojo.
Closing out the day at Mazda is renown lyricist Talib Kweli, who is backed by a powerhouse band. Talib than proceeds to put on one of the best performances yet of SXSW. Professional, crowd engaging, hype, and even some surprises when he brings out rapper Tinashe for a few songs.
Night time brings the Domination Team to difficult decisions: which headliner to see. Lines for many big shows (LiL Wayne, Rick Ross, 2 Chainz) are forming before the sun even sets. The Domination Team, as there name implies, has representation at all major shows, including:
-Mazda/SPIN/VIBE house at Empire Garage for Rick Ross. Wale shows up as a special guest in a Kanye West mask.
-Mass Appeal’s Live at the BBQ show with LiL Wayne headlining.
-Antone’s hosting 2 Chainz and Desiigner
-House of Vans at Mohawk with French Montana
-Sony’s Lost in Music house with The Chainsmokers
-The John Lennon Educational Bus Tour at Belmont with Third Eye Blind.
-TuneIn at Easy Tiger with Cam’ron.
-Jidenna and Rae Sremmurd at YouTube
-Cook Kids at ScratchHouse
-Revolt House at Vulcan Gas Company with Swisher House reunion tour.
Most of these headliners go on somewhere between 12-2am, and although it is possible to catch a second act if yours ends early, it’s highly unlikely for big name shows because lines are so long. With that said, some of the Domination Team win and some lose, but all who try see at least 1 big headliner! One dominator even saw Hansen perform mmmBop.
I start my evening hitting several small acts. I have a very wide taste in music and it helps me bounce around to many different genre shows at SXSW instead of just focusing on a single music type vertical. Rocky Banks, Tunde Olaniran, Pell, and Povi are the smaller name acts I catch worth mentioning, with Pell and Tunde Olaniran getting a special shoutout for headliner level show performances!
For headliners, I catch LiL Wayne’s full set, then the last 3 songs of Blind Melon, followed by the Cool Kids, who even had a surprise guest to them, LiL Flip, take the stage and do his old but good “this is the way we ball”. Throwing out wristbands for his show the next day definitely helped hype the crowd and end the night on a good note for everyone who stuck it out beyond 2am.
Day 7 is a wrap. Even though some of the shows knocked my socks off today, at least they didn’t knock my shoes off as they did for this woman, being delivered bad shoe karma after trying to fight some innocent bystanders.