The South by Southwest Music Festival officially starts on Monday, and private events during SXSW Interactive will occupy many venues. But a handful of high-profile events offer music opportunities beyond SXSW’s horizons through the weekend.
Friday: Questlove at Empire. The drummer and musical director of, arguably, the greatest live band working right now is also an avid record collector with an encyclopedic knowledgeable of modern music. He’s spinning a three-hour DJ set at this event that’s billed as a South by Southwest kick off, but is open to the public. $18-$25. 606 East Seventh St. empireatx.com
SXSW SIDE PARTIES: Our unofficial guide
Friday-Saturday: Chuck Prophet at Continental Club. In past years, Bay Area rocker Prophet often was ubiquitous at SXSW, but this time he’s coming in early, for a two-night stand at his favorite Austin venue. His new album “Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins,” released last month on Yep Roc Records, addresses not only the storied Texas rocker’s death in 1966 but also last year’s loss of David Bowie. $18. 9:30 p.m. Friday, 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Saturday (Patrick Sweany opens second show). 1315 S. Congress Ave. continentalclub.com.
Saturday: Dwight Yoakam at Rodeo Austin. Touring to support his 15th studio album, “Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars,” the Southern California honky-tonker kicks off the annual cowboy-heaven fortnight at the Travis County Exposition Center. A strong opening stretch includes classic country legend Charley Pride on Sunday and rock-pop-country crossover star Elle King on Monday. Concerts continue nightly through local mainstay Kevin Fowler’s closing show on March 25. $20-$175. 7 p.m. (Sunday shows 3 p.m.) 7311 Decker Lane. rodeoaustin.com.
Sunday: Stevie Nicks, Pretenders at Erwin Center. Nicks’ appearance with Fleetwood Mac at the Erwin Center in 2015 likely will be her last-ever here with the band for which she’s best-known. But the 68-year-old singer and songwriter also had a notable solo career in the 1980s, and she’ll stress that material in this show. Adding significance to the bill is an opening slot by fellow ’80s rocker Chrissie Hynde and her band the Pretenders, largely reconstituted from the original lineup but still a formidable live act. (The Pretenders will stick around to tape “Austin City Limits” at ACL Live on Monday.) $49-$150. 7 p.m. 1701 Red River St. uterwincenter.com.
Sunday: Southboiled at Empire. The club hosts an art, music and food party headlined by Grupo Fantasma and Madame Gandhi, an electronic music project from Kiran Gandhi, who plays drums for M.I.A. Also on the bill for the event are Zach Witness, who produced Erykah Badu’s ‘You Cain’t Use My Phone,’ Ava Rain of Blood Orange and a host of fine locals including hip-hop acts Magna Carda and Riders Against the Storm. Your ticket includes all-you-can-eat Crawfish and free Bloody Marys while supplies last. $20. 606 East Seventh St. empireatx.com
Mike Flanigin Trio with Jimmie Vaughan at C-Boy’s
Leann Rimes at Gruene Hall
Ringo Deathstarr, Ume, Tele Novella, Blxpltn, Shmu, Stiletto Feels, Sailor Poon, Slugbug at Cheer Up Charlie’s
After-fire benefit for Felix Griffin & Josh Pappe at Grizzly Hall
Jeff Plankenhorn, Savage Poor at One-2-One Bar
Elias Haslanger Quintet at Elephant Room
Belle Sounds at Saxon Pub
KT Tunstall at One World Theatre
Uncle Lucius, Dallas Burrow at Poodie’s Hilltop Roadhouse
Two Hoots & a Holler at Little Longhorn Saloon
Austin Music Awards at ACL Live
Insects vs. Robots at Sahara Lounge
Jon Dee Graham & the Lo Jinx Orchestra at Continental Gallery