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  • The Piano Man Billy Joel Performs at Last Global Life Park Show Review

    Billy Joel @ Globe Life Park
    Texas Rangers Ballpark
    Arlington, Texas

    Billy Joel
    Billy Joel

    It was a goodbye of sorts, with the Texas Rangers baseball stadium being retired. This was the last concert, to be held there.

    Grammy winner Billy Joel is a music legend and doesn’t often tour, but when he does, it’s one of the biggest tours of the year. He’s in the middle of a monthly stint at New York’s Madison Square Garden, but took a break to squeeze in the sold-out Dallas show, so we knew this night was going to be special. No opener necessary.

    He’s been recognized for his work for decades including: Songwriters Hall of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Gershwin Prize, and Kennedy Center Honors. Joel was also the first to perform a rock concert in the old Soviet Union.

    Billy Joel
    Billy Joel

    The park was packed, the stands and field were full of excited fans, generally an older crowd from all over Texas and neighboring states for a rare chance to see this legend in concert.

    All the arena lights went out before a spotlight beamed on Billy sitting at his piano wearing a sharp black suit with a black tie with tiny white polka dots & skulls. After his opening song, he enthusiastically greeted everyone & told the audience how excited he was to be there.

    BILLY-JOEL-2019-1012-553

    Billy jokingly, almost apologetically, said “I don’t have anything new for you, it’s the same old shit”. Which of course it isn’t.

    At one point, Joel held up 2 separate sheets of paper & asked the crowd “which one should I follow?”. He let the crowd be involved with the setlist. One sheet had a bunch of his so-so shows & the other was a set list made up of all of his hits – the crowd went crazy! He played mostly hits, of course, and packed a ton of them in 2 short hours. Fans (seated on the field) were on their feet & singing along during the entire concert.

    Joel spent much of the night jamming on the spinning piano that was perched high in the center of the stage. The giant screens all around the stage alternated between live footage of him and his old music videos. At times, Joel let some of his backup singers take center stage and sing lead vocals while he accompanied them on his piano. Joel was also backed by a full 8-piece band.

    Joel played most of the hits including “Just the Way You Are”, “Movin’ Out”, “She’s Always a Woman”, “Don’t Ask Me Why”, and of course “The Piano Man, and “Only the Good Die Young”. We love that he didn’t just play his own hits, but incorporated ZZ Top, The Eagles, Randy Newman, and Zeppelin. He even included a little “Yellow Rose of Texas” into the intro.

    BILLY-JOEL-2019-1012-088

    After he played his final song of the main set, he thanked the crowd and said farewell. While the crowd waited for him to come back, the stadium was lit up with lighters.

    He came back out for a long encore of “We Didn’t Start the Fire”, “Uptown Girl”, It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me”, “Big Shot”, and “You May Be Right”.

    At 70, Joel shows no signs of stopping and we might just have to head to NYC where it all began to catch his Garden show.

    Set list:

    The Natural (The End Title) (Randy Newman song)
    My Life (with ‘Yellow Rose of Texas’ snippet)
    Pressure
    I Go to Extremes
    Just the Way You Are
    Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)
    Honesty
    Modern Woman
    Tush (ZZ Top cover) (live debut by Billy Joel)
    Shameless
    Allentown
    The Downeaster Alexa
    Don’t Ask Me Why
    She’s Always a Woman
    Only the Good Die Young
    The River of Dreams
    Take It Easy (Eagles cover) (followed by “The River of Dreams” reprise)
    Nessun dorma (Giacomo Puccini cover) (Mike DelGuidice on lead vocals)
    Scenes From an Italian Restaurant
    Piano Man
    Encore:
    We Didn’t Start the Fire
    Uptown Girl
    It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me(with ‘Be Bop A Lula’ snippet)
    Big Shot
    You May Be Right (with ‘Rock and Roll’ by Led Zeppelin snippet)

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  • The Conversations Tour: A Night with Nick Cave Review

    1006-Austin-NickCave-1200x1200-v3-380x380(photo courtesy Nasty Little Man)

    Nick Cave returned to Austin after a short absence with a new format that was highly underrated. Cave is the frontman for the Bad Seeds- a revolutionary post-punk/goth band from Australia that has had 4 decades of success and over 17 studio albums. We’ve covered his concerts and he’s a true performer. Tonight was different.

    If you came to the show thinking you knew Cave, you quickly realized that you didn’t. Over the course of a few hours, you became close friends.

    EXTERIOR.JJ_.pd_-e1570208856804(photo courtesy ACL Live)

    The setting was intimate- the ACL Moody Theater seats about 2,700, and tonight there were also a few lounge-act style tables on the stage near Cave and his piano. Best seat in the house. It was the perfect place to dive into discussions of both grief and love.

