The Texan festival South By Southwest, the Music portion of which kicked off in Austin this Tuesday, can be a frustrating exercise in FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)--which is basically the polar opposite of YOLO. With literally thousands of artists playing, from huge A-list acts like Green Day and Prince to the unsigned unknowns that busk on every street corner, there is so much music to take in. It's inevitable that some opportunities and shows will unfortunately be missed. But I attempted to adopt an anti-FOMO, live-in-the-moment attitude on SXSW Music's first day; I stopped to smell the BBQ, so to speak, and just tried to enjoy the moment. Here are the Tuesday moments I enjoyed the most:
1) Ryan Leslie Covered "Purple Rain" At The Yahoo! On The Road Party
The Yahoo! On The Road mobile festival officially begins on May 3, and will include tour stops with Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z, fun., the Lumineers, Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons, Frank Ocean, and many, many more. But R&B wunderkind Ryan Leslie got the On The Road party started early, during a SXSW launch event at the Yahoo!-sponsored venue Brazos Hall. This affair was all-purple everything; there was even an inky cocktail called "The Purple Yahoo," which I may have imbibed more than one of. So of course, towards the end of his set, Ryan covered the Yahoo!-appropriate classic "Purple Rain" by His Great Purple Majesty, Prince. Purple pride!
2) Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Played "Thrift Shop," And It Was F***in' Awesome
Say what you will about the ever-polarizing Macklemore: that he's a novelty act, a one-hit wonder, 2013's answer to Vanilla Ice. In time, we will learn if these accusations are true. But all I know right now is, when he and his sidekick Ryan Lewis performed their ubiquitous celebration of Salvation Army-scavenging at iHeartRadio's Tuesday showcase, I felt like poppin' some tags. Macklemore may rap about scoring secondhand goods, but somehow his guilty-pleasure hit never gets old for me.
3) I Ran Into Some Of My Favorite Singing-Show Contestants
Other SXSW festivalgoers may geek out over a photo opp with Grumpy Cat, but as the dorky blogger for Yahoo! Music's Reality Rocks, I was of course more excited to cross paths this Tuesday with "The Voice's" Nakia and "American Idol's" Blake Lewis and Paul McDonald, who are all playing SXSW this year. Now all I need to do is to stalk run into Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze (who are also performing SXSW 2013 showcases), and I'll be set!
4) I Sat In A "Voice" Chair
Nope, my TV dorkery didn’t stop there. Over at Pandora's Discovery Den, I channeled my inner Aguilera and went for a spin in one of the famous big red chairs from "The Voice." Oh, if only these chairs were supplied to all audience members at every SXSW gig. That'd make things really interesting.
5) Tegan and Sara Performed The Best SXSW Hookup Anthem Ever
Has an ode to adorakable indie lust more perfect than Tegan and Sara's "Closer" been recorded in recent memory? I say no. Canada's most beloved twin-sister act closed iHeartRadio's show with this masterwork of doe-eyed longing, as beer-swilling punters loudly belted along. At a festival notorious for spring-break-style hookups, "Closer" was the perfect closer for day one of SXSW Music...and I bet after this, some of those punters didn't head back to their hotel rooms alone.
So Wednesday at SXSW is sure to be even busier, with gigs by everyone from Iggy Pop to Icona Pop. What will be my five coolest moments of SXSW Music day two? Watch this space.
For more South By Southwest coverage on Yahoo! Music, go to http://music.yahoo.com/sxsw.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Ryan Leslie