Sunday, December 21, 2014

SXSW 2014 Blow by Blow Wednesday with Jay-Z and Kanye West

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Posted by teibs On March - 19 - 2014

kanye jay z watch the throne 300x171 SXSW 2014 Blow by Blow Wednesday with Jay Z and Kanye West@ZackTeibloom I asked Andy what he thought of my SXSW 2014 by the Numbers post and he told me it was fine, but read more as a list of things I did. He wanted the stories. We have a tradition in my family of giving a blow by blow (BBB) account of a vacation. We want to hear all the details from the airport to the meals to the events. So here’s the BBB of my SXSW.

We’ll pick up on Wednesday of music week. There was a lot of fun to be had before then, but I more or less covered the podcast tapings and parties in the by the numbers post. I promised Andy I’d pound this story out on my lunch break today. He said that I’m free pound out whatever I want, but he didn’t want to hear about it. Touche. I’ll piece it together as best I can from memory and twitter.

  • 6:00 a.m. I get to work for my last half day before five days off. The first e-mail my eyes scan is ”You won! Zack Teibloom – Samsung Galaxy® Concert Series with JAY Z + Kanye West” and I know it’s going to be a long, but incredible day.
  • 12:30 pm I get off at noon, drive home, and have just enough time to take Scooby out before Janosch comes by with the bike I lent him. We share one final sandwich as he tells me how the night before he bet a stranger in a bar a shot that his buddy couldn’t top 550 on a boxing game and shows me the slow motion video of the friend’s successful attempt. I fill up my water bottle with vodka and sprite and we bike to the convention center.
  • 1 p.m. We park our bikes at the convention center, part ways and I spend 15 minutes distributing magazines for M Music Magazine, who got me the badge.
  • 1:20 p.m. I see gun nuts marching by the convention center with assault rifles. Pretty sure the interactive and music festival goers aren’t their target audience.
  • 1:30 p.m. I meet up with Caitlin at Dogwoods to half watch Blackie & the Rodeo Kings at a party the magazine we’re working for is sponsoring and set-up a pick-up time for the posters with the bar staff.
  • 2:30 p.m. We bike to the Mohawk to catch the end of Kelela’s set and sip vodka and sprite in the sun. It’s an especially windy day, but we’re comfy inside the Mohawk’s high walls.
  • 3 p.m. I break the seal for the first time, noting how odd it is that there’s a long line for the men’s room and no line for the ladies room at the Mohawk.
  • 3:15 p.m. Charli XCX takes the stage and has far more of a punk rock sound than the pop sound last time we saw her, but we still enjoy it just as much.
  • 3:30 p.m. We try to get in line for Wye Oak at Hype Hotel, but the line is insane.
  • 4 p.m. Caitlin and I can’t figure out what to see next, so she goes on her own, while I meet some friends for free BBQ and two more vodka sprites at a bar I can’t even remember.
  • 4:45 p.m. I head to the convention center to grab my Kanye and Jay-Z wristband and get a free glass of wine at the Registrants lounge.
  • 5-6 p.m I bike home, walk Scooby, charge my phone, shave my beard into a mustache, fill my water bottle up with vodka and sprite and meet up with Caitlin.
  • 6:15 p.m. Caitlin has only questions about my mustache. I have no answers.
  • 6:30-7 p.m White Sea blows us away for the first time. This is the worst venue we’ll see her at sound wise, but we can already tell she has incredible pipes, is a natural song writer and has a big, full sound from her band. This will not be the last time we see her.
  • 7:21 p.m We wait around so Caitlin can meet Morgan, the lead singer. Caitlin’s already interviewed her over the phone and they hit it off in person as well, but as you could probably guess, I’m fairly drunk at this point, so I keep interrupting to tell her how awesome she is and lament that Caitlin doesn’t like my stash. “You do you, baby. You do you” she encourages me.
  •  7:45 p.m I hear that the line at Kanye and Jay-Z is getting long, so I bike that way and finish my bottle of vodka sprite.
  • 8 pm I find the line to be rather large with an hour until doors. I cut the line in half by sidling up to a group of people halfway up the line and sidle up to them and keep my head down and play on my phone.
  • 8:15 p.m “Does anyone want a Cheeto?” This gets my attention. When I look up, the guy next to me in line says “You weren’t here. I mean. You like sidled up, right? I’m not even mad. You were sly.” Still got it.
  • 8:30 p.m-10 p.m Alex and Ally meet me in line and I pause that week’s Doug Loves Movies podcast and we keep each other company for what turns out to be an hour and a half as my buzz almost wears off.
  • 10:09 p.m. They give us three drink tickets and the Samsung taco ticket in my pocket looks enough like a drink ticket that I pound two vodka sprites in a manner of minutes and then grab two more and we settle into floor spots near the back of Austin Music Hall.
  • 10:15-11:20 p.m. I’m very friendly with everyone around us (drunk) as we drink free alcohol and wait for the throne to be watched.
  • 11:24 “Kanye and jay are gonna do this whole show from opposing stages. Where to look? Kanye in a kilt” This is one of my last coherent tweets from the show.
  • 11:25-1:30 a.m. I’ll just screen grab a couple pics worth bit in case you missed it. Read from the bottom up. You’ll get the point.
Screen Shot 2014 03 19 at 11.39.43 AM1 SXSW 2014 Blow by Blow Wednesday with Jay Z and Kanye West