    He mostly played at his piano, sometimes taking song requests and flipping through his sheets to find it. But the rest of the time he stood on the front of the stage telling stories and talking with the audience.

    OMTWF-Film-Still(photo credit Andrew Dominick)

    The conversations of the night blew us away. It wasn’t a simple Q & A. The depth and intimate connections with the audience is something very rare today. We were surprised by the realness, sharing his raw feelings, palpable from the unspeakable tragic loss of his teenage son only 4 years ago. He talked of being in a scary place. Of not knowing what to do with his grief. The show is about turning that corner and moving forward.

    Ghosteen- the only album solely written after his son’s death, is a new two-part album from Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. The album was first revealed by Nick Cave on The Red Hand Files in direct response to a question from a fan.

    unnamed-62(courtesy of Nasty Little Man)

    One of the things that impressed us most, besides his incredible transparency, compassion, and vulnerability, was his willingness to answer every single question-and he was thrown some doozies by patrons who maybe were deeply depressed and at times a little hard to understand. He wasn’t offended by their sometimes long stories. He handled them with grace and humor.

    Cave talked about his roots in Australia and the memories he has of living a free life as country boy in a tiny town. He talked about his mom and how she still gives him advice at 92 and how he still doesn’t listen.

    When asked about his inspirations and influences in music, he shared how watching Johnny Cash when he was 9 changed his life and how meaningful it was to finally get to record with Cash (“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”). And at 14 how he felt different, disconnected in his small town, then heard Leonard Cohen and that changed everything. Topics resonated with so many and created a common bond.

    He was briefly political (Austin is a safe place for this) when guns came up in the conversation. He pointed out how different Australia is from America- that when an incidence of gun violence occurs, leaders there quickly refine laws to prevent access to guns.

    000355200010_9.jpg(photo Matthew Thorne)

    Some fans really wanted to know all about the songs and his songwriting process. Some were songwriters themselves and asked good heartfelt questions. Cave said all songs start with aloneness and that he is a true lyric writer. He sits alone with his pen and pad. His songwriting is influenced by his love of poetry.  He said he believes it’s an artists goal to cross the line of going deeper and connecting on an emotional level.

    One fan said ‘this is the only music festival in town’- referring to the massive Austin City Limits festival that was about to descend on Austin.

    One question was about the song for “Peaky Blinders”. Cave expressed satisfaction with Snoop Dogg’s version of Bad Seeds hit “Red Right Hand” and he ‘loves being embraced by hip hop’.

    With this tour, and the new album, Cave seems to be transforming beyond his grief into a purpose that helps others dealing with depression, loss, and more. Questions seemed to flip flop between lighter subjects and the darker ones. Cave knew he’d be getting questions about  grief and his son’s tragic death and knows it helps others. Things got deep fast. One fan came right out and said “You healed us. Have YOU healed? How?” After pausing, he talked about the beauty and the fragility of life. For all of us.

    Some were bold and asked for hugs and he invited them up to the stage and fulfilled their wishes. Cave maybe got as much out of this connection as they did. The embraces were real. Authentic. We had tears in our eyes throughout the night, as did many in the room. This was truly the most meaningful exchange we’ve ever seen between artists and fans. It’s rare. It’s vulnerable. It’s powerful in healing.

    Cave’s sincerity is also evident on his website for Red Hand Files. Although he can’t answer every question that’s submitted by fans (he says he’s only answered about 64 out of 13,000), the fact that he offers a service where people could feel heard, and maybe, just maybe, get a response from Cave, is indeed special.

    When a woman from Poland submitted her question about loneliness, it took him 9 months but he eventually responded with honesty and kindness that likely left her with hope and a feeling of connection (something we all need).

    (excerpt from –viewer question) “Having spent much time travelling on this tour alone, it struck me that your question didn’t have to be answered, but simply acknowledged; that to reach out to you, as you reached out to me, could in itself be the answer and, perhaps, a remedy – to say to you, you are not alone, we are here, and that we, a multitude, are thinking of you.

    Love, Nick

    In today’s society where so many feel alone or isolated, or are dealing with depression, the opportunity Cave offers with this tour is priceless. We left in awe of being a part of something so special and moving.

    Set list:

    The Ship Song (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds song)
    The Weeping Song (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds song)
    The Mercy Seat (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds song)
    Avalanche (Leonard Cohen cover)
    (Are You) The One That I’ve Been Waiting For? (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds song)
    O Children (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds song)
    Jubilee Street (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds song)
    As I Sat Sadly by Her Side (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds song)
    Shivers (The Boys Next Door song)
    Into My Arms (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds song)
    Palaces of Montezuma (Grinderman song)
    Stagger Lee (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds song)
    Skeleton Tree (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds song)

  • Our Favorite Photos From ACL Fest 2019
  • Day 3 ACL Fest 2019 Photo Highlights
  • ACL Fest Day 2 Photo Highlights
  • Billie Eilish Rocks ACL Taping at Moody Theater

    by Dan Radin

    When an icon arrives, there’s no mistaking the event.

