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Monday, January 15, 2018

Twas not sad at all

Emo Nite seemed more like a giant High School graduation party for ages 21 and up! 

Held at Come and Take It Live, Emo Nite was no doubt a roaring success! The venue was packed! 
Come and Take it Live is probably the hottest "New" venue in Austin. Although it has had many incarnations prior to this one... think Dr. Who type transformations, it appears to have found it's home and niche with owners and long time friends Ben D. and Anthony S. There is no stopping a venue this big and bold. Located on Riverside Dr. just a few blocks East of IH 35, with the big, red and white neon sign on the front corner, just daring you to 'Come and Take It'. Come and Take It Live can play host to every kind of music genre. From Metal and Hip Hop live acts to a DJ set of Emo music, it is certainly equipped.

From the interesting and almost museum like entry rail - paying tribute to Texas' colorful history, you turn right into a large oval shaped bar. From there the options are traveling up to a second and possibly third level (if open - but not on this night only - it was VIP photographers only) to your left or the main stage to the far back corner. 

So, because there was no live band it will be a short review of the general vibe on this particular night. It was crazy exciting and electric. With the crowd primarily in the younger and mid-twenties there was not a shortage of wide eyed energy in the place. The music at first was just your typical crappy radio rap music, but then just before 10pm the first first song dropped. It was chaos. Everyone started screaming and yelling, and all at once the entire place erupted in a giant sing along. It stayed like that until I left at about 1am.

I was drawn to this event because I know the owners and I received a FB invite from a local band - Forever Starts Today, the beautiful and amazing lead singer Christina Murphy was going to be doing a guest DJ set. She did. I got photos. And the event as a whole seemed to be a tremendous success as proof from the photos. 

With no shame I can say I can't wait for this to happen again so I can get my 21 yr old daughter to go - This is right up her alley!


2017 Year in review

Another year, as I look back, which has surprised me. Although I may not have made as many posts as I would have liked to do, there were still a lot of shows I attended and new places discovered. So let me summarize and then give a little more insight.

Shows attended - 52
New Venues (places I stepped into the very first time for a show) - 20 
New local bands (bands I experienced for the first time) - 43 bands

Total number of bands seen - 105 (this does not include some of the locals I saw more than once).

Speaking of locals more than once Cody Bryan Band and the Michael Dillard Band take the honors for the bands I have spent the most time with. Click on their names to go to their respective pages. Check them out, go to a show, buy their music.

From 3Ten@ACL to Zilker Hillside Theater, there were definitely some fun, great new places I went to and experienced. In the heart of Austin's Entertainment District there was the Bat Bar, Hotel Vegas, and The Liberty. I really love the vibe and set of of The Liberty. Inside has the bar to the right of the main entrance. Keep to the left and there is the stage side, which has a really weird set up - you walk right in front of the stage (which is on a lower lever) and then up to the seating area. Outback is an amazing little seating area with a food trailer and some good grub!

Attending The Austin Hip Hop Awards was a highlight and an amazing way to start 2017. In addition I was lucky enough to go to CD release and listening parties for Super Smash Brothers (SSB), Vondoom, Big Don, Black Heart Saints, MC Overlord, XII, and Cody Bryan Band. Click on any of the names to go to their page to order some music.

Once again I attended shows for Rap, Texas Country, Rock, Metal, Blues, and a little Funk Shui Planet (one of my favorites from SXSW 2017 - in a parking lot completely Funking up the place. They were great, but they are from California so you will have to look them up.

Overall, it was another great year for the live music scene in Austin and a good year for Live Music in Austin. Thanks for peeking in on me.

2018 is shaping up to be a blast again as it is just the 18th of January and I am 3 shows in with a national touring show under my belt.


Monday, December 25, 2017

The Greatest land of all...BEERLAND!

On one of my many trips through downtown Austin I have never stopped in to check out Beerland (, this time i did.  Although there have been plenty of shows there and I have seen many friends attend events there, I simply had not stopped in.

