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POV: SXSW – The Grande Finale

05:01 PM Tuesday 3/19/13 |   |

Contributing photographer John Davisson wraps up his SXSW coverage by attending Rachael Ray’s Feedback and Perez Hilton’s “One Night In Austin” and shooting pics of Delta Rae, Eagles Of Death Metal, Kenny Loggins, Blue Sky Riders and others.

  • Great Eats At SXSW

    Food offerings at Rachael Ray's Feedback at Stubb's Barbeque at SXSW in Austin, Texas.
    March 16, 2013

    (John Davisson)

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Saturday is pretty much the grande finale of SXSW (there are some events on Sunday but it is a day of rest for me usually, a chance to catch up on everything and drive to St. Louis for a Taylor Swift concert. But Saturday is a long day, beginning with Rachael Ray’s Feedback at 10 a.m. and ending at 2 a.m. with Perez Hilton’s “One Night in Austin.”

Rachael Ray’s Feedback is one of my favorite showcases every year. She always seems to get some great bands that I have not heard about (or just barely know about). Last year she had Imagine Dragons and Of Monsters and Men, and look at how those two bands have grown since then.  Bob Schneider is there every year and kicked off this year’s festivities.

  • The Sheepdogs

    Performs at Rachael Ray's Feedback at Stubb's Barbeque at SXSW in Austin, Texas.
    March 16, 2013

    (John Davisson)

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Rachael Ray’s Feedback had three stages, although the indoor stage was often difficult to photograph because it was so crowded. Fans lined up for the free gourmet food in the middle of Stubb’s while music happened almost non-stop on the outdoor stages on either side of the food line. I spent most of my time shuttling between the 2 outdoor stages, although I did take time to photograph and sample the food. This year there were Tex-Mex bacon cheeseburgers with chipotle ketchup, sweet corn soup with Mexican pesto, Mexican style fried chicken, and more. Yummy.

  • Cringe

    Rachael Ray's Feedback at Stubb's Barbeque at SXSW in Austin, Texas.
    March 16, 2013

    (John Davisson)

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The first band on the smaller outdoor stage was The Sheepdogs from Canada and then it was back to the main stage for a set by John Cusimano (Rachael Ray’s husband) fronting the Cringe. He brought out Eric Burdon for an Animals song at the end of his set.

  • Eric Burdon

    Performing with the Cringe at Rachael Ray's Feedback at Stubb's Barbeque at SXSW in Austin,Texas.
    March 16, 2013

    (John Davisson)

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The next two bands on the small stage were incredible. Delta Rae played a powerful set that had some great harmony and lead vocals. They sounded like a very spiritual band – there was that much conviction in the singing. Reignwolf played a heavy rocking set with a band (the last time I saw him, he was solo). His performance was chaotic but it was a controlled chaos.

  • Reignwolf

    Rachael Ray's Feedback at Stubb's Barbeque at SXSW in Austin, Texas.
    March 16, 2013

    (John Davisson)

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  • Delta Rae

    Rachael Ray's Feedback at Stubb's Barbeque at SXSW in Austin, Texas.
    March 16, 2013

    (John Davisson)

    | 

On the main stage, Eagles of Death Metal are always fun.  The band is tight and the singer has a wry sense of humor that makes for a playful stage presence. I also caught a great set by the 1975 on the indoor stage and manage to get a few photos, followed by photographing Frightened Rabbit on the smaller outdoor stage.

  • Frightened Rabbit

    Rachael Ray's Feedback at Stubb's Barbeque at SXSW in Austin, Texas.
    March 16, 2013

    (John Davisson)

    | 

The Feedback ended with a set by Kenny Loggins and Blue Sky Riders. The set began with some Blue Sky Riders songs and ended with a healthy dose of classic Kenny Loggins songs. Kenny looks great and played his hits with a nice energy. You cannot go wrong with “Danger Zone,” Danny’s song,” and “Footloose.”  Rachael Ray is in the photo pit dancing to the classics.

After the Feedback, it is time to head across town for Perez Hilton’s “One Night in Austin.” Showcase which raises $53,000 for charities like VH1 Save the Music Foundation. He brought out the pop tarts (what do you expect from Perez?). 

Early sets by Angel Haze, and Stooshe were interesting. There was also a step and repeat near the stage. For those of you not into photography, a step and repeat is kinda like a red carpet. There is a backdrop with sponsor names and the acts are trotted out to pose for photographers, sometimes with Perez. I photographed some of it, but it was more useful for agency photographers, while I was more interested in photographing live performances.

  • Angel Haze

    Perez Hilton's "One Night in Austin" party at the Austin Music Hall at SXSW in Austin, Texas.
    March 16, 2013

    (John Davisson)

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  • Stooshe

    Perez Hilton's "One Night in Austin" party at the Austin Music Hall at SXSW in Austin, Texas.
    March 16, 2013

    (John Davisson)

    | 

Charli XCX played a catchy set and I liked her style. She's touring with Marina And the Diamonds later this year. Wynter Gordon played an acoustic set and was good as well.  Lissie was up next – my favorite of the evening. I can never get enough Lissie. Sadly I missed her step and repeat.

  • Wynter Gordon

    Perez Hilton's "One Night in Austin" party at the Austin Music Hall at SXSW in Austin, Texas.
    March 16, 2013

    (John Davisson)

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  • Lissie

    Perez Hilton's "One Night in Austin" party at the Austin Music Hall at SXSW in Austin, Texas.
    March 16, 2013

    (John Davisson)

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Paloma Faith was interesting.  She is popular in the UK and had a nice rubbery outfit that looked as if it must have been too hot to wear on the stage. But I know nothing of fashion. Brooke Candy was a filthy pop tart, but that was fine at a Perez Hilton showcase.

  • Paloma Faith

    Perez Hilton's "One Night in Austin" party at the Austin Music Hall at SXSW in Austin, Texas.
    March 16, 2013

    (John Davisson)

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  • Brooke Candy

    Perez Hilton's "One Night in Austin" party at the Austin Music Hall at SXSW in Austin, Texas.
    March 16, 2013

    (John Davisson)

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In-between I noticed that sponsor Tic Tac had a giant candy box that fans can enter while a photographer takes pictures of them. I consider it but decide I would rather not have that photo floating around the Internet.

The big acts ended the evening. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were in my viewfinder for the fourth time this week, bringing the “Thrift Shop” to Austin. The re-united Fall Out Boy closed the showcase with some of their hits and some new songs.

  • Fall Out Boy

    Perez Hilton's "One Night in Austin" party at the Austin Music Hall at SXSW in Austin, Texas.
    March 16, 2013

    (John Davisson)

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And SXSW 2013 is now one for the history books.


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