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  • More Music Photo Highlights from CMA Fest 2018
  • Highlights from Day 4 CMA Festival 2018
  • Day 3 Highlights from CMA Fest 2018
  • CMA Music Festival 2018 Review

    by Jerri Starbuck

    It was a huge week in Nashville, with record crowds and record heat, with the CMT Awards, the CMA Fest, celeb bar openings (Blake’s), concerts at the Ryman, tons of after-party shows with headliners, and another big music fest just down the road (Bonnaroo).

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    Every bar and restaurant also became a CMA Fest venue that had stages for tons of showcasing musicians from around the country, getting a chance to be seen and heard. From FGL, Dierks Bentley, Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, John Rich, Gavin Degraw, Caleb Followill, Alan Jackson, George Jones, Dan Auerbach, downtown Nashville is a hot spot for celebrity musician’s bars and restaurants.

    Over 380 artists on 11 stages from The Music Center, The Ryman, and Nissan Stadium plus tons of outdoor shows at Riverfront, Breakout, Hardrock and other stages. Huge names like Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bentley, Darius Rucker, Chris Stapleton, Jason Aldean, Garth Brooks, Keith Urban,  really helped sell the huge Nissan Stadium shows each night. There were tons and tons of free music to the public which was so cool. See all our CMA Fest photos on Austin 101 Magazine.

    final-6849.jpgBut the fest was also a great showcase for newer or not as well-known (yet) artists such as Hunter Hayes, Wild Feathers, Lindsay Ell, Frankie Ballard, Cam, Lauren Alaina, Grainger Smith, RaeLynn. Plus many legacy country musicians like Tracey Lawrence, The Bellamy Brothers, Charley Pride, Ricky Skaggs, The Oak Ridge Boys, Little Texas, Linda Davis, LeeAnn Womack, and more. We love that there was something for everyone and every age.

     

    Check out our Instagram for tons more photos.

    Some of the coolest things, people, and moments we saw: Garth Brooks interview, Trisha Yearwood at HGTV, Randy Travis getting an award, John Rich dancing with fans at his bar, the just opened-Blake Shelton’s new bar-Ole Red, A Thousand HorsesMason Ramsey, Lindsay Ell, Cam, Jon Pardi, Midland, Old Dominion, LeeAnn Womack, Tracy Lawrence, Dustin Lynch, great surprise appearances from Sam Hunt, Jake Owen, Dwight Yoakam, Backstreet Boys, and tons more. We love that there were so many great Texas artists at CMA Fest representing our great state.

    Best up-and-comers- RaeLynn, Lindsay Ell, Carly Pearce, Cam, Maddie & Tae, Runaway June, Restless Road, Tyler Rich, Claire Dunn, Morgan Waller, Tegan Marie.

    Daily shows we felt were the highlights:

    Day 1- Jon Pardi, Carly Pearce, Restless Heart, Lindsay Ell, Chase Bryant, Lauren Alaina, Runaway June, Nashville cast w/ Charlie Hesson, Dan and Shay, Brothers Osborne, Jason Aldean

    Day 2-RaeLynn, Tyler Farr, Cam, Cadillac Three, Aaron Watson, Hunter Hayes, Grainger Smith, Tegan Marie, Wild Feathers, Lee Brice, Tyler Farr, Blake Shelton, Old Dominion, Carrie Underwood

    Day 3- Tracy Lawrence, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood at HGTV, Scooter Brown band, Michael Ray, Tyler Rich, Dustin Lynch, LeeAnn Womack, Chris StapletonKeith Urban headlining at Nissan.

    Day 4- High Valley, Luke Pell, Thousand Horses, Ricky Skaggs, Brett Eldridge, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, FGL, and tons of surprise appearances from Dwight Yoakum, to Randy Travis and Backstreet Boys at Nissan closing out the fest.

    Bummed we missed: CMT Awards, Blake playing at his bar, Ashley McBride, Jimmie Allen, Last Bandoleros, Easton Corbin, Jaredd Niemann, Kip Moore, Jillian Jaqueline, Dillon Carmichael, Tanya Tucker, Terri Clark, Sundance Head, Joe Diffy, Song Suffragettes panel,  and more fest female artists (weren’t there- Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert, Margo Price, Kelly Clarkson, Reba, Dolly, Loretta Lynn, Martina McBride, Allison Krauss, (for that matter, groups like LBT, Lady A.).

    final-2218So many great musicians and legends were at the fest representing the Lone Star state (Texas) such as: Randy Travis, RaeLynn, Grainger Smith, Midland, Last Bandoleros, LeeAnn Womack, Easton Corbin, Sundance Head, Jaredd Niemann, Chase Bryant, Hudson Moore, Aaron Watson and more.

