Was last night’s Julian Casablancas show terrible or just bad? Watch it and let us know.
Future shows tend to be orgies of hits, and his set yesterday, headlining the SPIN party at Stubb’s, was mostly that: A thunderous “Bugatti,” an even more thunderous “Same Damn Time,” cameos from B.o.B. and Bun B. But he also did a couple of new songs: The intro track to his forthcoming album Honest and “Good Morning,” another song that didn’t make the album at all. Talking to the crowd, Future said that he’d been working on the song with producer Detail and that it was one of his favorites. But Detail also worked on Beyoncé’s “Drunk In Love,” and there were serious parallels between both songs. Maybe Details used the same beat for both songs, or maybe the two just sounded too similar. Future only said that “Drunk In Love” came along and stole the song’s thunder, not that the song was the original “Drunk In Love,” though maybe it’s that, too. He also said that he’d never performed the song before and that he’ll probably never do it again, so unless it leaks, this is presumably our only chance to hear it.
After a long night featuring sets alternatively blistering (Perfect Pussy, Eagulls), danceable (Kelis), and mind-altering (St. Vincent), somewhere around 1:20 AM, NPR’s Wednesday night SXSW showcase wound around to its headliner, Damon Albarn. The show happened at Stubb’s BBQ, which by SXSW standards is considered a larger stage (or, at least, it has been considered as such over the years), even though you’re essentially seeing an arena artist play in a backyard. Given, Albarn was a pop star and an arena headliner in other contexts — first with Blur, then with Gorillaz — and even though his new solo sets might gesture at the different eras of his fruitful career, there is definitely a certain stripped-down intimacy to the size and tone of the show Albarn’s crafted in the lead-up to his first full-fledged solo album, Everyday Robots, which is coming out in April. Whether because of the nature of his new music or because of the fact he was premiering songs much of the crowd hadn’t heard, it was less a victorious or momentous closing set, and more a subdued, elegiac coda to the night. (This quality might have been exacerbated by the fact that, due to the schedule having gone slightly awry, Albarn’s set was abridged, which he repeatedly apologized to the audience for.)