Today was going to be a hectic day with a LOT of walking and shooting involved, so I woke up around 7 a.m. in order to get a head start on the day. I spent a few hours editing pictures from the day before because throughout the week, I had to send a company called MyMusic a bunch of photos as well as edit some for the features that would go on Blare the following week. After spending awhile in front of a laptop screen, I walked over and grabbed some Wendy’s near the hotel before heading to my first artist that day, White Lung. The editor at Blare had been raving about this band weeks prior to SXSW, so I was happy I was able to cover them for the feature.
After taking a few photos of White Lung, I wanted to make my way over to the Equal Vision Records day showcase. I know EVR’s publicist fairly well and she is a photographer also, so I was excited that I would be able to meet up with her and chat about bands, photography and more. The showcase was being held in a fenced off parking lot with a good sized stage and then a big bar at the back. I was bummed that by the time I got there, I the Mighty was just finishing up so I only got to see the last song, but it wasn’t the end of the world. I had never photographed Set It Off or HRVRD before this, but I am a fan of HRVRD‘s music so I was excited to see them live and also that I would get to photograph the both of them.
Set It Off
After having a drink and enjoying the atmosphere at the Equal Vision showcase, it was time to make my way to cover the next artist that day which was at Fader Fort. I made it in time to catch a band called The Bots and I wasn’t aware of who they were until I checked the schedule after their set. Their music was very interesting and different from anything I had seen that week, so it was a nice change of pace seeing a band that I normally would not see in a live setting.
Next up was Disclosure, who I was also not aware of until SXSW. Their set was really mellow and definitely a change of pace from what I had been exposed to earlier that day. Overall they are a good group and would like to see them again soon.
Once they had finished up, we all were expecting that Future would be making his appearance on the stage shortly after. Little did everyone know, before Future came out, Trae Tha Truth would take to the stage and bring out some friends from Hustle Gang and Taylor Gang in the process. Artists that came out included T.I, Pharrell, B.O.B, Yo Gotti, Chevy Woods, DJ Drama and a few others I wasn’t sure of, but rest assured it was an incredible experience seeing all of them on the same stage and it made for some great pictures.
Once all the commotion from the 10+ rappers had ended, it was time for Future to come out to the packed crowd at Fader Fort. I thought I hadn’t heard a lot of his songs, but after hearing a bunch I realized that I knew a lot of his material. His set was really well lit and I managed to get some great images of him.
Once Future finished up, I left Fader and headed back to the hotel and a few of the staffers from Blare were there as well so we ordered up a few pizzas. I ate a few slices while editing some of the photos from the day so far and then I decided to head over to VICELAND early. This was my first time shooting at this venue the whole week, so I wanted to make sure I was there early so I could check out the venue and most importantly, make sure that I even get in. When I walked up to the doors, there was a massive line of people waiting to get in. Luckily I had a wristband and the gentleman working the front doors saw my camera and let me right in. I ended up making it in just in time to photograph A$AP Ferg and he put on a crazy show. With people running from the back of the stage and hurling themselves into the crowd, to going right into the crowd and starting a mosh pit, A$AP’s set was definitely one to remember from the week.
After A$AP finished up, Danny Brown came out to the crowd at VICELAND and he was one artist that I couldn’t wait to photograph before SXSW. Danny was the reason that I went to VICELAND that night, so I was happy to walk away with some useable images of him.
I ended up sticking around for all of Danny’s set and then a portion of Action Bronson‘s in order to get a few images of him for the feature.
I left VICELAND after a few songs of Action’s set because I had to make my way across the city back to the downtown core to photograph the next set of artists. I made it to Vice Bar really early and it was probably for the best. A band called New Politics were playing before the headliner and despite there being no barricade or photo pit other than a tiny section to the right of the stage, I made my way up to take some photos.
While I was at the venue, I ran into Matt Vogel who is an incredible photographer from Minnesota. I have been following his work for quite some time now and he takes some of the best live music and portraits that I have ever seen. It was great to finally meet him in person and be able to talk to him for a bit. The next artist to play that night was Fall Out Boy, who were broken up for awhile but have now got back together. The venue was most definitely way over capacity by the time they took the stage and there were probably over 25 photographers trying to get their shots. Because the photo pit was so minuscule, they could only have one photographer in at a time. I only stayed in for half a song because I wanted to give the rest of the photographers a chance to get some images for their respective magazines/publications. It was awesome seeing such a big band play a bar that could hold maybe 800 people total.
Fall Out Boy
After taking the photos I needed, it was time to make my way back to the hotel. It was pretty interesting walking back down 6th Street and seeing the crazy amounts of people that were downtown. I waited about half hour in line to grab a few slices of pizza and then made my way to the hotel to edit for a bit and then crash for the night. Keep checking back for the write up from my last day at my first SXSW in Austin, TX