SXSW Goes Back to Its Roots

March 24, 2015 9:13 PM

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SXSW Goes Back to Its Roots

Though this year’s South by Southwest Festival was unwieldy as ever, with a reported 2,200 acts performing during the course of five days last week, the glut of advertising for youth-oriented products that tarnished SXSW 2014 was far less apparent this time around. And with the exception of Miley Cyrus, who hopped onstage during rapper Mike Will’s show, absent were such attention-stealing celebrities as Coldplay, Lady Gaga, Kanye West and Jay Z, all of whom performed here last year. With astute, innovative rock bands like Spoon and TV on the Radio among the festival’s biggest names, and a giant wave of next-generation talent on hand, there was the feeling that South By, as it is known, was back where it belongs.

SXSW is more a proving ground than a launching pad for new acts, profiting most those that can build on buzz achieved elsewhere. In this restored environment, one of the bands that prospered was Wolf Alice, a rock quartet from north London that came together in its present form in September 2013. Th...

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