If there was any next big thing at this year’s annual South by Southwest music confab of the musically hip and happening, it was that there is no next big thing. In a festival that featured everything from soca to singer-songwriters, it was individual artists rather than any one all encompassing trend that grabbed the limelight.

It was also telling that at a festival that prides itself on exposing the new and novel, it was the performance of veteran Tom Waits, playing his first live gig in years, that was by far the most anticipated event of the festival. Ignoring the festival’s 40-minute show time max (the lights were actually turned on to end some bands’ sets), Waits played over two hours.

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