Austin is all about “keeping it weird” and if SXSW can be seen as that spirit amplified, I can think of no better example than Alabama rapper Yelawolf’s show at Club DeVille. In many ways, it was what I expected, but also had an element of weirdness about it. And I think “show” is the correct term for what I saw that night. While it may not have been a proper performance in the strictest sense, there was certainly an element of spectacle in the night’s festivities.
Yes, festivities. This show was touted as a release party for Yelawolf’s latest mixtape, “Trunk Musik Returns” and the crowd definitely was ready and willing to party. As was the man himself. Onstage, Yelawolf told the crowd that while people were asking him if he was going to perform tonight, he instead just wanted to listen to his music and party with his fans. Which is where part of the weirdness comes in. If I’m going to see a show, I expect a little more than the performer to sometimes just rap along with his record and sometimes just let it play while he and his entourage party onstage. Don’t get me wrong, it was still an enjoyable enough show and the crowd was definitely digging it, but why not try a little harder?
The other weird spectacle of the show was when Yelawolf produced a mason jar of some mysterious yellow liquid, which was apparently confiscated from someone in the crowd. He then proceeded to open it up, send out a toast to his mom, and then take a swig from the jar. He’s a braver man than I. I’d be wary about drinking something confiscated from a stranger. But then again, this guy checked it, so I’m sure it was alright: