Perez Hilton’s One Night in Austin showcase has been a mainstay during South by Southwest, closing out the festivities on Saturday night. While it has changed venues before, it has mostly been held at the Austin Music Hall, which unfortunately got torn down to make room for apartment complexes last year. The new venue for this year’s festivities was The Moody Theater, a welcome change despite being a bit further from other venues as well as being a bit smaller than the Music Hall.
A big draw in the past for Perez’s event has generally been special guests. Each year attendees would spread rumors and guess about which one of Perez’s pals may be showing up. In actuality, special guests in memory are sparse (Fall Out Boy being one, and Kanye West being a standout in 2008). It seems that the lineup is now more focused on actually showcasing talented up-and-coming musicians to the crowd, which is actually a plus when you think that beyond all the bells and whistles that’s what SXSW is really meant to do.
This year’s lineup consisted of a variety of acts, all of which had their own individual flavor and genre to add. One of the earlier acts was Kat Dahlia, who blew away the crowd with a tremendous voice. Young pop singer Daya was a bit more in line with what you would expect from the showcase, with a great performance of electro pop that kept the crowd dancing. Singer Grace Mitchell was a bit late to her set, but once she got to the venue she hit the stage fast and hard. Channeling Florence Welch, she ran from end to end of the stage while belting out dancey festival-friendly tunes. Reggae act Magic! headlined the evening, who are known well enough to have been a draw considering there were quite a bit of their fans in the crowd. Their music set the nightcap mood for the evening, with the band playing some of their own songs as well as Bob Marley covers.
As with each year, Perez Hilton’s showcase always features a diverse lineup of upcoming artists that we should be looking out for in the year to come. It seems that a lot of the artists that we get to hear at this event really get traction, which makes it a perfect event to close up a festival which is meant just for that.