A massive, city-wide festival like South By Southwest leaves a lot of room for surprises, whether it’s a week of sweltering heat followed by a temperature plunge to the low 60s, or a rumored appearance from one of rap’s biggest stars that overwhelms the rest of the fest’s final day. Both went down on Saturday, but it was hard to care about the former when Drizzy himself turned up with the OVO crew at the FADER Fort. Anabelmusic recaps Drake’s appearance — plus more highlights — below.
Show Me the Body
Queens noise-punk act Show Me the Body might be cult favorites in their East Coast hometown, but on SXSW’s final day they brought brash, backbreaking tracks from their two EPs (bassist Harlan Steed wore a T-shirt brandishing the Stop/Go street signals from their latest) straight to Austin. Powering through songs like the honking “Space Faithful” and the guttural “Bone Soup,” the trio brought some guitar shredding to an otherwise hip-hop/R&B-oriented afternoon at the FADER Fort — though frontman Julian Cashwan Pratt has been known to spit a solid verse or two himself. — RACHEL BRODSKY
“We played like 80 shows at South By,” Dr. Dre’s most recent protégé said with a cackle, showing no actual fatigue before ripping into a lengthy, muscular set that found .Paak behind the drums and soaring above the crowd. The only thing more soulful all night? The three gospel singers who came out later in the night and, before their set with dvsn began, sang along loud and proud to Ginuwine’s “Pony.” — BRENNAN CARLEY
“My name is Kelela. It’s such a pleasure to see you again,” the electro-R&B chanteuse cooed to the audience before segueing into seductive jams (“A Message,” “Rewind”) from last year’s six-song EP, Hallucinogen. Combined with those irresistible slow-burners, such verbal overtures made a massive tent at SXSW feel unusually intimate. — R.B.
From a quick snippet of his Memphis-gone-viral smash “Five Star” to a full 5000-folk singalong to current Top 40 breakout trapper “Down In the DM,” Yo Gotti made prime use of his headlining Fader Fort appearance to deliver hits to the fans who wanted them most. With ample plugs for his new album The Art of the Hustle to nonstop googly eyes for Texas, the no-longer cult favorite (he’s international now, sliding into DMs from Hong Kong to Montreal) brought just the right amount of boozy, woozy fire. — B.C.
Drake is here onstage at Fader Fort #SXSW #FaderFort pic.twitter.com/6zLxxMHIIB
— Anabelmusic (@Anabelmusicmagazine) March 20, 2016
After pretty middling sets by OVO signees dvsn, Roy Wood$, Majid Jordan, and PARTYNEXDOOR — all of whom had the crowd immediately thrusting their phones down from the air and back into their pockets — Drizzy himself jumped out in front of his prayer-handed 6 logo with a seven-song cameo. Though at last fall’s Austin City Limits the rapper said it might be his last night playing Meek Mill diss track “Back to Back,” the Toronto legend gleefully busted it out again at his not-so-secret Fader Fort performance, alongside WATTBA cuts (“Big Rings” and “Jumpman,” the latter of which he played twice, the second time with its producer Metro Boomin) and If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late stunners “Energy,” “Legend,” and “Know Yourself.” Promising he’ll be back on his Views From The 6 tour soon, it was the kind of mini-set legends are made of. — B.C.