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SXSW Tuesday on Red River: Sunshine, swagger and lines

Deborah Sengupta

Editor’s note: This article was originally published March 11, 2014

The South by Southwest Music conference kicked off with the kind of amazing weather that spurs inevitable population bursts in our already overcrowded city. Under brilliant skies with an abundance of sunshine and no humidity, the city was sparkling as the fest kicked into gear.

The scene on Red River was already bustling by 2 p.m. A line of party hoppers without official credentials trying to pick up wristbands for the Hype Hotel stretched from the corner of Seventh and Red River all the way down past the ARC of Austin.

Further down the street at the Mohawk, there was no line for the House of Vans which was hosting a Mexico day party. At 3 p.m., the act on the stage was actually from Argentina but no one seemed to care. Illya Kuraki & the Valderramas, a hip hop act with a five piece backup band, worked the crowd with funky grooves, plenty of swagger and drop crotch pants. At the top of the set, the rappers announced that this was their first SXSW appearance and the crowd seemed intrigued. By the end of a 40 minute set thick with percussion and offbeat instrumentation, everyone was hyped. The group was met with enthusiastic cheers as they left the stage kicking off day one with plenty of style.