    We love that the fest proceeds help enrich and sustain music education programs across the country through CMA’s nonprofit arm, the CMA Foundation and many artists donated their time.

    If you weren’t in Nashville, don’t fret- watch the CMA Fest show on ABC August 8th!

     

  • More CMA Festival 2018 Concert Photos
  • Day 2 CMA Festival Photo Highlights
  • Photo Highlights from CMA Festival 2018
  • Photo Highlights from CMA Festival 2018
  • Levitation Festival Review 2018

    Diego Donamaria

    Everyone rejoice! Levitation is back in the live music capital of the world after a short hiatus. This year, this iconic festival celebrated 10 awesome years of bringing internationally acclaimed musicians to downtown Austin. From humble beginnings, this festival has become a truly unique and eclectic musical experience for every attendee.

    Levitation Day 1 n Day 2-112_electricwizard_Stubbs

    This year, the sold out festival packed a punch with bands like Electric Wizard, Ty Segall, Dead Meadow, Ringo DeathStarr, and Ruby the Hatchet just to name a few.
    Levitation 2018 was held in Austin’s Red River District in well known venues like The Mohawk, Barracuda, Empire Control Room, Cheer Up Charlies, Emo’s and Stubbs. After a quick glance at the line up, it was clear that the organizers wanted to bring the festival back in style offering a legendary line up of well known bands as well as some very awesome up-and-comers. Perhaps the one aspect I enjoyed the most about the festival is how intimate all the performances felt due to the relative smaller venue size (excluding Stubbs of course)

    The psych-rock performances did not disappoint. The crowds were ready to head bang to at the Electric Wizard performance at Stubbs, to gaze in awe at the trippy visuals during Dead Meadow, and to crowd surf during Ty Segall performances at Stubbs and Barracuda.

    See our full photo gallery.

    Ruby the Hatchet brought her very unique energy packed performance to barracuda. Ron Gallo rocked Stubbs as well as Barracuda turning in a wild performance of original hard-hitting rock and roll. Ty Segall followed Ron and dropped his awesome mixture of loud guitar heavy tunes with powerful lyrics. Local favorites Ringo Deathstarr lit up the stage at Barracuda late Thursday with their shoe gaze revivalist musical style. It was Electric Wizard that closed the evening at Stubbs bringing their doom metal that no doubt mixes elements of stoner, sludge trails, the occult, horror, and probably a lot more.

    Between the eye-popping visuals projected on the bands and walls, the awesome variety of musical performances and the great fans that attended, Levitation left us wanting more. The festival transformed the Red River district into a head banging psychedelic paradise. We are excited to see what Levitation 2019 will bring next year!

  • LoneStar Jam Concert Photos Austin 2018
  • Nada Surf Concert Photos at ACL’s 3Ten

    Kevin Horton

  • CMA Music Festival 2018 Preview

    Denise Enriquez

    Annually on or around the first weekend of June, tens of thousands of country music fans gather in downtown Nashville, Tennessee for the CMA Music Festival; one of the largest country music festivals in in the world. final-2019photo Jerri Starbuck

    This year the festival will take place from June 7th – 10th and it will host country music superstars Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Lee Ann Womack, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan and many more. Comprised of 11 stages, a daily Fan Fair exhibition with cool artist meet-and-greets, pop-up shops (including Chris Stapleton) and exciting VIP parties, the CMA Fest, now in it’s 47th year, will offer country music lovers a full schedule of options.

    Watch this video

    Attendees can purchase main event concert tickets to the Nissan Stadium where every night they will be entertained by star-studded performances by to name a few. The rest of the stages are free and open to the public – here fans can see performances by the Cadillac Three, Shenendoah, Cam (who we recently caught at SXSW in Austin) and many others. It is guaranteed to be one for the books, but if you are not one of the lucky tens of thousands to be in Nashville next month, fear not for the event highlights will be airing on ABC in late summer plus we’ll have tons of photo coverage for you.