    And there Billie Eilish stood: upstage at the top of her riser, sunglasses on, in her baggy athletic wear, nuclear green hair glowing, rotating her head laterally to take in the screaming TV audience. She knew they’d be watching this episode of Austin City Limits on repeat. Eilish looked at the camera and smiled.

    The legendary Moody Theater roared all evening with palpable admiration for the 17-year old pop star. Outstretched arms and shouts of “I LOVE YOU BILLIE” rang perpetually while Eilish danced and sang her way through an hour of her dark pop.

    Eilish played right into the madness. Starting with “bad guy,” she arm pumped and jumped across every inch of the stage, singing to and addressing each seat in the theater. It was the kind of enthusiasm that likely gifted Eilish the medical boot she wore on her right leg through her set. It didn’t hamper her spirit in the slightest.

    Eilish’s sense of self shone as brightly as her neon-green hair. Commenting on playing “Copycat”: “I know a lot of people don’t like that song. But I like it. So I’m gonna play it.” Her movements, open and confident, helped deliver every vocal line with sincere conviction. Atop a stool at the front of the stage, Eilish sang her piano ballads beautifully.

    Behind her stage persona, the singer made a point to be transparent in her feelings with the audience. “I was skeptical at first. I was worried you wouldn’t like me,” Eilish confessed. The responding shrieks announced support otherwise. Eilish’s maturity for her age was impressive, notably encouragement to “live in the moment” and enjoy life past a superficial level. Adults and kids alike in the audience sported Eilish t-shirts. Inevitably, Eilish strikes a universally-aspired confidence, while being supremely relatable in her humanity.

    Eilish appeared to be surrounded (on-stage and otherwise) by her support system, in the form of drummer Andrew Marshall, and “my big brother Finneas.” Also Eilish’s producer, Finneas swapped smoothly between guitar/bass/piano, while receiving hearty cheers from the crowd. The two-man backing band played tightly to the click and allowed Eilish to flourish as the frontwoman.

    At the end of closer “Bury a Friend,” Eilish dropped into her sinister backbend. She then purposefully disappeared into a sea of clambering fans in the front row for “Hugs.” Past being a remarkable musician, Eilish is just as admirable for her commitment to being a North Star for her peers, and welcoming vulnerability. In the face of her stardom, Eilish wants to remind us she’s just like everyone else.

  • Day 1 ACL Fest 2019 Photo Highlights
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  • ACL TV Show Taping:The Raconteurs Deliver a Jam-packed Serving of Genuine Rock-n-Roll

    by S. Pulse

    The lights dimmed at Austin’s Moody theater as a resounding rhythm pulsated through the darkness surrounding an empty stage. Seconds passed and tensions built before the faintly lit Raconteurs walked toward the stage in a single-file line. Like a boxer heading for the ring, The Raconteurs took the stage energetic and ready to throw down. The first punch came from the opening song, a guitar-laden “Bored and Razed” which rattled the soul of the theater and all of its lucky occupants with deep pounding chords. “Don’t Bother Me” and “Only Child” followed. Both songs came from the album “Help Us Stranger”, the first release from The Raconteurs in over a decade.

    Jack White moved from his guitar to a grand piano to perform “You Don’t Understand Me” singing “And there’s always another point of view, better way to do the things we do.” In the case of The Raconteurs, the other point of view involved collaboration. Jack White and Brendan Benson traded off on vocals, guitar riffs, and songwriting contributions. Bassist “Little Jack” Lawrence, drummer Patrick Keeler, and touring member keyboardist / back-up guitarist Dean Fertita (QOTSA) also shared their master musicianship. Their communal spirit awed in “Shine The Light on Me”, one of the songs that motivated The Raconteur’s to return to the studio. The song started with White still seated at the piano while the band added tight, harmony-clad vocals reminiscent of Queen.

    Vocals moved seamlessly between White and Benson, as the latter took the lead in “Now That You’re Gone”. White’s bluesy guitar licks punctuated the vocals and displayed his mind-boggling guitar acumen, a skillset that took center stage throughout the night. “Sunday Driver” followed with all the flavor of old school rock-n-roll and even included a cowbell. That song was followed by the track with the same name as the album “Help Me Stranger”. Speaking of help, the bands gear, including White’s half a dozen guitars, were managed by a team that curiously sported uniforms reminiscent of the lonely Maytag repairman who, like their dependable muse, kept the pace of the show flowing. Next up, “Thoughts and Prayers” and then “Only Child”, a song written by Benson which included the swagger-deflating lyric “Only child, the prodigal son, has come back home again to get his laundry done.”

