Thursday was a relatively slow day in terms of the amount of bands/music seen. If you don't plan your SX effectively enough or have a plan C,D and G in case you don't make it into see your preferred artist, then you can have a slow day. If you get terrible reception because your cell phone provider is Sprint and can't check in to see what you can make it to, it can ruin things. If who you end up hanging out with doesn't have the same access, RSVP to the same places, if those places actually care if you RSVP'd and if and if and if, you're ganna have a bad time. Even with all the odds against you, it's not hard to find some good music playing somewhere.
Somewhere ended up being The fader Fort. Always a massive draw to the masses no matter who plays there.
Through the years Fader has brought some very surprise appearances and has had a great set up of sizable stage, shade, shelter, trendy consumer goods and the creme dela creme - free alcohol. Through the Fader treats and sights, I managed to catch Shamir's set. Shamir is a project from Shamir Bailey, a young guy out of Las Vegas. His live performance had good energy and got the crowd moving early afternoon. The band consisting of a drummer, keyboardist, backup signer and Shamir. They let everyone in on their well crafted house, pop, funk buzzing dance music. Shamir's vocals bouncing in and out of the grooves immediately catches your ear.
After Fader lost it's appeal, I moved on to the Scoot Inn for the DoStuff/ Pabst Blue Ribbon/ Rhapsody party. Iceage, Elefant and Ghostface Killah + Reakwon + BadBadNotGood were on the line up. Ghostface again? Why not? Iceage came out and had a bumpy ride. One thing the madness of SXSW creates is a less than savory opportunity for the bands to sound as good as they want to. With every event stacked with artist after band after entertainer and a mere ten to fifteen minutes for the previous group to break down their gear, get off the stage and get the next crew up and running - it's nearly impossible. Iceage took it like men. The seasoned vets knew the sound wasn't right from the get go, they had a few words among each other and then powered through the set. It's not their fault. They did their job and that's all they can do in that situation. To lay blame on the house sound crew isn't fair either. The lack of time and all the different types of gear make it very difficult for every group to sound great.
Next up was Elefant. I missed most of that set due to a sacrifice. It's ok.
After getting back inside just in time to catch, what I and everyone else at the Scoot Inn had waited most of the day to see, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, BadBadNotGood, live, only a few feet away, in a small venue. It's ganna be so good we all thought. That is until a different band set up and finally started playing. "Who is this" was plastered on everyone's perplexed and worried face. No one was having it no matter how enthusiastic Compass played or what kind of sounds they threw the crowd. Had we stuck it out, holding our positions up against the rail only to be disappointed? The tension was thick in the air. Compass had taken the stage and nobody knew it. Compass is the combined efforts of Mexican Institute of sound and Toy Selectah. There was no notification to the crowd that Compass was being moved from the inside stage to the main stage outside. The vibe would have been different had people known that eventually Ghostface and crew would be on after Compass.
And so it happened. Ghostface Killah and Raekwon eventually bursted out on stage, took command and gave everyone what they came for. The small stage was packed full of music equipment, rappers, crew and Dj's. The first half of the set was with Ghostface and Raekwon rapping over the turn tables. They ran through classic Wu-Tang tracks and the crowd loved it. Second half of the set Bad Bad Not Good came out and joined the two Icons on stage. Just like the night before at the boiler room party, the execution was tight, full of energy and created great memories, again. Sometimes at SXSW you get the opportunity to see an Artist a few times due to other Artists you haven't seen yet being paired up with them on a different day. The guys played a long and robust set that made every moment at the Scoot Inn worth it.