Written by Bauce Sauce (@BauceSauce)

After the fiasco that was my journey to SXSW yesterday, it seemed as though my luck had changed: I randomly came into possession of an Illmore bracelet. It was by universal design. Every decision that has been made since Eve decided to bite that apple led to me being at a showcase of music I wasn’t too familiar with so that I could be gifted a wristband.

I didn’t even attempt to go last year, but all the hype around it made me curious and apprehensive. What if I run into Waka Flocka but he doesn’t like me? Does my health insurance cover if Tyler, The Creator drops from a chandelier like a wolverine on top of me? Will they have Super Soakers full of molly water? After an hour of trying to hail a cab, my group arrived. We were ecstatic… then we checked our phones.

The texts varied in detail, but all shared the same sentiment: “Are you alive?”

There had been an auto accident at The Mohawk. A drunken coward who didn’t want to deal with the consequences of his actions attempted to flee from police, and drove into a crowd of people. Two people were dead.

We went from joy to confusion to solemnity. When you are having fun and get word that something tragic occurred it’s difficult to proceed. On one hand it didn’t affect me directly, but I could have been walking down that street. My friends could have been involved. To turn up at the turn up function after that news felt shameful. I felt like I was cheating on my girlfriend. You know what complements guilt? Vodka… lots and lots of vodka.

I witnessed streetwear at its apex, saw a minimum of 10 weed/G-Pen selfies, met rappers, saw Big Sean perform, and was was told firsthand stories about Justin Bieber that made me want to be him more than I already did. All of this is happened while a DJ played nothing but good music for people who appreciate good music. ‘Twas a magical evening.

The Illmore is seemingly built from surprises. Sure, Big Sean showed up, but that pales in comparison to THE HIDDEN BOWLING ALLEY. I felt like Nicholas Cage in National Treasure unearthing a hidden illuminati sacrifice room. At first, I wasn’t sure I was supposed to be there (upon reflection I definitely was NOT supposed to be there) or if what I was looking at was a mirage. Luckily, this oasis was real.

I believe there is also a pool on the roof, a sex dungeon in the basement, and a hidden elevator that takes you to a mezzanine level where a child sweatshop waits to hand sew and dye custom pairs of Yeezy 2s. You didn’t hear that from me, though. LNDRNRS x ThisSongIsSick Showcase There was an artist named Epic is Dead performing while Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose (whose head looks so lickable [really her whole body {shouts out to objectifying women}]) were leaving downstairs. They both liked his song so much they came up to listen in person and when he was done, Wiz approached him to talk about possibly signing to Taylor Gang. What perfect timing.

Nice Kicks Rooftop Party

There was a big pool up on the roof but no one was in the pool. It’s like why even have a pool if nobody gets in the pool? I wanted to get in the pool, but no one else wanted to get in the pool. I think had I gotten in the pool people would have made fun of me for getting in the pool like, “Why is this guy in the pool? LOL.” It was a wasted opportunity for sure. One I won’t be able to live down any time soon. I should have just jumped in the goddamn pool. WHY DIDN’T I JUMP IN THE GODDAMN POOL?

Fortunately, that was the only bad thing at this event. The weather was perfect to be on a rooftop, there were thick white girls with grills, and the performers were all excellent. Scotty ATL won me over as a fan with his performance, and Roosh Williams controlled the crowd like no artist I’ve seen before.

Live Mixtapes Animal House Live Showcase

I told a taxi driver if he could take me 20+ blocks during 5:00 traffic and get me close this venue in 15 minutes I would pay double his fare. Amazingly… he did. I had to sprint the last couple of blocks, but I got there in hopes of seeing Young Thug, the headliner. He never actually showed up. However, artists that did perform during the last half of this event weren’t even on the flyer. Johnny Cinco doesn’t mumble nearly as much when he’s performing as he does on his songs. I spent the rest of the day yelling out “Hopped out the Porsche, really wasn’t having no choice!” to anybody in my immediate vicinity. Someone send me a tweet later this weekend to remind me to purchase a Porsche; I think it will make ladies like me. Rich The Kid performed “Austin Powers,” and it was the best surprise of the day. Unfortunately, the live version doesn’t do the song justice, but I was able to finally perform this dance move, which one Twitter friend described as “a sexy clock,” IRL (1:17-1:21). Also, Migos walked into the venue, smoked a bunch of weed, and then left after 10 minutes, the life of a rapper is marvelous. I am still inconsolable that Young Thug was not there as advertised.

Noisey Showcase

Tory Lanez, Doughbeezy, YG, Ty $, Migos, Deniro Farrar, DJ Mustard… What a line-up. Every act here was incredible. Without a doubt, this was the most fun showcase I went to all day. Also, I held a 30-minute conversation with a girl that was gone off molly water, and by “held a 30-minute conversation with a girl that was gone off molly water” I mean a “weird bitch talked to me about her utility bills for 30 minutes while I tried to listen to Deniro Farrar.” Oh, and YG really has the capability of being a huge star.

Overall, Thursday ended up being packed full of good surprises that all led to me being in a hookah lounge at 4 am drinking Moroccan tea. That stuff is hella good. I think they put like a mint leaf in it or something. Very refreshing would drink again. Below I’ve included some TL;DR bullet points, as well as what’s on the horizon for Friday.

Highlights: Bowling for two hours at Illmore, Wiz approaching Epic is Dead after his set, Hearing “Austin Powers” live, The Pig Roast sandwich I got from some food truck which was the most delicious sammich I have ever had from a food truck.

Artists I Heard For The First Time: Epic is Dead, Dex Kwasi, Scotty ATL

Artists That Have Still Eluded Me: Young Thug, PeeWee Longway, Problem, Kevin Gates

Events I’m Looking Forward to on Friday: Migos and Soulja Boy’s Player’s Ball, Elliot Wilson/Lil Wayne Interview, Young Thug at Fader Fort, Lean Pizza Showcase

Questions I Still Have: How does Big Freedia move his hindquarters so fluidly? It’s like a flag on a windy day. Why was nobody in that pool?