    CMAfest18_StageLineup_Spotlight-1024x1024.jpgThis year you can listen to a music playlist CMA artist playlist to gear up before the festival and hear some great newcomers too like Lauren Alaina and Devin Dawson and tons more.

    Each year, hundreds of country artists perform at CMA Music Festival for free and CMA donates half the net proceeds from the event to benefit music education programs on behalf of the artists and celebrities. Learn more about the CMA Foundation.

    See the full festival schedule

    CMAfest18_StageLineup_Radio-Disney.jpgDon’t forget to download the CMA Fest app to keep organized during the festival.

    Thinking of attending? Buy tickets or get info

  • Justin Timberlake

    It’s been a long time since Justin Timberlake has done a major tour (although he performed at this year’s Superbowl in Minneapolis). This tour, Man of the Woods, named after his latest album, was inspired by his family history and love of the outdoors. His band is appropriately named, the “Tennessee Kids.” Right away when taking the stage you see the tree silhouettes and floor length stage – reminiscent of a trail in the woods. final-4486

    The stage was an incredible size with a main stage with the 12-person band had 2 drum sets, keyboards, brass, bongos, singers and more. The winding path then led to a circular center stage, followed by another path that led to a large stage area that would later be the campfire scene.

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    Justin opens the show with his logo image shining down on him, light beams and the strong beats of “Filthy.” Shortly after, the stage is completely transformed into a dense forest through impressive projections and screens for “Midnight Summer Jam”. You can catch glimpses of forest creatures and hear forest sounds that add to the ambiance. This portion of the projections was by far the most creative and fun. This opening set included a lot of new songs but also some fan favorites like “Sexy Back,” “Suit & Tie,” and “Mirrors.”

    See the complete photo gallery.

    Later in the show Justin adds to the woodsy feel by recreating a campfire setting on the far end of the stage. Complete with growing grass, a live campfire and friends in flannel – this scene transports you to simpler and relaxing times. The images of the moon and stars and dancers joined with Justin playing guitar by the fire. The campfire songs included a tribute to the Santa Fe H.S. School shooting victims and survivors. He emotionally added “let them hear your voices” to his remarks. Justin poignantly donned a “Santa Fe Strong” t-shirt under his button down shirt for the rest of the show.

    final-4235Other memorable Houston moments included a shout out to the Houston Rockets and an introduction of his dancer, Nicole, a Houston native. The whole crew also took a moment to share jello shots from the perfectly placed circle bar below the center part of the stage. A small floor space near the bar turned into a disco floor later in the show. Lucky (and wealthy) concert-goers could snag a bar stool at the working bar for a cool $1200 a spot. Justin pointed out to the crowd that he had this show on the 23rd, then he would watch the Houston Rockets play on the 24th, then he would be back to perform on the 25th. Which meant the stage had to be torn down and rebuilt.

    A good portion of the ‘campfire set’ got a little sleepy with more ballads and a slower pace. The songs were mostly covers (John Denver, The Beatles, and more) and a chance for a little more conversation and selfies with the fans. I’m sure it was a well deserved slow down for Justin after such an action packed first half of cardio. He also needed to build up the energy for a back-to-back no-nonsense delivery of eight songs to close the show. Many of the songs in the closing set were well-known with much crowd participation. Some highlights were, “What Goes Around…Comes Around,”Say Something,” and the most magnificent “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” – which was the final song.

    The dancing was consistent and top-notch by both Justin and his dancers. He had 4-6 dancers dancing with him regularly. The band was incredible and Justin’s personality shown through during many parts of the performance. At one point he let out a nice belly laugh! He finished the show with a crowd on their feet and dancing! Overall a strong performance with imaginative sets, stellar projections and of course JT himself.

    Setlist:
    Opening Set:
    1. Filthy
    2. Midnight Summer Jam
    3. LoveStoned
    4. SexyBack
    5. Man of the Woods
    6. Higher Higher
    7. Senorita
    8. Suit & Tie
    9. My Love
    10. Cry Me a River
    11. Mirrors
    12. Drink you Away (Shot glasses appeared on stage)

    Campfire Set:
    13. Flannel
    14. Until the End of Time
    15. Dreams (Fleetwood Mac cover)
    16. Ex-Factor (Lauryn Hill cover)
    17. Come Together (The Beatles cover)
    18. Thank God I’m a Country Boy (John Denver cover)
    19. Morning Light

    Closing Set:
    20. What Goes Around…Comes Around
    21. Say Something
    22. Montana
    23. Summer Love
    24. Rock Your Body
    25. Supplies
    26. Like I Love You
    27. Can’t Stop the Feeling!