    The 10-song rapid fire of songs paused briefly as White took a moment to greet the audience and introduce the band. He sported a black Steve Jobs-like sweater, a seemingly appropriate look for a genius. Seemingly ageless, White’s porcelain pale skin and unruly ebony locks looked unchanged. An equally distinctive Benson, whose too-short pants, tennis shoes and curly 90’s hair seemed very “Saved By The Bell” (in a good way!). Together, these two unique individuals, complimented each other and produced a blended rock-n-roll dynamo. This was on full display in their next number “Somedays”, a “Freebird”-evoking pull to the heart-strings that questioned our purpose with the lyric “Somedays I don’t feel like trying” and ended with a repetitive and reaffirming response, “I’m here right now, I’m not dead yet”.

    Crowd favorite “Old Enough” ignited the crowd followed by another much-loved song “Top Yourself” that included a clutching harmonica solo by Benson. A drum-driven cover of Donavan tune “Hey Gyp” came next and adequately amped up the crowd for the granddaddy of all Raconteur’s songs: “Steady As She Goes”. Inviting the crowd to respond with the chorus, a sing along resulted. Gratified, many in the crowd, viewed “Steady” as the final song, but The Raconteur’s chose to end the evening with newer material as they closed out the show with the storytelling “Carolina Drama”.

    The evening reinforced the fact that The Raconteurs continue to deliver fresh, forward-moving music rooted in the pure and tasty rock-n-roll we’ve been craving. The meaty goodness of driving guitars, blues riffs, harmonic singing, and big sound delivered satisfying nourishment at a time when true rock seems watered down and scarce.

    Our future playlists will be peppered with all things Raconteurs while we continue to quench our rock-n-roll thirst. Looking forward to their festival appearances – – and may we recommend sunscreen!

    Set List

    Bored and Razed

    Don’t Bother Me

    Only Child

    You Don’t Understand Me

    Shine The Light On Me

    Now That You’re Gone

    Sunday Driver

    Help Me Stranger

    Thoughts and Prayers

    Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying)

    Old Enough

    Top Yourself

    Hey, Gyp

    Steady As She Goes

    ‘Carolina Drama

  • ACL Fest 2019: Under the Radar Artists to See

    by Dan Radin

    With two weekends, 12 stages, and 130+ bands, there’s one lingering question: “Who the F*CK should I go see?”.

    We all know the headliners, but let me be the first to tell you- this is a DEEP lineup of upcoming artists that may have flown under your radar. Props to ACL for giving us some of the best talent; you’ll want to drag your friends there early each day.

    Maybe You Know ‘Em:

    Jai Wolf – Electronic producer with a taste for indie pop. He’s been touring with Odesza on their Foreign Family Collective label. View

    Caamp – Folk band from Columbus, OH. Think Mumford fronted by an old grizzled southern man. View

    Taylor Bennett – Working from the shadows of older brother Chance the Rapper, Taylor’s a pretty damn talented dude in his own right. View

    Finneas – Known also as Billie Eilish’s producer and brother, expect Finneas to bring a deep bag of cleverly-crafted songs. View

    Flora Cash – With one breakout hit in the books, the duo got rave reviews during their shows at SXSW this year. View

    Rising Stars:

    Pink Sweat$ – Slow R&B, like Khalid + The Weeknd. View

    Still Woozy – Hoodie Allen-y with sly/goofy dance moves. View

    Men I Trust – If CHVRCHES did disco. View

    Sam Fender – Real instruments, like The Strokes meets Springsteen. View

    Ximena Sariñana – Grammy-nominated Mexican singer with an incredible voice. View

    Erin Rae – Country Joni Mitchell. View

    Yola – Warm southern soul, worked with Dan Auerbach (Black Keys). View

    Kevin Garrett – Grammy-nominated for work with Beyonce, pretty solid pipes himself. View

    Chris Shiflett – Of course a Texas festival wouldn’t miss country artists- but not everyone knows he’s the guitarist for Foo Fighters! View

    Madison Ryann Ward – One of the artists I most look forward to seeing. View

    King Princess- A must see ‘queer pop’ performance from Brooklyn’s 20 year old. View

    Scarypoolparty – Another must-see. American Idol finalist with virtuosic talent. View

    Laundry Day – Poppy, tight, and under the radar. View

     

    Must-See Austin Locals:

    Abhi the Nomad – MC dripping with talent. View

    Jane Ellen Bryant – One of the best voices in the Austin music scene. View

    Billy Strings – The chops on these fellas though. View

    Rob Baird – You can hear the Memphis in this Austin musician. View

    There are just too many acts to preview them all. Did we miss a MUST SEE artist? Who are you excited to see? DM us Insta @austin101mag  and check out all our ACL coverage on Austin 101 Magazine.

