SXSW 2013’s Biggest Performances

March 22, 2013

March 12- 17th marked the 27th South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas. The motive behind the SXSW Music Conference is to educate and inspire artists and those who work by their sides. The six-day conference featured thousands of various bands but we decided to recap eight of the biggest acts!

French Montana has definitely been on a roll as of late. Fresh off the release of his new single “Freaks” featuring Nicki Minaj, Montana brought all of his freaks to the dirty south when he invaded the SXSW Music Festival. During his near hour-long performance, Montana performed a plethora of his hit singles and even brought some guests with him! Being that he’s signed to his label, it only makes sense that French brought out his label head Sean “P-Diddy” Combs, to spit his verse in “Same Damn Time”, and even performed a few hit singles of his own including “All About The Benjamins”. Check out this clip of French performing his smash hit “Stay Schemin’”.

Kendrick Lamar is no artist to be taken lightly. The 25 year-old Compton rapper took to the Texas stage with the Spotify Party House to deliver stellar performances of “Backstage Freestyle,” among other hit singles.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have started 2013 with a bang! After recently being named quadruple platinum for his super smash hit “Thriftshop”, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed the hit single as well as “Can’t Hold Us.” Below is their performance of smash hit “Thriftshop”!

Prince was arguably the biggest name to perform at the South By SouthWest festival. With a near three-hour performance, he gave the fans in attendance a heads up, “Don’t make me hurt you. Do you know how many hits I have?” Despite the fact that he had over six encores, he STILL didn’t get to every single hit he’s ever had. But that doesn’t mean that he left the fans hungry.


One of the greatest things about music festivals is that you can never be positive about who is going to make an appearance. Afghan Whigs took the stage on March 15th and none other than Atlanta-based superstar Usher joined them! Rock group Afghan Whigs backed up the OMG singer as he performed his hits ranging from OMG to Climax. Usher is a performer like no other, so once his time slot ended, he returned to the SXSW stage to provide an encore of “Lovers and Friends,” “You Got It Bad,” and “Bad Girl.” Usher’s surprise SXSW performance proved that he is an incredible artist who can strive to perfection in any situation.

Although Usher killed it on the SXSW stage, he wasn’t the only big-name, and well-praised performer to hit the stage. On March 16, Justin Timberlake took to the Myspace Secret Show finale at the Coppertank Events Center in downtown Austin. Only 700 fans were in the audience at the secret show, making the intimacy level skyrocket. While most of his set was older songs, JT did provide quite a few new songs, including “Suit and Tie” and  “That Girl.” Check out the video below of Justin Timberlake singing “Senorita” at the Myspace Secret Show.

Sometimes covers of popular songs are up-to-par with the original song. If there’s one instance where this is more than accurate, it’s Tori Kelly’s cover of Justin Timberlake’s Suit and Tie. Tori Kelly performed a thirty-minute set at The Dogwood for Wreckroom Records. Tori Kelly has proved once again that a voice and guitar are the greatest combination. Tori shows off her undeniable talent and confirms that she’s going to be around for a while!

Justin Timberlake wasn’t the only one to perform at the Coppertank Events Center at a Myspace Secret Show. The series, brought to concertgoers by Chevy, kicked off with Hit-Boy, Kid Cudi and Diplo. The full capacity of the Events Center was filled only minutes after the doors opened. First to hit the stage was Hit-Boy who jammed out to his upcoming project, “All I’ve Ever Dreamed Of,” which was officially released on March 19th. Once Hit-Boy finished up his set, Kid Cudi took to the stage, finishing his set with a megamix of his hit, “Pursuit of Happiness.” While on stage, Kid Cudi announced which special guests will appear on his upcoming and anticipated third album, “Indicud.” The 18-song album will include A$AP Rocky, Hit-Boy, Kendrick Lamar, Michael Bolton, and many more! Hit-Boy and Kid Cudi weren’t the only ones to get the crowd moving though, Diplo took over the DJ booth and had a mix of hip-hop, dance and even a little salsa! While speaking of rules for the night, Diplo also provided the crowd with a life lesson, “If you’re not gonna Express Yourself, move to the side.” You can watch Kid Cudi’s full performance below.

While this year’s SXSW has come to a close, we can only imagine what next year’s conference is going to bring! Tweet us at @weknowthedj and let us know what you expect for next year’s festival!


Meg C. and Blake M.

@lilmegwktdj and @blakewktdj

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