Beerland is located in the entertainment district of down town Austin, TX. On the corner of Red River and 7th St, surrounded by a tiny little, black, wrought iron fence, Beerland is very unassuming outside. A small patio area for smokers and those wanting to step out of the club in between bands. You enter the door and immediately head down to what feels and looks like a basement level club. The bar is to your left as you enter and to the back left corner are the bathrooms. Dead ahead of you is the small stage with the giant BEERLAND logo on the back wall. This is the epitome of that garage/basement style club. That dark, low slung ceilinged club adds to the vibe and style of music.

Pulling up a quick seat at the bar My wife, her friend, and myself take in the scene. Apparently this evenings entry got you into Beerland and the club next door for two stages of fun and constant music. 

While the ladies started on some adult beverages I hopped next door to quickly catch Lions and Tigers ( onstage. What a great band and surprise. Lions and Tigers are from Austin, TX so you will be able to catch them around town after reading this post. It was a very good set of music. Currently promoting their new EP, Lions and Tigers had an energy filled set with great vocals and guitar work. I believe this evening included a loan in guitarist doing lead while the lead singer did rhythm and some solo work. Although it was an energy filled set it was not an overly energetic type of sound that made the crowd go nuts. Easy enough to move around and see all of the upturned faces watching the band and absorbing their vibe and brand of pop/punk music. Lions and Tigers are definitely on my list to share with you again and hopefully run into again around town to get a bigger, better feel for what they can do.

Back to Beerland, although this was not the band I was there to see and shoot, Forever Starts Today ( was taking the stage. My shock, thrill, and excitement just couldn't be contained. I saw this group a year or so ago at another venue and here is a shining example of my love for the Austin music scene. I was thoroughly impressed when I saw them the first time realizing they were packed full of potential. With the lead vocals and charisma of Christina Murphy, to the amazing guitar work and enthusiastic bass player, Forever Starts Today is positioning themselves, in Austin, to make that leap into the national spotlight. This performance didn't let down either. Having to throw some elbows to keep my spot down in front of the stage and snapping photos, was only intensified with leaving the font of the stage, stepping back and taking in their performance with the rest of the crowd screaming and singing along.  Enjoying it to the extent of making sure I got a CD prior to the bands departure at the urging of my wife. (now to just get a signed tour poster for the wall at Tom-Cruz Studios would be very cool!) Leaving that performance with my wife exclaiming how much she loved Forever Starts Today and enjoyed Christina's voice, pretty much sealed the deal to take my wife to another performance next chance we get. You should too!

If that wasn't enough for the couple of performances I just took in, then how about Thieves ( coming in to steal the rest of the night - SORRY, I had to do it!

At the urging (and ultimately the arrangement) to take in this evenings performance, a neighbor to Tom-Cruz Studios bragged about this band as his cousin was the bass player. Well... he didn't need to brag. The performance of Thieves stood on its own. Had I been lucky enough to purposefully see my friends in the previous band and hang out to see Thieves would have been an epic coup. Instead it was wonderful coincidence to catch my friends opening for Thieves.  The performance was polished and searing. With their VERY familiar brand of Pop/punk alternative rock, Thieves is on par with, and better than, many you hear on the radio today. As for the performance, getting to the stage and stealing the few shots I got from Thieves before being pummeled by an enthusiastic crowd is one thing. The proof of how much these guys are loved was in their performance and was enjoyed more when I couldn't even make it to my seat. The crowd was jumping and screaming through the entire set.

Meeting the bass player after the show was nice. Telling him how much I enjoyed the show and like their sound was great. Even better was to tell him my daughter will be thrilled to see them the next time Thieves does another show here in Austin. He grinned, and as I took a disc he told me "You should give that to your daughter!" uhhm...NO! Daddy's keeping this one for himself. She can get her own when I take her to see Thieves live for herself. See you there!