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SXSW Day 1

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Flor performing at Empire Control Room 3/15/16.

The first day of SXSW is usually a little on the quiet side, but these acts brought the noise.

Vince Staples killed it at Spotify House, but not without throwing some serious shade on his host (it’s not the first time Spotify has received criticism for its artist management either). His candor is no surprise to fans. The Long Beach rapper is applauded for his talent to juxtapose chill, groove-worthy beats with unnerving lyrics (brace yourself for some graphic realism). If you weren’t lucky enough to witness the artist’s performance yesterday, you can still catch him at a couple of late night shows Wednesday at Stubb’s or Friday at Cedar Street Courtyard.

Glittery pop duo Chaos Chaos played a set for the launch of Babes Fest, delivering a balance of dance beats and dark synth in the intimate venue. You might remember the duo formerly known as Smoosh, but probably not. The once indie pop group has crossed over to the electronic side.

To top off a crazy day, I headed away from the east side and over to the Red River District where Empire Control room filled to capacity in a matter of minutes for the Los Angeles pop quartet known as Flor. With a sound reminiscent of the early days of Passion Pit, these guys illicit a dance party that can convert even the broiest of bros. One such character tapped me on the shoulder mid set to ask the name of the band. “Lore?!” the confused lad asked. “No. Flor!” I yelled, pointing to the ground which was fittingly covered with colorful confetti and bits of streamers. After a 40 minute set filled with powerful beats and contagious synth lines, I felt about six years younger, renewed and invigorated. Still, my night was over. I was looking forward to a solid seven hours of shuteye as I walked to meet my Lyft, confetti and streamers still stuck to my boots.