With the 2013 mtvU Woodie Awards calling South by Southwest home, the emphasis had to be on live music. And even if you weren't in Austin, Texas, on Thursday to see it all go down, MTV and mtvU gave you a 40-minute taste of the festivities Sunday night (March 17), including sets by hip-hop rebels Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, rock/rap newcomers Twenty One Pilots and budding EDM god Zedd.
After a brief welcome from hosts Machine Gun Kelly and Tegan and Sara, the Woodies got straight to the performances. Twenty One Pilots, one of MTV's Artists to Watch in 2013, introduced themselves to the uninitiated with "Holding on to You." The Columbus, Ohio, rookies kept their set focused on the music, rocking behind their respective keyboard and drum set as a light show flashed on the LED screens behind them.
During his rap verses, frontman Tyler Joseph came out from behind the keys to interact with the receptive crowd. Drummer Josh Dun, meanwhile, successfully executed a backflip onto the lower stage. The duo told MTV News recently that they've "trained hard" to get ready for our Musical March Madness tournament, which kicks off Monday.
Since the show went down last week, mega-fans already know who took home the hardware (or should we say woodware?), but they got a surprise when "Spring Breakers" stars Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine presented the Breaking Woodie nominees, with Odd Future's Earl Sweatshirt emerging the victor.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis left the "Thrift Shop" behind in favor of new single "Can't Hold Us." Mack got up close and personal with fans while Lewis never stopped moving behind the boards, and singer Ray Dalton joined the duo to sing his silky-smooth chorus. Instead of crowd-surfing, Macklemore opted to crowd-walk, with festivalgoers holding each of his legs up so he could perch on top of them.
Next up for the duo: A clip for the song. "We're working on a music video for 'Can't Hold Us,' which will be the longest video shoot we've done yet: 16 days for a music video!" Lewis revealed backstage at the Woodies. "That's getting wrapped up and we'll be cutting that, and outside of that, we're just playing a ridiculous amount of shows."
When we caught up with Zedd before the show, he called the Woodies "everything I could ever ask for," and he took full advantage of it, performing his breakthrough song "Clarity." After rock and rap performances,