South By South Best

March 20, 2006

Our Saturday night show at the Levis/FADER Trading Post was scheduled to be the biggest, baddest, biggedest set of performances all week, capped off by the one and only Ironman, Ghostface Killah. Except Ghost didn't get his 6am wakeup call in Denver. And missed his flight. And made us freak out with worry. Fortunately, Def Jam has these little things called "private jets," and the day was saved and then some. More pics of Ghost, Love Is All, Lupe, Kyp from TV On The Radio, Lady Sov, etc etc etc after le jump.

We couldn't tell if it was having J-Love on the decks, the packed-out, extra-live crowd in the backyard, or just Ghost's natural exuberance, but his set was FIRE. Save for a run-through of "Back Like That" at the end, Paisley Fontaine (the latest alias, BTW) skipped Fishscale material for a throrough collection of classics, from Wu-Bangers and Supreme Clientele faves ("Cherchez La Ghost"! "Nutmeg"! Accapella version of "Wildflower"!), to an extra-amped "Run", and even managed to throw in "The Watch" for the superfans. ALCHEMIST BARRY WHITE LOOPS LIKE WOAH.

Right before Ghostdini blasted off, Swedish posty-punky-arty-awesome band Love Is All came on, with singer Josephine Olausson performing this badass "running in place" dance and adding just enough MORE COWBELL on anthems like "Ageing Had Never Been His Friend". Also: MAXIMUM SAXOPHONE LEVELS WERE REACHED.

Also in this Night Of A Thousand FADER Cover Stars, Lupe Fiasco (along with sideman Bishop G) got everyone in that born-and-bred-to-rip-and-shred mood. The Chitown bear (or Bathing Ape, whatever) "took it to the next level" with his ode to grinding (not that grinding, doy) "Kick, Push," the Needlez-produced heater, "Tilted", and "Conflict Diamonds" (which we think had the Screwed Up Click dudes in the house hiding their tooth gems for a minute or two). He also had some kind of Japanese stuffed animal on his belt, and managed to shout out all our sponsors and Lupe is adorable.

Devin the Dude played the best song ever written ("Anythang") and thats all you need to know.

Lady Sov did a quick set of tracks (including a punkier-than-usual "Public Warning"), but her DJ Frampster held down a mini-set of his own right before, featuring enough riddims to make this one dude up front lose his mind. Homeboy was gyrating back and forth right by the speaker column - just geeked as hell to hear some Skepta - and it was a beautiful sight to behold.

Along with the raps and the grimes and the indiepoprocks, we made sure to get weird, too. Damon McMahon and Essex Green set it off early with their happily tweaked sonics, TV On The Radio's Kyp Malone did a rad set of pedal-looped solo tracks, and LA's finest, Lavender Diamond, thanked us for bringing "peace on Earth." No, thank you.

The DJs for the day kept things superfun throughout. Spank selectors Devlin & Darko dropped Killer Mike to perk us up in an early afternoon drizzle, and Rapid Ric's set of future classics from the Whut It Dew Family kept people moving right after, but Swishahouse kingpin Michael "5000" Watts took the crown, playing screwed Kelly Clarkson and Gorillaz songs, Eric B and Rakim, and "Chunk Up The Deuce" like 9 times. Still not enough. Thanks to all the artists, sponsors (those promo Napster lighters came in handy!), and Fans Of Jams who came out this week to share good vibes with us. Check y'all next year!

South By South Best