The first weekend of SXSW is finally over, and it was a great start to this year’s festival. This weekend is more focused around Film and Interactive, but don’t let that lead to you believe that good music doesn’t start till next week.
Of course you can leave it up to Empire Control Room to kick things off right in Austin. On Friday night, Empire hosted a number of great local acts and topped things off with a 3 hour DJ set by yours truly…Questlove (of The Roots).
Austin’s local A-Town Get Down started off the night by bringing the funk inside and getting people up and moving for their first night at SX. They showed off their freestyle abilities by letting each member shine during songs and showcasing that they are a group of very talented artists, and don’t rely on any 1 person to make the crowd get funky.
The funk was followed by Sphynx, a local dance band that reminds you of a modern day queen, who brought out their amazing ability to hit high pitches, while also bringing a talk box and showing off their musical talents as well.
These openers got the crowd ready for what everyone came to see: Questlove. Quest does not do many solo DJ sets like this, so Empire was packed that night to make sure people got a chance to watch him deliver the goods. Most of us know Quest from his long time place as the drummer of The Roots, which many people now see frequently on the Late Night Show with Jimmy Fallon. If there is one things Questlove showed us on Friday night, it’s that he is an all around amazing and talented musician. We all know his drum skills are at par with the greatest out there, but he showed off his ability to mix and sample live tracks, throw in hits, and keep people moving on their feet all night. On top of his producing skills, he brought out local friend / partner to rap / sing some reggae style rhythms to match Quest’s beats, which turned out to be a great compliment to the show.
It was everything that people were hoping for on the first night of the 2017 SXSW…good weather, great music, and lots of amazing people from all over the world coming together for the sake of live music. Welcome to our home town – the live music capital of the world. We only have another full week left of this amazing madness…