Rear-view: SXSW 2015 Part 3

When it's not 100º for the 50th day in a row, weather can be unpredictable in Texas. Weather can make a city wide conference/Festival challenging and SXSW is much like a trip to a foreign country, when you're trying to cram all the tourist sights into limited amount of time. You have to be prepared and if you're not: you're gonna have a bad time. It rained all day Friday. If you didn't have an umbrella, a poncho or grab one from capitalist/opportunist who gave them out with their logos everywhere, you were soaked by mid day.

After bouncing around trying to stay dry, eating and making unsuccessful attempts to catch some music, I finally caught the buzz worthy Twin Peaks at the IFC party. Their hallmark is energy and stage presence coupled with solid track craftsmanship and a personal gritty sound in the vein of The Kinks. That's what they were - a buncha dudes, with guitars, drums, bass and keys, pouring their souls out onstage. Not because they have to because thats what they do. These days it is difficult to stand out, especially among other traditional ensembles, but Twin Peaks accomplish standing out emphatically. They played to a relatively small crowd because the rain washed many away but you couldn't tell by their performance and the people who stuck it out. You can catch Twin Peaks when they're back in Austin on June 4th.

Deciding where to post up for the night I had to factor in the weather. Bouncing around from venue to venue, getting rained on all the while, wasn't how I wanted to do things. I figured I'd set up shop inside at the SXSW Takover Day 2 at the ACL Live for a packed lineup. Wiz khalifa & The Taylor Gang, Ghosface Killer + Bad Bad Not Good, Mike Will Made It, Rae Sremmurd and more were on the bill. This show was on lots of people's radar and you can tell the crowd was excited. The line was long and arduous to get in, especially for those with no credentials. As in the past couple of years, there's been so many good show's, after the initial horde of people enter, anyone who's at least RSVP'd can eventually get in.

Ghostface and BadBadNotGood, came out on stage and gave everyone the good time they were looking for. The visible respect and appreciation Ghostface and BBNG have for each other, makes their performances richer and more awesome. Seeing them three nights in a row was not a waste of time. I could have watched other bands, but a deeper appreciation of what they put together and how awesome a badass band and a badass rapper sound live.

Rae Sremmurd's following set had lots of energy but seemed to loose it's tightness and execution. It may have had something to do with the 40 people jumping and flying around on stage with massive cut-out props of the young duo's face waddling everywhere. It was a spectacle more than a performance. None the less, Rae Sremmurd did their job and the whole crowd was rilled up and ready for the main event - Wiz Khalifa.

Slowly but surely the stage was set for Wiz and the Taylor Gang to do their thing. Wiz came out and posted up behind one of the turntables and directing the festivities as the Taylor Gang ( Juicy J, Chevy Woods, Ty Dolla $ign, Tukie Carter, Berner, JR Donato and Courtney Noelle ) came out one after another doing about a three to five song set each. The crowd was becoming restless and the enegry  the Rae boys had built up eventually disappeared. People were too tired and wanted to see what they thought they were there to see - Wiz Khalifa doing a fucking show. Wiz would come down from his perch of smoke every so often and rap a little with some of his gang but didn't rap a complete track until the last three songs. Sure Juicy J, Ty Dolla $ign and the gang are good but that's not what people had plotted, waited and persevered to see. Just because it's a free show and you're trying to promote your boys doesn't mean the crowd will forget how much of a let down it was. You've gatta play more than three or four of your own tracks and more than one hit. If it weren't for Ghostface and BBNG the night would've been a bust for me and I know it was for some.