It's that time of year again. The annual South By Southwest music festival will take place March 13-22, 2015 in Austin, Texas, complete with all kinds of great music and films. And if there's one thing we've seen over the years at South By Southwest, you never know what might happen. Past years have brought some memorable moments for hard rock and metal fans and we're showcasing a few of them here just to whet your appetite for this year's music week. So scroll down and check out these memorable SXSW moments.
While South By Southwest has primarily been a showcase for up-and-coming bands, a number of top rockers have learned that with Austin being the center of the music universe for a week, the event is the great place to throw a party. In 2014, Soundgarden decided to use the iTunes Festival showcase to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Superunknown album by playing the disc in its entirety. Watch fan-shot footage of "Black Hole Sun" below.
Though a lineup of acts is typically announced way in advance of South By Southwest's start, there are always a few surprises. In 2009, a much-buzzed about performance by Metallica took place at Stubb's to celebrate the band's upcoming release of their 'Guitar Hero Metallica' video game. Fans flocked to Stubb's to get in on the last minute show and catch the 13-song set. Watch the fan-shot performance of "One" from that show below.
Foo Fighters have been ahead of the game in showing their South By Southwest love over the years. In 2011, the band played a secret show at Stubb's following on the heels of the premiere of their Back and Forth documentary, which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival. In 2013, Dave Grohl was invited back to be the festival's keynote speaker and he brought his Sound City Players to town while promoting his documentary on the legendary studio. Watch Foo Fighters performing "Jessie's Girl" with Rick Springfield below.
It's important to remember that South By Southwest is definitely a celebration of music, and bands can sometimes be a little bit looser as a result. In 2013, Green Day came to town and not only rolled through their own hits, but also had some fun with favorite tracks of others. Watch as the South By Southwest crowd tries to keep up with Billie Joe Armstrong and the boys as they rock through a medley of "Shout," "Stand By Me," "Hey Jude" and back to "Shout" again.
Tom Morello All-Star Jam (2007)
South By Southwest is not just fun for fans, it's a blast for the musicians who occasionally use the fact that there's a huge talent pool in town to put together some incredible jam sessions. For instance, check out this fan-shot jam from 2007 that had Tom Morello's acoustic set turning into an electric jam with Perry Farrell, Slash and Nuno Bettencourt sitting in on "Mountain Song."
Iggy & The Stooges (2007)
The other thing that's great about South By Southwest is the ability to see acts in a variety of venues, and occasionally find yourself face-to-face with some of the rockers. For instance, check out these fans who got up close and personal with Iggy Pop as he and The Stooges played a 2007 set at Waterloo Records. Watch their performance of "She Took My Money" below.
Indoors, outdoors, it doesn't matter. There's something for everyone. Check out Trivium playing "Down From the Sky" back in 2012 at the Waterloo Records outdoor stage.
There's little doubt that South By Southwest is the place to be and is the biggest party going. But if you need further proof, just check out this story from a local bartender about the time Bill Murray decided to hop behind the bar at an Austin watering hole and serve some of the customers during South By Southwest back in 2010.