Live Music Archives - 365 Things to Do in Austin, TX
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KGSR’s ‘Unplugged at The Grove’ is returning for its 24th season. Starting early April thru mid-September, people of all ages have the opportunity to experience Austin’s longest-running free live music series on Shady Grove’s beautiful pecan tree shaded patio. Tonight, come see Rhett Miller perform and swoon over this magical city!

Unplugged goers will enjoy the finest live music this city has to offer, as well as a signature patio menu of Austin-inspired home cooking and refreshing drink specials, including $4 16oz ZiegenBocks.

“At Shady Grove we are privileged and grateful to present one-of-a- kind live music performances every week, under the stars, in the coolest city on the planet,” says managing partner Rusty Zagst. “Our 24th season promises to be the best yet as our schedule includes everything from musical legends to some of the most exciting new artists on the scene. Don’t forget Unplugged is open to all and always free.”

Admission: Free

When: When: Today, August 17th

Time: 8 p.m.

Location:
Shady Grove
1624 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78704

 

 

 

Wu-Tang’s GZA returns to Austin Sunday, August 20 reuniting with local Latin funksters Brownout at Empire Control Room. We’re giving away a pair of tickets to folks who tag 365 Things Austin and share this preview on Facebook or Twitter. Fans will have another chance to win tickets on our Instagram page. The rapper also known as The Genius (Gary Grice) first collaborated with the Grupo Fantasma spin-off in 2012, performing his 1995 solo masterpiece Liquid Swords with the group during South by Southwest (SXSW). It was a seminal moment for the founding member of Wu-Tang who stated after the performance, “The chemistry is amazing. Expect more shows from us.”

Following the collaboration’s debut the show travelled to Brooklyn and other locales,  most notably Bonnaroo Music Festival. We caught subsequent performances at ACL Live and Utopiafest. Both were exceptional shows.  GZA’s smooth flow and intelligent rap pairs well with Brownout’s improvisational jazz/funk rhythms. The Grammy-winning artists instinctively leave musical space for The Genius to lay his urban wisdom on the audience. Even fans not familiar with Wu-Tang or GZA’s solo material will find the show compelling. 

The project was a precursor to GZA’s bandmate Ghostface Killah working with Toronto’s BADBADNOTGOOD (BBNG) to produce Sour Soul early in 2015. The jazz trio subsequently worked with Kaytranada on an album. The hip-hop/jazz collaborative trend is similar to the 1990’s when hip-hop/jazz partnerships began cropping up, starting with A Tribe Called Quest’s Low End Theory (1991) to Guru’s wildly popular Jazzmatazz series, finally winding down the decade with The Roots classic 1999 record, Things Fall Apart. Leave it to an Austin act and GZA to bring back the trend and up the musical ante. 

Brownout drummer John Speice confirmed the set list for the upcoming show will be similar to previous performances stating they’ll play “Liquid Swords and a few Wu bangers.” Surely there will be a few choruses of “Wu-Tang clan ain’t nuthing ta f’ wit” right?

Don’t forget to share this post on Facebook or Twitter and tag 365 Things Austin for a chance to win tickets to the event

Watch GZA and Brownout play Liquid Swords at Bonnaroo. 

       

Girl Talk

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All Photos: Andrea Dane

In it’s fourth year, blazing hot Float Fest near San Marcos at Cool River Ranch graduated from small festival of primarily Texas acts to an expanded slate of popular national acts. Bigger acts, Weezer, Cage the Elephant, Mac Miller, MGMT, Girl Talk and more attracted enough interest to sell-out the event.

Organizers doubled down on the layout of the grounds, increasing the size of the festival footprint while spurning the permanent stage at the east end of the property for a larger Sun stage positioned near the front gates, further from the main Water Stage located near the back of the property. The new stage set-up was big enough to hold Matt Schultz (Cage the Elephant) and his band in front of the weekend’s largest crowd. Carnival rides from last year’s event returned to entertain fans between performances. Overall, Float Fest 2017 was a hit.

While most of the attention over the weekend focused on headliners, Texas acts turned in stellar performances . Yes, Arianna Grande showed up for her boyfriend Mac Miller’s set but Sweet Spirit, Wild Child, Walker Lukens, Neon Indian and Heartbyrne all delivered great performances despite the 100-degree weather and high humidity.

Talking Heads cover band Heart Byrne kicked off music on the Sun Stage Saturday with a deep cut set list that ended with 1979 radio hit, “Take Me to the River.” Sporting matching day-glo green outfits, Heart Byrne turned David Byrne’s funky, eclectic legacy into a bonafide jam. Fans who want a Talking Heads experience by a group that plays music to the strength of their ensemble will love how tight this act is. Heart Byrne regularly plays Austin. Catch them next at The Mohawk August 12.

