ast the halfway point of SXSW, Day 6 is when people start to question whether they can truly knockout all nine days. The Domination Team takes no days off, however, no matter how amazing a show nor how many “too many drinks” they had the night before.
The biggest update for Day 6 is that Fader Fort officially opens up. Wristband pickup lines are back to their normal atrocious lengths but at least they are moving much faster than the previous day. Fader itself is bigger than the year before, but still a fraction of the size it was from 2016 and before.
The city of Fort Worth (Texas) had an incredible spread of BBQ to compliment their popup showcasing their city, though admittingly, I’ve been to a German Haus SXSW event that had BBQ, so it’s officially a crossover food. Even the United Kingdom’s “British Embassy” had Mexican food catered while their British bands rocked out Latitude 30. More uniquely, the state of Wisconsin had a cheese spread that was very much Wisconsin thing for their popup at the JW Marriot.
On the conference side, the most notable session attended by the Domination Team was an interview with Teddy Riley and Andre Harrell called “New Jack Swing: The Renaissance of Hip Hop and R&B”. They both shared many tidbits on producing/working with A-list artists, but most memorable were the stories Teddy shared on producing Michael Jackson’s album Dangerous. From Michael building a custom studio just for Teddy to live and work with him on the album to not letting Teddy leave to see his family, instead insisting Teddy’s family friends just come to Michael’s estate for a giant sleepover. Another highlight was the discussion on Bruno Mars and the recent claims of his cultural appropriation. Both Teddy and Andre shut this idea down, with Andre going so far as to say he specifically told Bruno to produce a 90s style album with Babyface, one of the most decorated songwriters of the 90s.
Conference sessions and day parties done, the Domination Team settled into their launch spots to prepare for the night, Camel House and Vevo House. Vevo has unquestionably been the best, most consistent spot with the Domination Team for delicious food, tequila’ed drinks, and top-shelf music showcases. The Vevo and Pelon’s staff loved the good vibes and energy of the Domination Team so much, they gave a complimentary bottle to their table on this last day!
The Fader Fort started its first day strong with a closing performance from Texas legend, Bun-B of the rap group UGK. As always, the Texas crowd can’t help but go wild during the playing of their song with Jay-z “Big Pimpin” and song with Outkast “I Choose You”.
Vevo closed their last night with R&B songstress Tinashe opening and Hip Hop Groove Band, August Greene, which is a super band consisting of legendary rapper Common, renown producers Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins. This show was fire and extremely difficult to get into, as Pelon’s Tex-Mex is such a small venue, but makes for exclusive, intimate show if you can get in.
Both Vevo and Fader Fort ended before 10pm, the only early closing nighttime shows. The Domination Team then hit a series of smaller, up and coming acts like Teirra Whack, Smino, and Billie Ellish, because ultimately, the essence of SXSW is about the undiscovered and/or on the rise artists, not today’s hitmakers. Tierra Whack had a notable song performance where she uses dentist clips to hold her mouth open and then performed a song. Smino had grooved and rocked the crowd with his St. Louis style blend of hiphop and Soul; Smino had a cool little showmanship trick with the microphone where he often spun it in his hand like a twirling baton.
That being said, the closers the Domination Team saw for Day 6 were heavy hitters. Jazzy Jeff, Z-Trip, and Just Blaze closed at Summit, Ghostface Killah and others of Wu-Tang closed Revolt House and then RZA , also of Wu-Tang, closed out the Belmont with Stone Mecca for the Educational Tour.
Finally, NPR had a very strong closing night at Stubb’s with Tank and The Bangas bringing their funk and soul to the stage in a high energy, enjoyable set that left you sweating and smiling. August Greene, having performed earlier at Vevo’s, they also closed out NPR’s stage with one of the grooviest, poetic, and just musically talented showcases of 2018. The Domination Team called it a night after these shows; 3 more days to go and they cannot afford any no sleep after parties… yet.