SXSW Thursday in Pictures: The MTVU Woodie Awards with Macklemore, T.I., Alt-J and Twenty One Pilots

| April 24, 2013

SXSW Thursday was another gorgeous day in weather and the start of some of the bigger events and showcases. Savvy social media users spent the day getting exclusive access to special events such as the Myspace secret shows or the Samsung exclusive concert featuring Prince. That Samsung one required having one of the newer NFC-enabled Samsung phones and participating in an Austin-wide scavenger hunt. The event that I was most excited for though required no extra effort from social networks, though that didn’t stop people from instagramming everything. This was the MTVU Woodie Awards.

MTV had built a pair of stages in the middle of an empty grass lot to host the Woodies. Performances alternated back and forth between these stages — one of which tended to feature rising rap and hip hop acts and the main stage which featured indie rock and other big buzz acts such as Macklemore, Tegan & Sara and Alt-J. It was here that I spent most of my day — the variety was rich, plenty of free refreshments to keep me energized and there were so many surprise guests that it was almost too risky to adventure away. For example, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis had a posse of guests that joined on songs, including the show stealing Mary Lambert for “Same Love.” However, the biggest surprise was probably T.I. joining Houston’s Travi$ $cott. A surprise that got the crowd so revved up that they flooded the stage. As cool as the guests were though, Twenty One Pilots managed to put on one of the best performances of the day without a single guest. For just two guys on drums and piano, these guys are nuts. They were doing backflips without missing a beat and had the crowd eating up their energy even if their songs were relatively unknown to the audience.

Atlas Genius at the MTVU Woodie Awards

Atlas Genius

Atlas Genius

Alt J at the MTVU Woodie Awards

Alt-J

Alt-J

Travi$ $cott & T.I. at the MTVU Woodie Awards

Travis $cott & T.I. and Trinidad Jame$

Travis $cott & T.I. and Trinidad Jame$

Twenty One Pilots at the MTVU Woodie Awards

Twenty One Pilots

Twenty One Pilots

twenty one pilots

Twenty One Pilots

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis at the MTVU Woodie Awards

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis with Mary Lambert

Hosts MGK (Winner of Woodie of the Year) and Tegan & Sara at the MTVU Woodie Awards

MGK and Tegan and Sara at the MTVU Awards

MGK and Tegan and Sara at the MTVU Awards

Of course, I did find the time to see a few other acts. Icona Pop was playing a nearby venue to the Woodie Awards and boy was I glad I got the chance to see the duo behind “I Love It.” The venue was packed with people dancing to the upbeat club anthems and this was one of the few bands that warranted an encore.

Icona Pop

Icona Pop

I also caught the smooth vocals of Solange over at the Fader Fort. She may not be quite as well known as her sister Beyonce, but her music was a lot more diverse and hypnotizing (sorry, Bey, but it’s true). Solange charmed me and I hope to see her again someday.

Solange

Solange

Unfortunately, some tragic news from home meant that my Thursday at SXSW needed to be cut short. Nonetheless, I had a pretty eventful day and was eager to see what continued surprises the weekend would bring.

Read my Tuesday photos/recapWednesday photos/recapFriday photos/recapSaturday photos/recap and my Top 5 Best/5 Worst Moments.

Bethany Smith

I'm a geek; I love music, technology and grammar.

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