  • Houndmouth Review: Sweat and Smiles at Historic Scoot Inn

    by Dan Radin

    In the kind of night where the heat weighs like a hot day in Sedona, Houndmouth’s signature vocal-layer rang through the sweaty outdoor stage Wednesday at Austin’s Historic Scoot Inn. The band didn’t need to play ACL Fest (again) this year- they packed the house all on their own.

    6G0A6647Houndmouth is one of those bands that seems to fly under the radar for most audiences, but when you see them play live, you understand why they draw crowds. The band’s multiple singers (Matt Myers (guitar, vocals), Zak Appleby (bass, vocals), and Shane Cody (drums, vocals) could have each been the lead frontman in their own right. The guys had their vocal chops down to a science; they didn’t miss a note.

    6G0A6575The band flaunted and bopped around stage with the energy of a teenage punk band. They looked like twenty-somethings that still skateboard to 7-Eleven for gas station nachos. Houndmouth’s well-rehearsed garage rock matched the crowd’s contagious energy. And they smiled a LOT.

    6G0A6510While Houndmouth’s personnel has changed a bit since their 2011 debut (now touring with a pair of phenomenal saxophonists and keyboardist), the sound has never been better. Each player listened amongst each other for builds and fills, and passed the lead vocals to bandmates with precision between songs. Myers, Appleby, and Cody were all in total control of the songs they each sang. The audience loved the versatility.

    Everyone knows Houndmouth for their 2015 smash, “Sedona,” but the band revealed how much they’ve evolved since. Many songs danced on the edge of punk and blues, while a melodic rock drove the core of the act. They flashed hints of The Strokes and The Front Bottoms with vocal harmonies and saxophones woven together. The older Louisville-infused songs still caught the most eyes from the crowd, with home-cooked favorites like “My Cousin Greg” and “Hey Rose.”

    Houndmouth’s sax-driven lineup backed a smooth dynamic to the multi-faceted band. The band built exceptionally strong energy to explode into a Clarence Clemons-like solo at the top of “Darlin’” and “Penitentiary.” The musicians were prone to feeding off each other, and then dropped to snap right into a southern groove.

    Opener Jerrod Dickenson started the night in a similar easy fashion. Accompanied by his singer/utility musician wife, his storytelling of growing up in Texas himself was well-received and appreciated by the crowd. By the end of his set, the sweaty audience was ready to dial it up.

    Much like Dickenson, Houndmouth seemed genuinely happy to be performing. There was smiling, talking to each other between songs, laughing with the audience, starting claps, cheering along with arm pumps for the 3-song encore. Well before the end of the night, everyone was smiling and singing along.

  • Our Interview With Paul Cauthen

    AUSTIN 101 MAGAZINE Q&A with PAUL CAUTHEN

    by Denise Enriquez

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    photos by Brooks Burris

    How did it go last week in Denmark & Germany? Was that your first time touring in Europe? Do you have any ‘road stories’ you can share? Is there anywhere you haven’t been yet that you would like to tour?

    Reception was amazing. It was our second time to Denmark and the crowd had tripled, and it was the first time to Germany and I can’t wait to go back! Road story, well, I leaned forward while doing my business on a Germany toilet (that costs €.70 to use) and set off a sensor that spins the seat cover and cleans it at the same time. Next thing I knew my back was covered in blue sanitary fluid and it literally scared the shit out of me…still can’t wait to go back. The place I would most like to visit is Tokyo, Japan.

    The videos you’ve recorded for your Room 41 singles are great – especially “Cocaine Country Dancing”. Is that your own 1964 Cadillac making a cameo or is it a prop car? How long did it take you to record the video? Do you have any behind-the-scene stories you can share?

    It was a loaner vehicle for the shoot, I had already off’d my ride. The video took two days to shoot. Story…the glass mirrors on my boots cut up the models I was riding the mechanical bull with, and I broke my nose on Carol, one of the model’s, knee while riding the bull with her on the back.

    What are some things that are different this time around releasing “Room 41”? What’s something new you’ve learned or discovered about yourself since the time you released your second album, “Have Mercy”?

    Hmm…well, people are actually paying attention. I realized if you surround yourself with a great team, from the studio to management, that waves can be made.

    You’ve been quoted saying that your idea of ‘making it’ is to be able to pay your bills by making music, but what is a career milestone that would be monumental for you or a long-term goal you strive to achieve?

    To be able to sell out multiple nights in venues like Red Rocks, play the Sydney Opera House, Wembley Stadium and significant venues around the world. I’m ready to go!

    You’ve explained that your grandfather was a big influence on you as a child, that he stressed to you the importance of the legacy you leave – what do you want your legacy to be? How do you want to be remembered?