Denton’s Neon Indian took the Sun Stage just prior to Mac Miller. The band is led by Alan Palomo who also performs solo. The indie-synth-pop act took the opportunity to showcase songs from their latest effort, “Night School.” Stream the new album on Spotify to get a feel for the set list. The heat and humidity during the warmest part of the day may have put a damper on the audience but Neon Indian never faltered, offering an impassioned set that was a treat for hardcore and new fans alike. The band will begin a West Coast and South American tour mid-August.

While popular rapper, Mac Miller attracted hordes of young fans to his performance on the Water stage, an equal number of fans arrived early at the Sun Stage to get a good spot for a set by Girl Talk (Greg Gillis) which followed his show. Although Miller primarily sings original songs, the rapper and producer could learn a few stage tricks from Gillis who specializes in DJ mashups and sampling. As Girl Talk, Gillis displays non-stop energy, inviting fans to dance behind him on stage while inflatables, a confetti cannon and stage hands propelling toilet paper into the crowd via customized guns enhanced the party atmosphere. Typically we find similar DJ sets at festivals lacking something but Girl Talk somehow overcomes those obstacles to induce an hour of sheer bliss that is shared by the performer and his audience. With the sun going down along with the temperatures at Float Fest, there was not a better act to put in that time slot. Girl Talk has only two dates listed on his tour schedule currently.

The first day of Float Fest concluded with shows by Passion Pit and Zedd. Sometime after those performances Passion Pit frontman, Michael Angelakos announced via Twitter he would not be pursuing commercial music work while he focused on development of his The Wishart Group, an artist support organization Angelakos created to help musicians maintain mental health while pursuing a career in entertainment. He made a statement to Pitchfork to clarify he is not going on hiatus and new material would be forthcoming but would be concentrating on his project in the wake of suicide by peer, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park. Angelakos has previously made public his own challenges in dealing with mental illness which led to his creation of The Wishart Group.

Sunday, following Walker Lukens‘ vocal gymnastics on the Sun Stage, red-hot Austin glam/indie-rockers Sweet Spirit played for a modest crowd while many fans were still in the water tubing. That didn’t stop bandleaders Sabrina Ellis and Andrew Cashen from powering their group through a slate of of fantastic songs. They led off with new single, “The Power.” Ellis punctuated drum beats by thrusting her hips forward, setting an aggressive tone for the show. The group soldiered on with fan favorites, “Baby When I Close My Eyes” and “If You Wanna.” The former song’s sound evokes Spoon’s influence on the band. Austin’s KUTX had the tune in heavy rotation after it was released. Drummer, Danny Lion once mentioned he moved to Austin because Spoon made it here.The group has since toured with Spoon as frontman, Brit Daniel is a fan. Sweet Spirit might be the next great Austin rock act to make it nationally like their idols. The band just announced a surprise show at Barracuda in Austin on Thursday. Tickets will be available at the door.

Celebrated Central Texas act, Wild Child appeared on the Sun Stage with an expanded lineup featuring seven players including an electric violin backin Kelsey Wilson (lead vocals/violin)  and Alexander Beggins (vocals/ukulele). The pair share songwriting duties. After shifting from a raw, folksy sound to a more polished approach with their last album, “Fools” (2015) Wild Child is poised to gain more prominent national radio play with their amalgam of folk, rock and Americana. Fans who made the trek to Float Fest were rewarded with a one-off show by the band who just announced their only upcoming show is at Utopia Fest in late September. Beggins told us the group has been spending most of the year working on their highly anticipated new record and expect to begin touring again this fall. View the set list here.

An expectedly trippy set by MGMT took place on the same stage an hour later. The dance/psych-rock outfit led by Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser powered through the hot weather accompanied by psychedelic visuals on the screen behind them. We were struck by similarities between MGMT and Australia’s Tame Impala both of whom have implemented a fair amount of electronic beats and effects into their approach, pushing neo-psych in a more accessible direction for young fans. See the full set list here. The group has a handful of festival dates upcoming including Panorama Festival (New York) and Life is Beautiful Festival (Las Vegas).

The most energizing set of Float Fest belonged to Cage the Elephant and their tireless vocalist, Matt Schultz. Older fans might draw comparisons to the Rolling Stone’s Mick Jagger while watching Schultz cavort non-stop across the stage while his band laid down familiar riffs you’ve heard on the radio. Schultz’s brother, Brad, (rhythm guitar) ventured into the audience a few times, amping up an already elated crowd. Ubiquitous song, “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” garnered a big reaction as did hits, “Too Late to Say Goodbye” and ballad, “Cigarette Daydreams.” Pyrotechnics were employed as four columns of flames blasted fans late in the set.

An obviously warm Matt Schultz even joked he took drugs before the set and might have a heart attack. Nothing terrible like that took place as the frenetic singer closed out the set list with “Come A Little Closer” and “Teeth.”  A Texas music manager called Cage the Elephant the best working rock band touring in a social media thread. It’s hard to argue that any band lends more energy to their work. See the complete set list here.

The festival closed with 90s rockers Weezer. Rivers Cuomo appeared on stage wearing a rainbow colored shirt and stark white pants. He later donned a matching sombrero as he led the group through hit song, “Beverly Hills.” See fan-generated video of the song on Instagram. Weezer threw in a cover of Outcast’s “Hey Ya!” midway through the set then invited a tireless Matt Schultz on stage to sing “Island in the Sun” with the group. Whatever Schultz uses to fuel himself on performance days must be strong.

Weezer finished the show with “King of the World” and “Say It Ain’t So” then returned for an encore to cheers for hit “Buddy Holly” and fireworks over the Float Fest site. The complete set list can be found here. Weezer will continue their national and European tour in support of their tenth studio record, “Weezer” also known as the White Album.

Tonight is Big Band night on the lawn at the Long Center’s Concert in the Park—a guaranteed good time for your family. There will be kids frolicking, couples lounging on blankets, old friends in their trusty folding chairs, lone bicyclists and pedestrians who have been distracted from their destinations—all united by the sound of music. Come experience the Austin magic for yourself.

In its 15th summer season, these free ensemble concerts take place in the Hartman Concert Park in front of the Long Center City Terrace and run on Sunday evenings from through August 27th. Each Sunday a different ensemble of the Austin Symphony will be featured at the new Hartman Park, located on the grounds of the Long Center for the Performing Arts, performing music from jazz and light classical to pops selections and film scores. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner and blanket and make it a group outing.

When: Today, July 23rd

Time: 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Free Parking is available at One Texas Center located on Barton Springs Rd. @ S. 1st St.

*Paid parking is available at the Palmer Garage for $8

Location:
701 W Riverside Dr.
Austin, TX 78704

 

Much like January’s Free Week, Hot Summer Nights are a series of free concerts hosted by music venues located in Austin’s Red River Cultural District. Running July 13-16 at various clubs in the area, the performances will feature popular local acts White Denim, The Octopus Project, Magna Carda, Matthew Logan Vasquez (Delta Spirit),  Golden Dawn Arkestra and Moving Panoramas among others. Similar to the Free Week programming, there is a national act included, Andrew Savage of Brooklyn’s Parquet Courts. The event is a chance for Austin music fans to discover local bands in a small geographical area. Club hopping is not only allowed, it’s encouraged.

Hosted by the Red River Merchant Association which formed in November 2016, the purpose of the event is to promote local venues in an area threatened by downtown development and at the same time give back to the community which supports it.

“The Red River District itself is a true cultural icon here in Austin and we want to do everything we can to see the area not only survive, but thrive in the years ahead,” said Stephen Sternschein, RRMA board member and owner of Empire Control Room & Garage. “These Hot Summer Nights events are meant to serve as a way for our team to give back to residents here in Austin, as well as provide amazing musicians and artists an opportunity to directly interact the local community. We can’t wait to kick off these first Hot Summer Night events, which will be the first step of many to come for RRMA, and reveal additional plans for the district in the near future.”

While we love all the bands participating (because they’re Austin acts) several lineups stand out among the huge list of performers:

Friday – White Denim – Cheer Up Charlie’s

This show is opportunity for White Denim fans that doesn’t come along everyday. Since their lineup shake up in 2015 when White Denim lost two members to Leon Bridges’ band the James Petralli-led outfit has not performed often. The indie-rockers shifted from a prog-rock bent to more of a blues-rock oriented act with the new formation, inserting Petralli side-project Bob English members into the roster. The results are as entertaining as ever. The support bill includes Deep Time, The Stacks, Go Fever and Tyler Jordan and the Negative Space. RSVP via Facebook here.

Friday – The Octopus Project – Empire Control Room

If you haven’t witnessed the astounding visual spectacle of a show by The Octopus Project this is a perfect opportunity to see the UT Film School grads play their hybrid of electronica and power pop. Besides being one of Austin’s hardest-working bands, the group features the unusual addition of a theremin to the mix. Their recent show at Barracuda last month was a reminder The Octopus Project never disappoints. RSVP via Facebook here.

