THE SXSW SUPERLATIVES: Our Final Word on This Year’s Fest, From the Finest Food Truck Finds to the Most Annoying Bro-Down

An overzealous Bad Sports fan

Photos by Andrew Parks

Now that we’ve had nearly a week to process this year’s South by Southwest festival, self-titled thought we’d take a minute to dish out a lengthy list of completely random awards in such crucial categories as the Dopest Shoes and the Set That Should Have Been Horribly Boring But Wasn’t. Congratulations to all…

Dee Dee of the Dum Dum Girls at the Frenchkiss showcase

Most Touching Family Matters Moment:
When Dirty Beaches, Dum Dum Girls and several other close friends rushed the stage at Crocodiles’ Frenchkiss christening

Biggest Crew:
Juicy J, flanked right at his sides by enormous bodyguards on Club de Ville’s posse- and Wiz Khalifa-packed stage

The Closest Things Came to Witnessing Prince:
The hammer-on guitar solo that sealed the deal during Blood Orange’s set at the FADER Fort

Dopest Shoes:
The Dream’s light-up high-tops

The Twilight Sad at the Hype Hotel

Most Arena Rock Moment In a Room That’s Far From It:
The Twilight Sad, plowing through pure melodrama against a seizure-inducing backdrop at the Hype Hotel in the middle of the afternoon

Keeping Things Humble, At All Times:
King Tuff breaking a guitar string at Red 7’s patio and yelling the following in the middle of a song: “Oh, no! How am I going to play the solo?”

Most Time Spent in the Audience vs. Time Spent Onstage:
Main Attrakionz inside Stubb’s

Best Three Consecutive Bands at a Single Showcase:
Mean Jeans, Bad Sports and Mind Spiders at the Dirtnap Records showcase

Ceremony at Red 7

Most Welcome Adrenaline Rush:
Getting our eyeglasses ripped off in the sparsely populated Ceremony circle pit, then miraculously finding them on the ground–intact–and chugging a Tecate in celebration

Finest Food Truck Finds (Tie):
Bacon-wrapped pickles from Pig Vicious and tongue buns at East Side King

Best Bros:
Jon, Joe and Adam from Bear in Heaven, who we couldn’t help but run into at least once every single day

The Set That Should Have Been Horribly Boring But Wasn’t:
The groove-locked, slightly experimental symmetry of Nicolas Jaar and his Darkside guitarist Dave Harrington


Most Annoying Bro-Down:
The two guys who couldn’t help but bear hug and high five–beers in hand, and all–their way through Nachtmystium

Best Merch Deal:
Two dollars for a hand-numbered, spray-painted Titus Andronicus mixtape

Anti-Climatic Much?:
Girls, capping their take-it-or-leave-it Stubb’s set with a tepid ballad

Most Iconic Figure That Was Mistaken For a “Bad Bob Marley Cover Band”:
Jimmy Cliff, who should have been playing his easy, breezy reggae jams in the middle of the day rather than at midnight

Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire rollin' deep at the Mohawk

The Happiest Dude Around, For Obvious Reasons:
Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, who, in addition to playing a ton of raucous shows, was able to announce that he’d just inked a record deal with Universal Republic

One of Many Reasons We Wish Jay Reatard Was Still Around:
Bass Drum of Death–great name, rounded out by predictable guitar god poses and perfectly fine garage rock

The Ultimate Revenge of the Nerds Tale:
Dan Deacon leading a mid-afternoon crowd through inhibition-shedding dance-offs and gabber gabber hey grooves like he’s the pied piper of manic electronic music

Greatest Twitter Reference:
Stepdad declaring their Thursday night appearance a “hashtag: SXSW nightmare” after the Soho Lounge couldn’t handle getting their mics to stay on for more than a minute at a time

Light Asylum singer Shannon Funchess

A Rock Star In Waiting, If People Outside New York Start Paying Attention:
Shannon Funchess, the Light Asylum singer who has the stage presence of a leathered up leopard who’s out for blood

As Punk As Rock Gets Without Being So Damn Obvious:
Cloud Nothings, who clobbered every crowd they came in contact with like only angry Ohio kids can

The Set That Sounded Great, But Is About Six Months From Being Brilliant:
The latest iteration of Matthew Dear’s live band, which drove one final stake through the heart of anyone still hoping the producer would go back to his micro-house days

Best Boardwalk Empire-related heckler:
An Exitmusic fan, screaming “Why’d you have to die?!” at singer Aleksa Palladino, a.k.a. Jimmy Darmody’s recently slain wife Angela

Biggest Waste of Time We Refused To Partake In:
Waiting for Jack White to remind us all how much we miss the White Stripes

And a few more photos…

ScHoolboy Q

Matthew Dear

Titus Andronicus

Nicolas Jaar's Darkside project

Dan Deacon

Kindness finishes his FADER Fort set in the crowd

G-Side at SPIN's party

Mr. Lif


That Bad Sports fan again