With the music portion of the 2013 South By Southwest Festival well underway, now’s the time where festival attendees have to make difficult decisions about which of the over 5,000 acts in town they’re going to see. Fortunately for your friendly VH1 Tuner team, our decision about what to do last night was a no-brainer. We spent the night at the W Hotel in Downtown Austin for VH1’s “Hello Austin!” party, which featured performances from Youngblood Hawke, St. Lucia and Mia Moretti & The Dolls.
The night started off on the right foot with an extraordinary set from DJ Mike Nouveau spinning on the lovely outdoor patio area at The W, which is set on the second floor of the building and overlooks lovely downtown Austin. After being trapped in the freezing New York City wintertime for the last few months, we have to admit that it felt incredibly wonderful to stand outside without being bundled up in winter weather wear!
His set was followed up by the synth-pop stalwarts of St. Lucia, a group whose very name conjures up images of tropical weather. Their six song, eponymous EP that came out last spring was named as one of VH1’s Best Albums of 2012, and boy, did they ever deliver. Their shimmery, sunshine-y songs like “Closer Than This” and “Before The Dive” are filled with so much uplifting melody that your body is compelled to dance (even if your feet feel like they’re going to fall off after standing all day).
The most unexpected moment of the night came courtesy of DJ Mia Moretti, the star of VH1’s upcoming show Master Of The Mix. Of course, when you hear the name Mia Moretti, you know that you’re in store for a set of straight-up high energy, rhythmically propulsive jams, but what we did NOT expect to see was a live string section accompanying them. Rather than try to describe what it was like, why don’t we just show you what they did with Dr. Dre’s “The Next Episode”?
The evening was headlined by our friends in Youngblood Hawke, VH1’s current You Oughta Know artist. They had just made some serious waves the night before with an energetic set at MTV/VH1/CMT’s Live In Austin, and just have an innate ability to win over crowds. Of course, their big single at the moment is “We Come Running,” but other songs like “Stars (Hold On)” and “Rootless” prove that they’ve got the songwriting chops to be in this game for a long time.
[Photo Credit: VH1/WorldRedEye.com]