“Bro she looks like a power ranger,” a halfway there male said to his girlfriend just before Iggy Azalea launched into worldwide single and obvious closer, “Fancy.” By that point I’d traversed the mud moat, and made a horseshoe circuit around a crowd that extended all the way to the porta potties, back to the water filling station, and across Zilker Park toward the art tent. There were mud lanes and pits in between. A fist-pumping club bass pulsed forever.
My Azalea experience began stage right, under the big screen, in what was basically where the parents gathered.
“A lot of the kids are somewhere here,” a Latin American dad said to his buddy with a thick, serene accent.
Next to me a pair of dunces in Native American head gear looked excited for the imminent 50 minutes or so of cultural appropriation. Some poor kids held out for a reunion with their classmates: “Clarissa and Mimi should be here any sec, we have to wait.” Didn’t happen.
Beach balls were punched mid-air because that trick is forever, some guy put his GoPro camera on a stick and held it high with hopes of capturing something great. Ten minutes before showtime, a teenager decided to move center for a better view and did so by jumping on strangers and crowd-surfing inward.When Azalea hit the stage–decked out in pink spandex accompanied by DJ Wizz Kidd and her gaggle of black and white spandex-clad dancers–the scene was an overcast get down of shrieking teenagers bouncing like it was the last time. History has shown us this familiar pop scene, but this was kind of neat because a wave of affluent-appearing teen girls were ardently rapping along to set opener, “F**k Love.” Girls climbed trees, at least five climbed each of the the porta potty dividers to watch from a perch.
“I see a lot of little girls in the audience and I’m concerned because I don t want to offend anyone,” Azalea said just before “Pu$$y.”
At least the big fans were forced to see something interesting, experimental, and original during Tune-Yards two hours earlier. One had to in order to secure a splash zone seat. As for the performance? As a rapper Azalea rhymes “something” with “nothing” with “bluffing” and it’s OK. But everything about her is alarmingly stolen from influential and seminal African-American artists. The voice is Trina. The dancing is Big Freedia. No matter how catchy songs like “Work” and “No Mediocre” are, they are built on the backs of musicians that will never have this type of pop exposure.