    That I was an honest, fair and hard-working musician.

    This Thursday in Austin at The Belmont Hotel you’re headlining “Rock & Restock” benefitting the Central Texas Food Bank – are there any other causes/non-profits you support or feel really passionate about?

    Organizations that address and support pediatric cancer.

    This Friday in Dallas at The Kessler is your official album release – do you have anything special or exciting planned? Any hometown buddies or special guests joining you?

    We have backing vocalist friends of mine coming in to accompany us, as well as a string section from Booker T. Washington School of Fine Arts. It’s going to be a banger of an evening.

    What do you hope your fans get out of or take-away after listening to “Room 41”?

    Making this record was an emotional journey for me that intertwined different places I was in life when writing these songs. I hope that those who listen can relate, recognize, and more importantly connect and find peace in knowing that we’re in this together.

  • Eric Clapton’s 2019 Crossroads Guitar Festival Brought New & Old to Dallas

    -Dallas, Texas

    Words can’t even describe the depth and breadth of music talent this past week in Dallas, Texas. Considered one of the world’s all-time greatest guitarists and known amongst his peers as a great collaborator, Eric Clapton brought the fifth installment of the Crossroads Guitar Festival to American Airlines Center.

    final-8836The past, present and future of guitar music joined Eric Clapton in Dallas, Texas for an unparalleled two-night event that fans and artists alike will remember for a very long time. The lineup alone got everyone stoked for this return to Dallas where it all started. It’s been six long years since the last festival and people came from all over to witness it. The fest brought international legends as well as budding artists and covered all music genres from jazz to alternative rock. The sheer amount of legendary guitarists under one roof was undeniable and palpable.

    final-9363The list of performers included:

    Day 1:

    Citizen Cope
    Eric Clapton & Andy Fairweather-Low
    Gustavo Santaolalla
    James Burton & Albert Lee
    Jeff Beck
    Jimmy Vaughan
    Kurt Rosenwinkel with Pedro Martins
    The Marcus King Band
    Pedro Martins & Daniel Santiago
    Peter Frampton
    Sheryl Crow
    Sonny Landreth

    final-6918Day 2:

    Buddy Guy
    Doyle Bramhall
    Eric Clapton & His Band with Alan Darby
    Gary Clark, Jr.
    James Bay
    Keb Mo
    Lianne La Havas
    Los Lobos
    Robert Cray
    Robert Randolph
    Tedeschi Trucks
    Tom Misch
    Vince Gill & Band

    final-9827Besides the epic artists themselves, each day included incredible collaborations the likes of which you would not get to see anywhere else. It makes this event truly special. And not just for the audience. Incredible and unusual collabs by special guests delighted the crowd: Alan Darby, Billy Gibbons, Bonnie Raitt, Gary Clark Jr., Jamie Oldaker, Keb’ Mo’, Albert Lee, Bradley Walker, Jerry Douglas, Joe Walsh, John Mayer.

    final-8444Clapton appeared many times throughout the nights and dedicated the event to his friend, Alan Rogan, who passed away earlier in the summer. Alan was a great musician who was part of The Who family since the 70’s.

    Thanks to a rotating stage and amazing stage crew, Bill Murray, there was constant action and little down time between sets.

    final-6089The show was emceed by an interesting comedic choice, Bill Murray. He added some silliness and fun and also attempted to jam with bands on several occasions. Murray is well-known for his love of live music, showing up at music festivals and iconic shows.

    final-0360Texas artists had a strong spot in this year’s lineup including: Gary Clark Jr. (Austin), Jimmie Vaughan (Austin), Billy Gibbons (Houston), Doyle Bramhall II (Dallas).

    final-7477Highlights from the fest:

    The Eagle’s Joe Walsh and Vince Gill jammed together on epic Eagle’s songs. Watching legend James Burton (who played with Elvis) jamming with Albert Lee was incredibly special. John Mayer jammed with several artists and newcomer Tom Misch. Huge set with Buddy Guy and Jonny Lang (who have been touring together for years). Deep sets from Gary Clark Jr., Jimmie Vaughan collab with Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow’s collabs with Doyle Bramhall and Bonnie Raitt, and Tedeschi Trucks’ set. Legend Robert Cray and buzzworthy Marcus King were also great sets. Seeing legend Jeff Beck perform was indescribable. But nothing felt more iconic than seeing Clapton himself play (and his epic band) and jam with many of the artists.

    final-8239

    final-9013His band – which unusually featured two drummers and a percussionist – was Chris Stainton (keys), Paul Carrack (keys / vocals), Doyle Bramhall II (guitar / vocals), Nathan East (bass / vocals), Katie Kissoon (vocals), Sharon White (vocals), Pedrito Martinez (percussion), Sonny Emory (drums) and Steve Gadd (drums). Featured guests were Alan Darby, and John Mayer. The 8 song electric set was a highlight from start to finish but the crowd favorites were undoubtedly “Pretending”, “Hoochie Coochie Man”, “Layla “(with John Mayer) and amazing cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain” that closed out the set.

