SXSW 2010 recap: Hexadecagon and Octopus Project.

Some of you may have heard about “Hexadecagon,” the multi-media show local faves Octopus Project put on at Whole Foods during SXSW.

I’ve seen lots of bands utilize projected visuals in their shows lately – Broken Bells, Ratatat. But Octopus Project took this idea to a new level, as GARY!‘s videos attest.  For one, the projections were a 360 degree affair, literally surrounding you with surreal images both playful and haunting.  And secondly, this show happened off the beaten path of South By, in a tent erected inside the parking lot of Whole Foods. I like that, because while many bands are content to play in such nonconventional venues as unused portions of crosswalk during SXSW, it typically happens within a 20 block radius, stretching from 4th to 12th Streets, contained by Red River to roughly Colorado. Or so. Hexadecagon was a three months-in-the-making project, with a deliberately different setting, for a crowd who had planned well in advance to get there and get there early.

In other words: Away from the riff-raff.

GARY! shot six videos of the party, which is a lot, but TOTALLY WORTH IT to watch all of them. (Fun fact: the projected videos used at Hexadecagon were shot and edited by Austin’s own Wiley Wiggins, whom you may know as Mitch Kramer from Dazed and Confused.)

In the video below (says GARY!), Yvonne Lambert proves she’s a master of the Theremin, in a performance being hailed as one of the top 5 performances of SXSW 2010 by USA Today.

Finally, here are some of my favorite Hexadecagon images, shot by Happy Mercado.

(AMAZING outfit.)