Screen Shot 2014 03 19 at 11.39.29 AM SXSW 2014 Blow by Blow Wednesday with Jay Z and Kanye West

Oooooof. Someone got drunk and had a good time. I wrote a more coherent recap of the show for M Music. I’ll just put that here:

Take the two most popular rap stars of the millennium, stick them in an intimate venue 1/20th the size of the arenas they normally play on the first night of SXSW music, and you have the most sought after ticket of the festival. Jay-Z and Kanye hadn’t performed together since June 2012, but reunited for Austin’s only taste of the “Watch the Throne”  tour and despite an over booking that left hundreds of fans left in the cold, it was an incredibly successful victory lap.
The duo played 35 songs in a brilliant performance, spanning over two hours, with no opening act. They seamlessly weaved in between Jay-Z solo classics like “Big Pimpin,” “Izzo,” and “Empire State of Mind,” with Kanye hits “Gold Digger,” “Stronger,” and “Jesus Walks” and joined up for Watch The Throne album duets like “Ham,” “Otis,” and, as they’re prone to do, played “Ni**as in Paris” three consecutive times to end the once in a lifetime show.
The entire night felt like a highlight reel, but a few moments stick out. Seeing Kanye, who was in an especially good mood, wearing a smile and a kilt rap along on Jay’s “99 Problems” felt like a dream, and seeing Jay-Z rap his verse to “Drunk in Love” for one of the first times, and as it neared the finale, hoping they’d keep playing “Ni**as in Paris” over and over and over again until the sun came up. We watched the throne, alright.
  • 1:45 a.m My phone died at the end of that twitter nonsense, so I borrow Ally’s phone to text Caitlin that I’m coming home. She alerts me about the tragic car accident and tells me to be extra careful. I have to bike 2.2 miles across the heart of downtown just as the bars are spilling out on the scariest night to travel ever. Remember that I’m also quite quite drunk.
  • 2:00 a.m. My chain comes off my bike. I sloppily re-attach it and ride for another block.
  • 2:03 a.m. The chain comes off again. I try again to put it back on.
  • 2:05 a.m. The last chain re-attachment attempt didn’t stick and my chain rips in half.
  • 2:06 a.m. I realize that I’m only a block from the convention center. I walk there and swap my broken bike with the one Janosch tied up at 1:30
  • 2:15 a.m. I’m thrilled to be home safely and sad to hear how bad the accident was. You should donate to sxswcares to help.
  • 2:20 a.m. I shower and head to bed. Day one done. The next morning won’t feel great, but I’ve got a lot of fest left in me.

Related posts:

  1. Kanye West @ ACL 2011
  2. SXSW 2014 by the numbers
  3. SXSW Wednesday at the Fort/Stubbs
  4. Favorite Song 2011: Round 1: Jay Z & Kanye West “Nwords in Paris” vs My Morning Jacket “Outta My System”
  5. Favorite Song of 2013 Contest: Round 1: Kanye West “Black Skinhead” vs. Paul McCartney “New”

3 Responses

  1. Adam Said,

    It was 650 on the boxing game. What am I, a child?

    Posted on March 19th, 2014 at 11:04 am

  2. teibs Said,

    Thanks for reading and correcting. Maybe if it was only 550 you wouldn’t have broken your hand.

    Posted on March 19th, 2014 at 11:07 am

  3. Adam Said,

    Nah, I think it broke around the 250 point

    Posted on March 19th, 2014 at 12:51 pm

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