    final-0621Set from Day 1:

    Sonny Landreth: Walkin’ Blues, It Hurts Me Too, Instrumental (Title Unknown), Brave New Girl

    Eric Clapton with Andy Fairweather Low, Jamie Oldaker, Steve Gadd, Nathan East and Pedrito Martinez: Circus, Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out, Tears In Heaven, Wonderful Tonight, Lay Down Sally

    Bonnie Raitt, Keb’ Mo’ and Alan Darby – 1 song. Alan played the new Gibson Custom Eric Clapton 1964 Firebird 1 Recreation which is part of the 2019 Crossroads Guitar Collection.

    Citizen Cope – 5 songs including Bullet And A Target and Sideways. Gary Clark, Jr. joined for one number

    Gustavo Santaolalla – the Argentinian guitarist and composer opened with the Apology Song, followed by a selection of songs from film soundtracks he composed.

    Sheryl Crow – 6-song set with guests Bonnie Raitt and James Bay. If It Makes You Happy, Steve McQueen (with Bonnie Raitt), Live Wire (with Bonnie Raitt), Everything Is Broken (with Bonnie Raitt and James Bay), Every Day Is A Winding Road (with James Bay)

    Pedro Martins and Daniel Santiago – 3-song set

    Kurt Rosenwinkel with Pedro Martins – performed 6 songs. Songs were taken from Kurt Rosenwinkel’s album Caipi and Pedro Martin’s album, Vox.

    James Burton and Albert Lee with Jamie Oldaker and Nathan East: That’s Alright Mama, Rock Around With Ollie Vee

    final-7925Jimmie Vaughan and The Tilt-A-Whirl Band with guests Bonnie Raitt and Billy Gibbons: D/FW, Roll Roll Roll, No One To Talk To (But The Blues), Baby Please Come Home (with Bonnie Raitt), I Ain’t Never (with Bonnie Raitt), Sharp Dressed Man (with Billy Gibbons), La Grange (with Billy Gibbons)

    Doyle Bramhall and Gary Clark, Jr: Rock Me Baby

    The Marcus King Band: 7 song set including I Just Want To Make Love To You, Hoochie Coochie Man and Goodbye Carolina.

    Peter Frampton with Eric Clapton: Georgia On My Mind (Instrumental), Do You Feel Like We Do, While My Guitar Gently Weeps (with Eric Clapton)

    Jeff Beck with guests Johnny Depp and Jimmy Hall: Jeff’s set included Big Block, Isolation (with Johnny Depp), Somebody’s Nobody (with Johnny Depp), Superstition (with Johnny Depp and Jimmy Hall), Little Wing (with Johnny Depp and Jimmy Hall)- anyone who left early missed it since it was at the end of the set after midnight.

    final-7757Set from Day 2:

    Robert Randolph: – Cut Em Loose, two unknown song titles, Don’t Fight It, Baptise Me

    Doyle Bramhall II with guests Jim Keltner (full set) and Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi for two songs. Doyle’s set: I Wanna Be Your Dog, Izabella, That’s How Strong My Love Is (with Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi), Going Going Gone (with Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi)

    Tom Misch with guest John Mayer: I Wish, It Runs Through Me, Unknown Song Title (with John Mayer)

    James Bay: Hold Back The River, Let It Go, Peer Pressure, Proud Mary, When We Were On Fire

    Los Lobos with guests Eric Clapton and Susan Tedeschi: Set lincluded Made To Break Your Heart (with Eric Clapton and Susan Tedeschi), I Walk Alone, Will The Wolf Survive

    Keb’ Mo’: five song solo set was Every Morning, I Remember You, Am I Wrong, Just Like You, Dangerous Mood

    Robert Cray Band: six song set was I Shiver, I Don’t Care, Fix This, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, Just How Low

    Buddy Guy with Jonny Lang: three song set with extended versions of Cognac, I Just Want To Make Love To You and Five Long Years (included snippets of Mary Had A Little Lamb and I’m A King Bee).

