West closes out the Austin bash

Kanye West performed as a surprise guest at celebrity blogger Perez Hilton‘s South by Southwest party in the wee hours of this morning (March 22), closing out the final night of the massive Austin music festival.

The rap star, who had made another surprise appearance at the Fader Fort earlier in the evening, performed five tracks for the delighted crowd during his brief set.

Dressed casually in a brown leather jacket, jeans and dark sunglasses, West was one of the few male performers at Hilton‘s female-dominated event, which was held at a former supermarket-turned-club.

Backstage before the show, Hilton said, “Tonight is all about the ladies. I hand-picked everyone this year — they’re only people I love and support.”

Later, when introducing Ladyhawke — one of the evening’s first performers — Hilton said, “This abandoned Safeway is our church.” Ladyhawke then delivered a strong set that included crowd-pleasers ‘You Set Me On Fire’ and ‘Paris Is Burning’.

Later, the Indigo Girls made a surprise appearance as an unannounced “special guest”, getting the audience to sing along for their final number ‘Closer To Fine’.

Seattle dance-rock band Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head delivered one of the most upbeat, fun sets of the evening, dancing across the stage and wailing on their instruments dressed in sequins and neon colours.

Solange, accompanied by an all-male band and female back-up dancers, also delivered a strong set, confidently overcoming sound troubles to win over the crowd.

Afterwards, Hilton took the stage to announce that Lady Sovereign had cancelled her appearance because she was sick, and he then proceeded to bash her and call her a few obscene names for bailing out on him.

Little Boots then took the stage, saying, “This is our last show in Texas. It’s the cherry on the top!” The charismatic singer performed her hit ‘Stuck On Repeat’ before she was joined by rapper Kid Cudi, whose song ‘Day N Night’ she recently covered.

“You did an amazing cover of my song and I’d love to hear you play it,” Kid Cudi told Little Boots. “If you need some help let me know.” The pair then proceeded to play a seemingly impromptu, stripped-down version of the tune together.

During the show, Hilton took a minute backstage to tell NME.COM that he was really excited that some of his favourite performers at the moment are British women. “I’m an anglophile and proud of it,” he said. “Tonight’s performers are everyone I love. I feel so lucky to talk about music people may not have heard of.”

Keep checking NME.COM’s South By Southwest index page for all the latest SXSW action including news reports, photo galleries and behind-the-scenes blogs.