Stars honour Big Star’s late singer at SXSW

Members of REM, The Lemonheads pay tribute to Alex Chilton

Members of R.E.M, The Lemonheads, the Meat Puppets and M Ward were among the artists who paid tribute at SXSW last night (March 20) to Big Star frontman Alex Chilton, who died earlier last week of an apparent heart attack.

The influential band were slated to perform at the Austin festival, but members of Big Star organised a tribute to the singer in its place following the singer’s untimely death.

R.E.M‘s Mike Mills, the Meat PuppetsKurt Kirkwood, The LemonheadsEvan Dando, The Watson Twins, X’s John Doe and Sondre Lerche were among the artists who performed Big Star songs with original members of the Memphis-based band. Mills sang on ‘Jesus Christ’ and Lerche handled vocal duties on ‘The Ballad Of El Goodo’.

Earlier in the day, Lerche played a stripped-down acoustic set of his own material at the Under the Radar day party at Klub Krucial. The Norwegian singer won over the crowd with his lively tunes including ‘Heartbeat Radio’ and ‘Faces Down’. Between songs, Lerche told the crowd the inspiration for several of his compositions and explained Norwegian holiday traditions.

Beforehand, Montreal three-piece Plants and Animals told the audience that they were totally in the SXSW spirit, and got the crowd moving with their straight-ahead indie rock songs.