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SXSW 2015: The Five Best Things We Saw on Day Five


Well, we made it. Five days in (and lots of muddy shoes later), South By Southwest 2015 has finally drawn to a close. On its fifth and final day, ASTR brought their brash brand of electro-pop to Cheer Up Charlie’s, Jacco Gardner played lush psych-folk at the Burger Records showcase, and the Jack Daniels-swilling YG swaggered around his sole SXSW set. Below, SPIN throws a spotlight on Saturday’s five best acts.

Alex Winston 
Roaring through a number of tracks from her forthcoming sophomore album, this Michigan sure-to-be-pop-sensation slashed, clawed, and wailed through a set of deceptively sweet power jams. Songs such as “Careless” and “We Got Nothing” showed range, but the new stuff showed stardom. — BRENNAN CARLEY

With “Operate” under their belt early in their set, the New York trip-pop duo — Zoe and Adam, if you’re nasty — proceeded to decimate a bunch of new tracks, dropping hot morsels like lava bombs. If ASTR’s Homecoming EP is any bit as mercilessly body-slamming as its pieces are live, sign us up for punch duty now. — B.C.

Jacco Gardner
Performing his sweet-natured brand of ’60s-sounding baroque-pop, the Netherlands-based singer Jacob Gardner did a pleasant midday set at Burger Records‘ splendid showcase (also featuring names like Western Plaza, the Memories, and White Mystery). Playing new favorites like “Find Yourself” from the forthcoming Hypnophobia (out May 5), Gardner often paused to proclaim his adoration for Burger and for Austin’s own Hotel Vegas, a location at which he’d apparently played enough times now to feel “at home.” The ground might have been sticky with shoe-ruining mud, but we didn’t want to be anywhere else. — RACHEL BRODSKY 


“My name is VÉRITÉ and I am fucking in love with all of you,” the New York alt-pop singer — whose name is actually Kelsey Byrne — declared toward the middle of her Neon Gold set at Empire Control Room. The feeling was plenty mutual, too, as the packed-in crowd let their approval be heard at the end of radio-ready songs like “Echo,” “Heartbeat,” and “Strange Enough.” Short though it was, VÉRITÉ’s club-friendly yet visceral performance bodes exceptionally well for her future work. — R.B. 

A showman and a braggart all in one, the California rapper shimmied his way through his one and only SXSW set at the SPIN/AXE White Label party like he’d been waiting for it all week. “Meek Mill got a show in Philly, I was supposed to be there but I’m happy to be here fucking with y’all,” the rapper said as he grinned, gleefully swigging back Jack Daniels and playing with the crowd. Enough white male hosts on late-night TV: Why hasn’t anyone come knocking on the “Who Do You Love” star’s door? — B.C.