So, as I figured would happen, one of the biggest stories from SXSW's final day is the fact that Odd Future ran off the stage at Billboard Bungalow, after telling the crowd, the club and the magazine to fuck off. I was there, and the more I think about it, the more I think that will be the SXSW show (along with the group's show at Fader Fort by Fiat) I remember in 10 years. I'll forget ever seeing OMD at Stubb's, but Odd Future telling me to go fuck myself before storming offstage, is damn memorable. It was punk as fuck.
But the music press is still talking about it, with reactions ranging from outraged to spot-on. Here's a rundown:
The New York Times just sorta mentioned it, and then said they were complaining about microphones. Which is true, but that wasn't the whole story. You can watch video of the disaster above thanks to the Rap Up. Billboard did their best to cover it without being openly angry, laughingly being unable to call out the new MellowHype song that got performed between "Sandwitches" and "Yonkers," and misspelling "Grillade" as "Griod," who it's worth mentioning, are not Big K.R.I.T.'s "band." Here's Billboard's video of the meltdown too. Listen for Left Brain saying "I want to hear my production." The funniest stage banter of the fest, pretty much.
But even teen rebels should know better than to insult their fans. When Johnny Rotten addressed the final audience the original Sex Pistols would ever play for in 1978, he asked, "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" He walked off and the band broke up. I doubt Odd Future will break up (though it would be the ultimate rebellious gesture in a career founded on doing the "wrong" thing at all times), but they sure cheated their fans on this night. At the very least Odd Future owes them a refund.
Wait, can we talk about this? A guy who, earlier in the column says that he "is willing to give the group another chance" basically admitting that he isn't a fan, and has no idea who they are, and didn't pay attention to the fact that band played Vice literally two hours later, is demanding they pay back the "fans" in attendance and wondering if they'll break up? And can we talk about the emptiness of a guy who walked right into the venue, because he was carrying a badge, actually caring about people who waited in line? It's an easy pose to strike, because you're being a man of the people, but know that Greg Kot DID NOT have to wait in line, and neither did I. But I don't feel bad for the fans waiting in line, because I honestly never thought of them. It's hard to when you have a badge and don't have to wait. I mean, I guess I feel for them, but I never once thought about the people in line. And neither did Greg Kot. Does that make me a dick? Undoubtedly.
The best comments come from @Discographies, who covered the event for the Daily.
"They hate the crowd. They hate the soundman. They hate the club. They hate Billboard, who sponsored the gig. And they can't stop telling us about it. Then they announce that they are leaving for a competing publication's party and walk off the stage. The end. As a statement of willful, nihilistic contempt, it recalls such prior masters of the form as Lydon '77 or Dylan '66. Sooner or later, everyone who stands around and complains about the show after its over will end up bragging about the fact that they were there."
Too true. I know I will. Wolf Gang.