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Kanye, Jay-Z, and friends bring G.O.O.D. Music to SXSW 2011

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kanye jay1 Kanye, Jay Z, and friends bring G.O.O.D. Music to SXSW 2011

Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for VEVO

At 10:30 p.m. Saturday night, the scene at the VEVO Powerstation was one of absolute pandemonium. The factory turned corporate-sponsored music venue was lit like a fortress; the giant power stacks formed a canvass for the bright white letters that spelled VEVO, while Chevrolet luxury vehicles filled out the landscape. Yet behind the complex’s makeshift gates was a crowd of a thousand,  er.. sheep, all of who threw their VIP all access cards at the equally bewildered security guards to no avail. There were two lines for VIP, one maybe for press, and a giant clusterfuck/circle where everyone who knew someone or who had been lucky enough to actually earn entry through that 10-part text message saga sat and wait.

Ironically, at least by Kanye @ Bonnaroo standards, the scene outside was not a prelude to the actual event. The first sign that West’s semi-surprise concert would be heavily scripted, choreographed, and rehearsed came at 1:30 a.m., when all members of the G.O.O.D. Music label not named Kanye lined up in front of a giant fixture reading G.O.O.D. Music with masks covering their faces. Mos Def, one of the label’s most recent signees, served as the initial hype man, with Pusha T, Big Sean, Cyhi da Prynce, Mr Hudson, and Kid Cudi all following in toe, each taking 10 minutes to showcase their beats and rhymes. We were at South by Southwest after all.

An hour later, it was West’s turn. The 90-minute set focused mostly on material off My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and the G.O.O.D. Friday offerings, with the Justin Vernon-aided “Dark Fantasy”, “Gorgeous”, and “Hell of a Life” kicking things off. The Graduation classic “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” followed before John Legend joined West for renditions of “Christian Dior Denim Flow” and a simplified version of “Blame Game”.

“Runaway”

kanye marching Kanye, Jay Z, and friends bring G.O.O.D. Music to SXSW 2011

Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for VEVO

kanye good Kanye, Jay Z, and friends bring G.O.O.D. Music to SXSW 2011

Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for VEVO

kanye good1 Kanye, Jay Z, and friends bring G.O.O.D. Music to SXSW 2011

Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for VEVO

For those who missed it, the concert will be available for on-demand viewing across the VEVO platform on April 22nd.

Front page feature photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for VEVO

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