In a bizarre set order that went something like Brother, Ellie Goulding, Smith Westerns, Odd Future and then um, Matt & Kim, weirdly enough it ended up working all out. Fader Fort’s third night was its strongest, complete with the pop of the past, the anger of today, and the UK invasion of the future.
Friday also happened to be the hottest day of music SXSW, which bode well for the legion of hungover St. Patrick’s Day revelers. Thankfully, there was time to sober up and then delve right back into the beginning stages of alcoholism as the first half of Fader Fort proved to be mellow, but entertaining. Breakout singer Ellie Goulding shined a bit brighter than contemporaries Brother, definitely owning the stage and space that was awarded to her front and center. Though she follows in similar bootsteps such as Adele and Little Boots, Goulding’s stage presence murders the other two in comparison.
With an overexploited reputation for overactive stage antics, the violence was reserved during Odd Future for band members to dish out—torpedoing complimentary tallboys of Budweiser and bottles of water at fans (who sort of asked for this punishment). But the boys were big on performance, spectacle attacking their usual targets of bloggers, Steve Harvey, and photographers ad nauseum (Impose photographers shot on the periphery of the photo pit for fear of getting pelted or poured on). So we didn’t exactly have Hodgy Beats stage-diving off the roof of the Scoot Inn, but we did have Left Brain doing some low dive stage diving as well as some cameos by Diddy and Lil B. at the beginning of a chaotic, but controlled performance of “Sandwitches.” Notable moments was an energetic “French” and the crowd pleaser “Yonkers” along with the “swag” chant laden finale of “Fuck the Police” that segued into a smoke and mirrors track that left the audience stunned by the time they realized OF had already left the stage.
And then, Matt & Kim.
Matt ran on stage singing the praises of Odd Future before M&K even got their show on the road; initially it seemed contrived, but 30 seconds later, we realized that he was delivering a sincere props and perhaps Fuck Tyler would come out to do a duet during “Daylight.” Alas, surprise of the set was Erykah Badu coming on stage to play drums with Kim for a jam session of sorts, and each one lovingly hugged her in appreciation. Say what you will about the Brooklyn duo, but these two know how to throw a fucking party. There’s balloons, crowd pumping, singing along to Jay Z’s “Empire State Of Mind,” Kim booty dancing while being supported by fans’ palms above their heads, and a lot of crowd surfing. And that’s just the first 20 minutes. The music is fun, fast, approachable, and plain to say, joyous. It’s pop at its core value of having a hook and a rhyme, and these two nail it every time. Also, they joke about doing it in the morning and Matt encouraged the audience to look up Kim’s shorts when she booty danced if people were willing to “look into the eye of the Beast.”
Fader was in absolute shambles with balloon carcasses and crushed beer cans littering the floor at the end, but it was worth it to see the happiest band in the world.