SXSW 2013: Sound City Players, LL Cool J & Flaming Lips Rule The Night

LL Cool J revealed the all-star line-up on his forthcoming album 'Authentic.'
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Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Scott T. Sterling
Scott T. Sterling Scott is the rock associate producer for
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yeahyeahyeah125 SXSW 2013: Sound City Players, LL Cool J & Flaming Lips Rule The Night How to enjoy SXSW from your couch.

This year’s edition of the annual music circus known as South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, raged on last night (March 14), with star turns from classic rock royalty, hip-hop legends and alt-rock pioneers alike. (Previous recap here.)

The popular college town continued to swell with even more music industry folks and eager fans swilling Shiner Bock and Lone Star beer, filling the already-busy streets en route to the endless showcases around town (it’s even been suggested that SXSW is the catalyst for people to move to Austin permanently).

Dave Grohl’s all-star band the Sound City Players convened at Stubb’s BBQ for what has been rumored as the big-name collective’s final show. John Fogerty, Rick Springfield, Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen and Stevie Nicks highlighted the packed show, which ended Grohl’s long day during which he delivered this year’s SXSW keynote speech.

Rapper LL Cool J headlined the Doritos showcase set inside the snack food brand’s infamous 62-foot vending machine stage. Performing alongside fellow hip-hop pioneers Public Enemy, Ice Cube, Doug E. Fresh and DJ Z-Trip, LL Cool J delivered a high-energy show (that was live streamed as it happened) loaded with hits from his vast catalog, including “Going Back to Cali,” “Jingling Baby” and “Mama Said Knock You Out.”

The rapper also took the opportunity to talk about his upcoming album Authentic (due April 30), revealing a cavalcade of guest appearances on the record: Eddie Van Halen, Fitz and the Tantrums, Brad Paisley, Travis Barker, Tom Morello and Snoop Doog (who was across town at the Viceland showcase with Diplo and Major Lazer supporting Reincarnated, his reggae album under the Snoop Lion guise). LL Cool J performed the Snoop Dogg collaboration, “We Like to Party,” a booming, old-school track that fits right in among his older material.

Alt-rock godfathers the Flaming Lips eschewed the more theatrical aspects of their legendary live show to roll out a beautiful set comprised mostly of songs from their 2002 magnum opus, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, performing tunes like “Are You a Hypnotist?” live for the first time. The performance capped out three nights of Warner Sound showcases that were webcast live. Alt-J, Atlas Genius and more also performed on the Flaming Lips bill.

Indie fans swarmed the Fader Fort (and its live online feed) to see live sets from emerging artists like DIIV, “All Gold Everything” rapper Trinidad James and Solange, who performed her single “Losing You,” as well as a cover of the Dirty Projectors song “Stillness is the Move.”

With SXSW 2013 wrapping up over the weekend, the focus increases on superstar acts like Justin Timberlake, who’s rumored to be making a live appearance at Saturday’s MySpace showcase. The Smashing Pumpkins are set to play the Red Bull showcase, but the hottest ticket is still Prince, who will be closing the week with his first-ever SXSW show on Saturday night at the Samsung Galaxy party.

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