Austin rediscovers silence after a new edition of South By Southwest. The cultural tsunami that we have experienced has left us with endless memories, key moments capable of dreams coming true. Crazy guitars, stylish parties, high-flying electronics, interesting talks and unforgettable movies. Showmoon is immersed in the SXSW to recover the best of this unique festival from oblivion.
A Rave Between Twilights
Pussy Riot – The Main – March 13
The Russians were one of the most expected shows for lovers of strong emotions. They arrived in Austin wanting to reclaim their ideology after the arrest of two of their members in Crimea a week before SXSW. Their show transcended any musical field. They began with the deployment of a flag with the motto: Pussy is the new dick. They used it to cover the capitalist sponsors of the festival. This feminist wink preceded a political discourse and anti-Trump and anti-Putin proclamations. Then, in the penumbra we enjoyed a crazy rave with the only light of a flashlight. Stimulant and hypnotic.
Austin’s Crazy Nights
Wyclef Jean – Highland Lounge – March 15
It was a crafts night. A place with the smell of grass, a committed public with desire to dance and a lot of culture. The ex-Fugees party moved us to the impromptu parties in Brooklyn or Haiti. A kind of Sound System where everything seemed improvised despite the precision with which it was developed at dawn. The new talents of music sponsored by Wyclef anticipated the future of music and in the midst of it all, he had. A scenic torrent that spit charisma and talent without ceasing. Dances with the public, madness, political proclamations, personal demands with a message for Dj Khaled, sweat and a lot of style to finish a night that was included in the list of our best dawns.
The Parade Of Freedom
A Tuba To Cuba Parade – Downtown – March 15
One of the films that has left a good impression on the SXSW film festival was A Tuba to Cuba. Their tenderness captivate you from start to finish. This beautiful story left the screen of the Paramount Theater to become a reality through the streets of Downtown Austin, in a colorful parade. Everyone participated. There was freedom in the air and people were dancing to the sound of a street orchestra that seemed to form a curious Texan Mardi Grass. The liberating power of music was so beautiful and captivating.
A Movie Party
Alita Party: Battle Angel – Troublemaker Studios – March 9
Visiting a cinema sanctuary like Troublemaker Studios is already a unique experience. Do it in the company of Robert Rodriguez and his actors while you discover the fascinating set that shapes the futuristic world of his latest film is fascinating. But living a night out on an original movie set, we will never forget. The wild party of the film was an evening adventure full of cocktails, incessant dances and foodtrucks serving our foodies desires. The night was too short for our bodies whom were eager for new festive universes.
SXSW Travels To Spain
Sounds From Spain – Bungalow – March 14
The Spanish sounds roared at the Austin night with a showcase that turned Rainey Street into a piece of Spain. Musicians like Neuman, Christina Rosenvinge or the Zephyr Bones put addictive pop at the ears of an audience wanting to experiment something different. It was a breeding ground suitable for the emergence of Bad Gyal, who came to support the Pussy Riot on another big day of the festival in The Main. Their urban rhythms and sensual dances raised the temperature of the night at the peak of the showcase. The harvest was ready to be seasoned with the wild garage by Los Wilds from Madrid. The evening ended under the electronic spell by Joe Crepúsculo. At that time, musicians and the audience became one, dancing in unison and crying for more nights like this one.
Food As A Motor Of Change
José Andrés & Andrew Zimmern: Change the world through food – Austin Convention Center – March 12
The keynotes are another of the festival’s strong points. We have learned a lot about the world of culture and art with Ethan Hawke, Spike Lee, Chelsea Manning and Arnold Swarchzenegger. But, none of them has touched us as much as two committed chefs like José Andrés and Andrew Zimmern. Both talked about the problems of inequality and the importance of not wasting food, that can help alleviate hunger in the world. They were also critical with a certain kind of solidarity that serves to cleanse the conscience of the one who gives instead of helping the recipient, in the words of José Andrés. A fascinating trip to the hidden side of the food, that also demands opportunities for immigrants.
Taiwan Beats – Elysium – March 12
The first edition of Taiwan Beats at the festival featured lost electronic jewels in the edges of Asia. Surprising sounds related to the ambient, techno and pop, filled the Texas night of many carats bpm’s. The electronics by Sonia Calico, Ruby Fatale and Poe Tek were fascinating. More than enough reasons to save Taiwan Beats among our favorite memories of SXSW.
New rap, New Queen
Princess Nokia – Clive Bar – March 15
Brooklyn’s new rap snuck into the festival and it was a breath of fresh air. The queen of this movement is Princess Nokia. Her Afro-Puerto Rican origins left a mark on Rainey Street. Freshness and a brutal connection with the audience made it clear that Princess Nokia is at the beginning of a path to success. Her themes are a pure drug that leaves you wanting more.
Bill Murray – 6th Street – March 17
Apart from the surprise premiere of Steven Spielberg’s latest film, Ready Player One, the most anticipated event of the film festival was the premiere of Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs. The film had a spectacular promotion in the middle of 6th Street, where one of its stars appeared from nowhere to recite poetry in disguise. Pure Bill Murray. His casual style reigned on a street amazed by sharing space with this genius of the scene.
Out Of Control Guitars
Black Pistol Fire – March 15 – Luste Pearl
This Canadian band, who settled in Austin, demonstrated the power of the guitars. Their garage lit Austin as a force of indomitable nature. Electricity manifested in the body of Kevin McKeown, who did not stop jumping, throwing himself to the public and even giving us head butts to those who were in the front line of his fabulous live. Pure rock with desire to piss off. Unique.
Cumbia At Dawn
Peru House – March 9 to 14 – 84 Rainey
The nights of SXSW would not have been the same without Casa Perú. In its backyard, some of the most ardent dawns of the festival were lived. The electronic cumbia incited our tired hips to move without stopping with those hot rhythms cooled by Pisco Sour and embellished by a beautiful mapping projected on the house as an ode to Peruvian culture. In addition, interesting exhibitions and many beautiful people were seen in Rainey Street.
The Party Of Your Life
Vice Bus – March 9 to 14 – 98 Red River Lot
Many fascinating installations earned a corner in our memories: Dell, YouTube, Sony, Google Home, The Food Effect … None defined the Showmoon spirit as our Vice colleagues. Apart from petting baby goats, the option that most appealed to us about their installation was the party on their bus. Red Bull at our disposal, a DJ wanting to make you dance and a unique party atmosphere. The party of the year took place in the most unsuspected place, the interior of a bus. Long live Vice.
Bonus track – The Roots – March 17 – Fair Market
We were ready. One hour in the line to enter the key event of the musical festival. The legendary The Roots came to SXSW with talents like Ludacris and a show that promised four hours of strong emotions. The illusion dissipated as soon as the rumor became reality. They had canceled the concert. At first, the reasons were not very clear. Shortly after, it was learned that a 24-year-old man had sent a terrorist threat from his own email account. A pity mitigated by the magic of contemplating Night Beats, Albert Hammon Jr, Lorine Chia and Tameca Jones in the same night.
Memories that remain in the air of the city and in the soul of those who experienced them. Our only consolation is provided by Austin and its countdown to SXSW 2019.