Saturday –  Magna Carda  – Cheer-Up Charlie’s

Hip-hop / jazz fusion act Magna Carda’s 2016 release “Cirqulation” was one of the best local albums to drop in Austin last year. The longtime duo of Megz Kelly and Dougie Do added what basically amounts to a jazz/funk trio to back them and the results were magical. Megz has the kind of flow that makes even casual hip-hop fans sit up and take notice. Doug provides the sounds and effects while their crack band ties it all together.

The supporting acts are no slouches.  Get to Cheer-Up’s early to catch My Empty Phantom, Obscured by Echoes and Lord Buffalo. RSVP via Facebook here.

Saturday – A. Savage (Parquet Courts) – Barracuda

While we were in Spain last year for Primavera Sound Festival we caught Andrew Savage’s Parquet Courts on the Pitchfork Stage.  The Brooklyn rockers style is hard to define. They played a high-energy show that featured elements of punk, alt-country and indie rock.  Naturally we’re curious about Savage’s solo act. US Weekly and Alex Dupree round out the lineup. RSVP via Facebook here.

To see the entire roster of bands and stay up-to-date on the latest lineups visit the official Hot Summer Nights Facebook Event page. Despite the event kicking off tomorrow, there’s still some surprises ahead such as the special guest to be announced at Sidewinder on Saturday.

Sound On Sound Festival (SOS Fest) is excited to announce the full music lineup for the second annual event, which is set to take place on November 10-12 in McDade, Texas. The 2017 event is slated for a return to Sherwood Forest, a beloved medieval-style village and an idyllic festival location nestled among the Lost Pine Forest and about 35 miles east of downtown Austin. Weekend GA, VIP, and camping passes are all available now for purchase at www.soundonsoundfest.com.

The 2017 SOS Fest will once again play host to a wide mix of music acts spanning many genres and personal tastes, as well as a variety of medieval-style activities and games, comedy stand-ups and panel sessions, on-site camping, and more, all across three days in the heart of Central Texas. One of today’s most beloved and sought-after indie acts, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, will headline the 2017 fest after a notable hiatus from live performances and recordings since 2013.

Additional headliners include punk rock godfather Iggy Pop, who continues to perform in support of last year’s Grammy-nominated album, Post Pop Depression; and experimental rock group Grizzly Bear, who are slated to release their fourth studio album, Painted Ruins, this August following the band’s highly applauded 2014 album, Shields, and marking their only performance in Texas in 2017. The Grammy-nominated folk rock sextet The Shins are also set to headline and perform in support of their recent album, Heartworms, which was released this March after a five-year hiatus from recording. Also performing is new wave R&B project Blood Orange, led by singer, songwriter and producer Dev Haynes; English doom metal band Electric Wizard, who are currently recording their next studio album and whose performance at SOS Fest will mark their only currently scheduled US performance in 2017; and Pusha T, the acclaimed Virginia-born rapper and president of G.O.O.D Music (a record label founded by Kanye West) who is currently prepping the release of his newest album, King Push, for release later this year.

SOS Fest will also welcome a variety of renowned national acts including Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and dancer Kehlani, who just released her highly-anticipated debut album, SweetSexySavage, in early 2017 to praise from critics and fans alike; one of today’s most exciting West Coast rappers, Vince Staples, who is releasing his follow-up studio album, Big Fish Theory, this June; hard metal rock group Sleep, marking one of the only performances currently scheduled worldwide in 2017 for the stoner-rock pioneers; industrial metal band Ministry, who are prepping their fourteenth studio album for digital release this fall; synth-pop singer and songwriter Washed Out; emo rock outfit Taking Back Sunday; funk/soul/R&B singer Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, who will return to the festival after being forced to back out last year due to complications with stomach cancer; Canadian rock band Japandroids; electronic synth-pop band Austra, who continues to perform in support of their recent album, Future Politics, released earlier this January; indie rock outfit Real Estate, who released their latest studio album, In Mind, this past March; French electro-pop group Yelle; and a rare reunion from the groundbreaking alternative hip-hop trio Digable Planets.

Additional acts at the 2017 SOS Fest include a diverse mix of nationally acclaimed and up-and-coming performers from across the globe, including Dinosaur Jr., Converge, Ariel Pink, The Story So Far, NONAME, Foxygen, Cannibal Corpse, Cloud Nothings, Boris, Twin Peaks, Citizen, Cherry Glazerr, Turnstile, Snow Tha Product, and more.

