The Ultimate Rachael Ray Day Party is held annually at Stubb’s during the final day of SXSW on Saturday, March 17th. Crowds gathered as early as 6 a.m. to get a chance to see a roster of acts that was one of the finest during SXSW 2018. As with all of Rachel Ray’s events, food was a centerpiece of this year’s offering. On the menu were mini-hot dogs on King’s Hawaiian Rolls served three ways: with Fritos, sloppy joe-style, and with pinto bean and roasted tomato salsa. Bottomless barrels of free Modelo Especial tall boys kept the crowd pumped on one of the warmest days of the festival.
Pittsburgh’s mash-up DJ Girl Talk got the crowd pumped early in the afternoon with some booty-shaking jams. With a shopping list that included hundreds of balloons, rolls of toilet paper, and a ton of confetti paper, the whole crowd got into the interactive experience. Landing on St. Patty’s Day, Girl Talk’s performance included on stage dancers sporting all things green.
Fellow Keystone State artist Kurt Vile’s set was more modest with only the curly long-haired singer/songwriter and his acoustic guitar. Playing through some sound issues, Vile strummed his guitar with confidence and power as he delivered songs such as “Pretty Pimpin” from his solo album b’lieve i’m goin down….
Rachael Ray brought on local radio personality Andy Langer to introduce the final two acts of the day. Ray was amped up to welcome one of her favorite artists, coming onstage to show off her ’90s era Salt-N-Pepa-branded satin jacket. With Spinderella on the ones and twos and young acrobatic back-up dancers, Salt-N-Pepa did not disappoint as they delivered more than 30 years’ worth of hits such as “Push It,” “Let’s Talk About Sex,” and “Shoop.”
Closing out the performance was a Beatles tribute band, Dr. Pepper’s Jaded Hearts Club Band, a supergroup made up of Miles Kane of the Last Shadow Puppets, Matt Bellamy from Muse, Chris Cester from Jet, IIan Rubin from Nine Inch Nails, and drummer Sean Payne. Sadly, this was the last major showcase that attendees saw that day, as Austin was on edge with two package bombs going off earlier in the week, plus a bomb threat later that evening that cancelled the Bud Light Roots Jam.