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SXSW Dispatch: An NPR Music knockout with Nick Cave, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and more

The NPR Music Showcase at Stubb's ( clockwise from left: Waxahatchee, Nick Cave, Cafe Tacvba, Yeah Yeah Yeahs) | Photos by John Vettese
The NPR Music Showcase at Stubb’s ( clockwise from left: Waxahatchee, Nick Cave, Cafe Tacvba, Yeah Yeah Yeahs) | Photos by John Vettese

NPR Music‘s annual showcase at Stubb’s BBQ has become a coveted ticket at South By Southwest, and last night’s bill was a knockout. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds gave a stunning, electrified performance of songs from their new Push the Sky Away; Philly’s Waxahatchee played a hushed and intimate indoors set; Mexico five-piece Cafe Tacuba rallied the outdoor crowd with song and dance; and Yeah Yeah Yeahs notched the energy up even further, premiering songs from their new LP Mosquito and taking a deep-digging trip into their back catalog.

The capacity crowd was teeming with excitement for Cave, who’s an expert at constructing a mood. “We’re going to start with a rather long song,” Cave said, pointing to the dusky sky as they took the stage. “Hopefully, by the time we finish, it will be dark.” Continue reading →