First trip to Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar ( http://www.lucysretiredsurfers.com/austin ) in down town Austin. A really good location away from the heart of the 6th St hustle and the 4th and 5th St warehouse shuffle, if you go here you are doing so on purpose. This isn't a bar or location you just happen upon or wander into, you do it to meet friends, enjoy the people watching out front, or watch a game on TV inside. If you are lucky and check out their schedule, you can even catch some great music.
I didn't wander around the bar much. Walked in with the stage to the immediate right, bathrooms to the left, and the bar on the left of the main area running the length of the resturant/bar.
Stopped dead in my tracks by Baloo the bear in the corner of the bar, MC Overlord. *Interesting analogy by the company I was keeping that night, "He's like the Godfather. Everyone sees him, says hi to him, touches him, and pay tributes to him (shots)." NICE!
With Jess and the Echoes ( http://www.jechomusic.com/ ) on stage already there was not a lot of socializing. Just enjoyment of some great music and an amazing front woman. This was pretty fuckin cool. I have seen Jess one time previously opening for Big Don, but this was wayyyyy different.
With a full band (and a rockstar bass player) there was a ton of action and excitement with this band. With energetic originals, moving ballads, sweet acoustic tracks, and a couple of bad ass covers the arrangement of this set was definitely designed to keep your attention the whole time they were on stage. I can't vocally peg Jess and really hate to anyway. As an example, I told my friend that she had some Carrie Underwood qualities to which he responded "Really, I kinda thought she sounds like Alanis Morisette." This is why I don't like to tell you what the band sounded like or who they remind me of. Make your own damn decision.
Just listen to me when it comes to the show, the fun of it, and the joy of being part of the crowd. In the case of Jess and the Echoes, you would have fun, a great time to be had by all, and be caught smiling by the end of their set. For me the second time around was great!
and now for other jungle man of the evening...sporting a beard and longer hair was Michael Dillard ( http://michaeldillardmusic.com/ ). WOW! and Holy Shit! Would be the descriptors to use here. I have seen Dillard more than a few damn times, and probably a few damn times more than I have written about. This absolutely fuckin deserves big props. I don't know what he did, maybe it was the new, infused blood of the powerful and kick ass rhythm section or was it just time on stage and behind the mic. This was an unbelievable performance. The energy that was delivered by Dillard and the ensemble on stage was MIND BLOWING! There was no doubt these guys wanted to be up there and fed off of every piece of energy from the small, hot crowd in Lucy's, but hell yeah that shit worked. Everyone was just making noise and cheering, singing along, and yelling for more throughout the gig. Just non stop! If there was a slower tempo song, you didn't know it and wouldn't have cared.
I will tell you what I happily told Mike and his band mates after the show. "You did it! You stopped playing the music on stage and as of tonight... you PERFORMED!"
Congratulations to you Michael Dillard and your band, keep that incarnation the way it is and roll on!
For all of you that weren't there, you will have another chance to catch Michael with MC Overlord on their 3rd of July celebration. Check out their FB pages for details.