Since 2015, we have asked independent artists to share their favorite memories from their time at SXSW. In just a couple of years, this project has become one of our most popular features thanks to the growing interests of bands and singers from around the world. Forty-five artists participated in this year’s edition, including Bad Pop.
Alt-rock with the emphasis on the alt, Bad Pop live their weird. If there were any doubts about that, their SXSW memories are here to put you right.
BAD POP DO SXSW: AKA the time we saw Kanye West play 34 secret shows!
We got in late afternoon on a sunny SXSW Tuesday. The magpies were humming a beautiful tune as the sun was setting on the warm Austin streets. The smells of food truck alley were calling to our senses like a mermaid’s siren song attempting to crash a ship into the rocks. Ah yes, the stars had all aligned to make this the best SXSW of all time.
After finding parking among an endless sea of bodies stretching the perimeter of the entire city, we loaded in our gear to Scratch House to play our first showcase. Already the room was a buzz with word that Kanye West was potentially playing a secret show this year. Nobody knew when or where it was, but rest assured as soon as it was officially announced the city would a frenzy of Kanye madness.
We finished our 1am set and loaded out as quickly as possible, as our manager casually mentioned that word was out… “KANYE WEST IS PLAYING MOHAWK AT 2:37 A.M.!” Much to our surprise and dismay, not only was there no Kanye show happening, the venue wasn’t even open at that hour! As Catherine rested her hand upon a wall of the venue to steady herself while pulling a rock out of her shoe, the wall gave way and spun us around into a secret corridor where we were to spend the next 48 minutes in the deepest hypnotic trance of our lives. In a room as big as a plus-sized sarcophagus, Kanye West stood face-to-face with the 3 of us and delivered a blistering set while holding a candle up for light. When the secret secret show was done, he thanked us for coming and gave us all copies of an unreleased new record.
What happened the next 4 days is something we will never forget…
Waking up the next morning, the previous night felt like a fevered dream. As I brushed my teeth, I heard a small scratching on the bathroom floor. Hoping that it wasn’t a mouse, I knelt down to see where the sound was coming from. Much to my relief and sheer delight, a tiny Kanye West was sound checking for his second, super-secret show of the festival.
Soon, all we were seeing were secret Kanye West shows. Waiting in line for BBQ at Iron Works, secret Kanye West show. Sitting on the bridge at sunset waiting for the bats to come out, thousands of tiny winged Kanye Wests absolutely crushing verses of “Mercy” and “Swagga like us”. Taking a pedicab ride up 6th, you guessed it, secret Kanye West show. He was our driver! We wanted to compliment our amazing brunch chef Friday morning, when he finally had a free, post-rush moment to come out of the kitchen we were pleasantly surprised to meet Roger. A brilliant chef born and raised in Austin with the southern hospitality to match. We shook hands and he took his chef hat off. Wow! So cool! Kanye West jumped out of the hat and performed another blazing set right there in the middle of the restaurant!!
Needless to say. it was the best week of shows we had ever seen and that’s the magic of SXSW, discovering all the new places to see Kanye West play secret shows!
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