Plus, SOS Fest will now feature a dedicated DJ stage this year, which will aim to showcase some of the best in forward-thinking dance music from a variety of genres — boogie, disco, classic electro, old school hip-hop, house, techno, and more. Key DJ acts set to perform include Hot Chip (DJ Set), Poolside, Lindstrom, Egyptian Lover, Juan Maclean (DJ Set), Peanut Butter Wolf, Tim Sweeney (Beats In Space), Honey Soundsystem, Lovefingers, and more.

SOS Fest will also play host to a variety of Texas music talent throughout the three-day weekend. Texas-based music acts include S U R V I V E (Austin), Power Trip (DFW), Capyac (Austin), Sweet Spirit (Austin), Holy Wave (Austin), Sam Lao (Dallas), Street Sects (Austin), Mélat (Austin), Growl (Austin), Alex Napping (Austin), USA/Mexico (Austin), Kydd Jones (Austin), and more. A variety of DJ’s from across the state will also be on site to keep the energy high throughout the second annual festival, including DJ Sober (Dallas), Flying Turns (Austin), Chulita Vinyl Club (Austin/San Antonio), All/Everything (DFW), Dayuta (Houston), and more.

In 2017, SOS Fest will once again offer ticket-buyers a truly unique festival experience at the beloved Sherwood Forest. Located just 35 miles east of downtown Austin and set among the beautiful Lost Pines Forest of Central Texas, Sherwood Forest is a 23-acre permanent renaissance village that features over 100 permanent buildings including shops, pubs, restaurants and stages, many of which will be again utilized in creating the festival footprint for the event. Through an expanded partnership with the Sherwood Forest community, ticket buyers can also expect an even more highly-curated festival experience, which will include a variety of medieval-style activities for attendees of all ages ranging from axe throwing to jousting to archery and more.

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Tonight’s Hartman Foundation Concert in the Park will be the perfect way to wind down the weekend. These weekly concerts are one of Austin’s true summer treasures. The city at sunset is a beautiful backdrop to the music. Don’t forget to bring a picnic dinner and a blanket!

Each week features a different ensemble of the Austin Symphony. They will play a variety of music, everything from jazz and light classical to pop selections and film scores.

When: Today, June 11th

Admission: Free

Time: 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.

2017 Schedule
June 11 – Woodwinds
June 18 – Brass
June 25 – Big Band program

July 9 – Strings
July 16 – Woodwinds
July 23 – Big Band
July 30 – Brass

August 6 – Strings
August 13 – Woodwinds
August 20 – Brass
August 27 – Big Band

Free Parking is available at One Texas Center located on Barton Springs Rd. @ S. 1st St.

*Paid parking is available at the Palmer Garage for $8

Location:
The Long Center Terrace
701 W. Riverside Drive
Austin, Texas 78704

This is exactly the kind of thing that Austin does best: a day of great food, drinks, and music. If you’re a foodie—and who isn’t these days?—come spend the day at The Domain and see what the various restaurants at the shopping mecca have to offer. The 10th Annual Taste of North Austin is an all-day family food festival that will feature delectable tastes, beverage sampling, free live music, children’s entertainment, and lots of fabulous shopping. Guests who want to go all-out for the VIP experience will get a goody bag, complimentary drinks, and access to the swanky VIP lounge.

Balloon twisters, caricature artists, and crafts will be on hand for the kids.

When: Saturday, June 10th

Time: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Cost: Live music and children’s entertainment are free. Wristbands are $20 and include 10 tastes. The VIP experience is an additional $15. Beer and wine will be available for purchase at select restaurant booths.

Location:
Domain II
3225 Amy Donovan Plaza
Austin, TX 78758

Call 512-873-8099 or click here for more information. For the latest deals, contests, and event information at The Domain, click here.

 

Remember the Untapped Festival? Well now it’s called Index Fest and it has everything you could ever want or need—namely: craft beer, music, food, and art! The fest is traveling across Texas and stops in Austin today with more than 60 breweries pouring more than 250 different beers.

When: Today, May 13th

Time: Gates at 5:00 p.m.

Location:
Austin American Statesman (map)
305 South Congress Ave
Austin TX 78704

Tickets start at $35 and you can buy them right here.

Photo credit: Index Fest Facebook page

 

 

Austin’s Ultimate Boy Band Experience.

See them at Cedar Street Courtyard every Thursday night at 9:30 for your favorite boy bands – from blackstreet & backstreet to boyzII men & bieber.

Things are getting real y’all. Oh and come prepared to dance your ass off.

Cost: $5

When: Thursdays

Time: 9:30pm

Location:
Cedar Street Courtyard
208 W. 4th Street
Austin, Texas 78701

https://www.facebook.com/band.PDA/