SXSW Meets Its Odd Future

Turns out that my note-taking efforts were fairly feeble attempts—just as they would've have been had I even bothered to do as much at the band's official SXSW on Saturday night, during a Billboard-sponsored showcase at Buffalo Billiards, to which the collective showed some 10 minutes late and left a good half an hour early. There, the group, calculated or not, offered up only 10 or so minutes of performance before they left the stage in a huff, disgusted that this crowd wasn't as "hype" as were the audiences at their other performances (one of which reportedly even included Diddy making an on-stage cameo and proclaiming them the future of the genre). Before leaving, though, they made sure to curse out much of the crowd, save for the "real" fans up front. The audience, consisting mostly of industry types looking to finally see the much-talked-about group for themselves, responded with shock—even some anger—at the fact that they'd been so disrespected.

But, really: Had they been? In the eyes of the performers, it was quite the opposite—the crowd had disrespected their own hard-working ways.

It was a stunning clash of perspectives: One camp, the band, having never before attended SXSW, believed it to be quite the rock 'n' roll experience; the other, the industry types watching on, believed SXSW to be their chance to see the band in a convenient setting, wherein they were given first watching rights, and those without proper credentials were left out.

Tyler, The Creator and the rest of Odd Future brought some serious swag to SXSW 2011.
Zuma Press
Tyler, The Creator and the rest of Odd Future brought some serious swag to SXSW 2011.

More than that, though, it was a vital moment. Kanye West's own hyped unofficial party aside, OFWGKTA's 10-minute performance threw the whole SXSW system into a loop, either through ignorance or flat-out indignation. The why, though, doesn't matter as much as the what—which, in this case, stands as the moment in which official SXSW events fully lost the power they held over the unofficial ones.

SXSW had been trending this way for years. In 2011, it finally happened—officially or unofficially. Turns out the distinction doesn't really matter.

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interesting that the vevo show was in fact a sxsw sanctioned event that hosted a 5 to 1 badge to non badge ratio, that diddy, ll cool j and snoop all played official showcases on saturday night and that jack white came down with his company 'third man records', making their second appearance.oh, and the strokes were placed in the biggest venue austin had available in order to placate ALL fans....and it just so happened to be a FREE show for EVERYONE.yeah. SXSW. what a bunch of douchebags.


Too bad you missed their best performance at Scoot Inn.

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