Music

SXSW Review: 15th Anniversary of Duck Down Showcase

by Yvette Travillian

OK, so if you’ve been following our tweets then you know that the Couch Sessions rolled deep two weeks ago to SXSW. And as exhausting as it may have been, nonetheless it was definitely a memorable experience. There were so many dope bands performing that I’m sure I missed out on some hotness I’m not even aware of yet. However, there was one show that I was able to catch that I think made up for everything else that I missed.

New York represented hard this year in Austin by celebrating the legendary Duck Down Records 15th anniversary. The showcase was held outside at a remote spot called the Scoot Inn, and upon arriving you definitely felt like you were down south. The neighborhood was pitch black and almost sketchy if you’re not use to country livin’. But the moment you reach the Inn it was as though you were transported into another time zone.

Bright (but not too bright) lights and an incredible sound system immediately welcomed you to what was about to be a historic event. I mean the music coming from inside was so infectious that it pretty much had all those waiting outside begging to get in.

Everybody and they mama was there to help celebrate 15 years with one of the most legendary hip-hop labels of all time: Buck Shot (who was my favorite performer),  Tek and Steele of Smif-N-Wessun, Pharoahe Monch, Boot Camp Clik, 9th Wonder, Kidz In The Hall, Marco Polo & Torae and of course DJ Evil Dee – and that’s literally to name a few. And all of the above KILLED it. I honestly don’t think there was one head not nodding throughout the entire showcase.

With newer members of the Duck Down crew like Toronto’s Promise and Team Facelift on hand to warm the crowd up, it was the closing act that literally made folks lose their heads. Select Boot Camp members like Smif N Wessun, Sean Price & Buckshot took everybody way back with some of hip-hop’s most classic bangers and I swear the vibe was something I had never experienced. No matter where you were from, if you were a hip hop fan you felt the embrace of what this music has done to unite people from all over the world.

Also worth noting is how the artists themselves interacted with the crowd – not only while on the stage but off stage as well. When not on stage performing they were walking around with the fans taking pictures, sipping on brews and enjoying the show. I don’t know if was just the SXSW vibe that had everyone feeling comfortable or if it was just in the nature of these artists to chill like that, but it was certainly something you don’t see at your average concert.

All in all, the Duck Down showcase did not disappoint and I was thrilled to have been a part of something as monumental as celebrating 15 years of being in the music business. And I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say that I look forward to many many more.

Photo of Buck Shot & Sean Price by YTravillian

Video from AB on Vimeo

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