It was around 9:30 p.m. when SXSW’s most hyped show was about to begin. Vince Staples was performing, and he was definitely going to shake the house! As a Long Beach, California, native, Staples is an undoubtedly eye-catching, accomplished MC who has emerged in the last five years. With all the built-up hysteria, there was no hesitation knowing this show would be killer.
The show was part of Apple Music’s SXSW series, along with the Chainsmokers, on Thursday and already had an under-the-radar show scheduled for Friday night.
It was also held in a customized venue on the east side of downtown with state-of-the-art lights and sound but an unfortunately low ceiling and stage, which makes sightlines a challenge not only when the average height of a crowdmember comes up to the performer’s chest, but when you’ve got an artist like Staples, who has great songs, razor-sharp lyrics and a percussive, propulsive flow that drives his tracks as hard as the hardest beats — but whose enthusiasm for performing live seems tepid, at least on this night. — Billboard
With wild graphics projected onto the screen behind the stage, it was described as an odd combination of sea creatures, explosions, Cold War-era Air Force footage and transforming flowers throughout the concert. Over the course of his set, he performed most of his stellar Summertime ’06 album, his Prima Donna EP and his latest single “Bagbak,” from his new album, Big Fish Theory, which is due “very soon,” says the label.