    John Mayer: two song solo set was Slow Dancing In A Burning Room and Neon

    Tedeschi Trucks Band: five song set was Signs High Times, Down In The Flood, How Blue Can You Get (dedicated to the memory of BB King), Keep On Growing, Shame

    Lianne La Havas: three song solo set was Is Your Love Big Enough, I Say A Little Prayer, Midnight

    Gary Clark Jr: His seven song set was Bright Lights, Feed The Babies, I Got My Eyes On You, Low Down Rolling Stone, Our Love, Pearl Cadillac, Come Together

    Vince Gill with guests Albert Lee, Bradley Walker, Jerry Douglas and Joe Walsh: The eight song set was Oklahoma Dust, Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down, Ode To Billie Joe, Tulsa Time (with Albert Lee, Jerry Douglas and Bradley Walker), Drifting Too Far From The Shore (with Albert Lee, Jerry Douglas and Bradley Walker), Hey Joe (with Albert Lee and Jerry Douglas), Rocky Mountain Way (with Joe Walsh), Life In The Fast Lane (with Joe Walsh)

    Eric Clapton and His Band: The festival host started off by singing Happy Birthday to emcee Bill Murray and presented a cake. Eric’s main set was Pretending, Key To The Highway (with guest Alan Darby), Hoochie Coochie Man (with guest Alan Darby), Badge, Little Queen of Spades, Layla (electric, with John Mayer), and Crossroads (with John Mayer). Purple Rain was the encore.

    All Star Guitar Finale: High Time We Went (with most of the musicians).


    Although some epic guitarists (still alive and most are touring) that could easily be considered some of the besrt weren’t on the lineup this year-probably for scheduling reasons etc.: Tom Morello, Pete Townshend, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Jimmy Page, Carlos Santana, Dan Auerbach, Eddie Van Halen, Joe Perry, Jack White, The Edge, Brian May, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Lenny Kravitz, Joe Bonamassa, Joe Satriani, Slash, Nita Strauss, Keith Richards) this year’s festival couldn’t have been better (albeit for a few more female artists).

    final-6510All profits from the Festival benefited The Crossroads Centre in Antigua, a treatment and education facility founded by the guitarist for chemically dependent persons. Clapton’s wife Melia Clapton spoke briefly about her personal connection to the treatment center and how thankful she was for it helping her brother. She also announced a new program, Turn up for Recovery, which aims to raise awareness and funds for abstinence based recovery. We loved that this event was for such a great cause that is in great need today around the world.

    More about Crossroads Centre

    Founded in 1998 by Eric Clapton, Crossroads Centre Antigua was created to provide treatment and education to chemically and alcohol-dependent people, their families, and their significant others. Treatment is provided through residential care, family and aftercare programs. The pathway to recovery is founded on the 12 steps and a change in lifestyle. Crossroads Centre, Antigua also operates a 16-bed halfway house in Antigua called the Bevon House and facilitates various ongoing recovery initiatives on the island of Antigua and around the Caribbean.

  • Squeeze & X Brought Retro Music to Austin

    by David Mccready

    British band Squeeze returned to Austin with their “Difford & Tilbrook Songbook tour” that includes special guests (varies by location) They Might Be Giants, KD Tunstall, X, The Mavericks, Marshall Crenshaw, and Leon Tilbrook.

    Punk rockers X opened up the night at the Paramount Theater with an explosive performance setting the tone for a night of musical prowess. X came on the scene in 1970’s and has remarkably kept the founding and original band members. Mid performance X began to encompass the use of a variety of different instruments to include: a xylophone, saxophone, and maracas; to which they were able to effortlessly blend into their existing punk-rock style.

    6-xAs the performance ensued, the crowd began to grow more and more entertained and some even began leaving their seats to cheer on the band from in front of the stage. Singer, Exene Cervenka graciously complimented the Paramount Theater on their well-built acoustics before finishing off their set and thanking the fans for showing their continued support. The band gave their farewells and so began preparations for the headlining British alt/new wave band, Squeeze. 15-squeezeAs Squeeze finally set the stage, a roar of applause echoed the theater as vocalist, Glenn Tilbrook greeted the audience and instantly led the band into their opening numbers. Before the band was a large screen that displayed animated shorts in tandem with their performance. The videos highlighted depictions that resonated with that of their lyrics ranging from psychedelic intermissions to hyper lapse stop-motion shorts.

    13-squeezeNearing the end of their set, Squeeze rallied the audience into singing their well-known classic hit, “Tempted” sending the crowd into a nostalgic, yet soothing sing-along. As the band began to wrap up their performance, Tilbrook cordially thanked the audience and concluded the show. Squeeze’s stunning performance shows that new wave music is still very much alive and well and continues to inspire fans who love to be taken back to the 70’s and 80’s when it launched an entire new sound.

    Check out the entire concert photo gallery.

    Squeeze_National_WITHALLSUPPORT.jpgSetlist:

    Footprints
    Big Beng
    Hourglass
    Mussels
    Junction
    Day I Get Home
    Annie
    Labelled
    King George St.
    Someone’s Heart
    Is That Love
    Third Rail
    Slap
    Quintessence
    Cradle
    Cats
    Crashing
    Tempted
    Nail
    Goodbye Girl
    If I Didn’t
    Take Me
    Coffee

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