  • Review: PRIMUS co-headlining with Mastodon at Austin 360 Amphitheater

    by Nick Berard

    These two experimental rock, prog-metal bands have been fans of each other and makes perfect sense that they would be heading out together on tour this year as co-headliners (neither really an opening band). The tour is massive with 43 dates in U.S. and Austin and Dallas were the only Texas tour stops this time. Grammy Award-winning Mastodon opened up the show at Austin 360 amphitheater at Circuit of the Americas-delivering a straight-forward rock and roll show. In a recent interview Sanders states, “The touring is really special to us. That’s where that circle of energy is, from the stage to our fans, from our fans back to us.” 

    The four member band comprised of Brann Dailor, Brent Hinds, Bill Kelliher, and Troy Sanders. Primus formed in Atlanta, GA in 2000 and have their own distinct sound and pull from the great 80’s rock and metal influences in the best way possible. The band’s vocals are tight from every member with Troy’s vocals sounding like a bear in a coal mine. Lightning-fast guitar licks delivered by Brent are the icing on this metal cake. 

    The band is cooking and the room is starting to move. It’s a solid roadshow and a great compliment to the Primus tour. Everyone is warmed up and ready!

    See our full concert photo gallery

    PRIMUS 

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    As the sun set and the venue lights came up, a picture-perfect Texas evening gave the three original members of Primus a great place to land in Austin. Les Claypool, Larry LaLonde and Tim “Herb” Alexander had no trouble drowning out the neighboring airport performing a headlining set that sandwiched the entirety of their recent album, The Desaturating Seven in between two healthy doses of 90’s Primus. 

    See the full photo gallery

    Les with his signature strut and spider finger work on the bass was insane. The swirling lights, trippy video-backdrop and punchy rhythm spun the photo pit into a frenzy as the band opened with Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers, and the funky Pudding Time and threw it into high gear. Too Many puppies/Sgt Baker/ puppies reprise, American Life (with a hypnotic 2 minute Cygnus X-1 intro), and Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver featuring the 1995, insane plastic cowboy-band video streaming behind them wrapped up the first part of the set in high fashion.

    The band rolls into their new LP, The Desaturating Seven, a seven- song adaptation of a children’s book, The Rainbow Goblins written by Italian author, Ul de Rico. With the nuances of a fairy tale scored with a prog-rock twist that only Primus could pull off, it was well received and absorbed by the faithful fans. Some witty stage banter from Les and a tease of Van Halen’s Panama, threw the trio into a speedy Mr. Know It All that put the pit back into motion. 

Welcome to This World was a rare live performance-a song that had been teased live for 20 years has become a staple on this tour. Then My Name Is Mud and Jerry Was a Race Car Driver wrapped up the set that kept the crowd moshing. The encore with John the Fisherman sent everyone off with a head full of Primus and a soul full of bass!

    Austin metal fans got to see two of the most legendary metal bands perform together. Primus remains as fresh as ever and like an adult trip to alternative circus camp.

     

    Mastodon Setlist:

    Sultan’s Curse
    Divinations
    Crystal Skull
    Ancient Kingdom
    Bladecatcher
    Black Tongue
    Ember City
    Megalodon
    Andromeda
    Toe to Toes
    Show Yourself
    Precious Stones
    Roots Remain
    Ghost of Karelia
    Mother Puncher
    Steambreather

    Primus Setlist:

    Clown Dream

    Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers

    Pudding Time. Bring on the funk!  It no longer smells like burning rubber at the old raceway. 

    Too Many puppies/Sgt Baker/ puppies reprise Going back to the beginning. Like a long opening bell at the stock exchange yet going to far more interesting places.

    American Life  2 min(Cygnus X-1 intro).  Hypnotic.

    Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver 

    The Desaturating Seven:

    The Valley
    The Seven
    The Trek
    The Scheme
    The Dream
    The Storm
    The Ends?

    Mr. Know It All

    Welcome to This World

    My Name Is Mud

    Jerry Was a Race Car Driver

    Encore:

    Is It Luck?

    John the Fisherman

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