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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Take off your boots and stay awhile

... was the call from the crowd as Lachlan Bryan and the Wildes stood there on stage at The Saxon Pub (http://thesaxonpub.com/) Austin would be damn proud for him to call this his second home. If there was anyone that just fits, it is Lachlan.
This singer/songwriter, who hails from Australia, has won awards for his Americana music. Seems odd, but this Australian trio can definitely do it better than some of the so called Americana you hear on the radio today. It seems their next stop on the ladder of success will be on someone's National or World tour, warming the hearts of thousands.


Enough blah blah about what may come, let's talk about what it is. Lachlan Bryan and the Wildes   (http://www.lachlanbryan.com/) made their stop here in Austin, drumming up interest and creating fans for his new album. The very small, intimate crowd at The Saxon Pub was treated to a brilliant singer/songwriter and his performance.











With only enough talk to make all in attendance become part of the stories Lachlan sang about, it was pretty much as straight forward a performance as you could get. With Lachlan's professed admiration of our city.... someone from the audience challenged him to simply "take off your boots and stay awhile!" Austin, Texas would be proud.
Lachlan Bryan and the Wildes is the perfect way to spend an evening drinking beer with friends. Check out his Web page. Look for the album. Be at the next performance.
Laters

Saturday, July 18, 2015

X marks the spot




Austin, Texas won the bid to host the X games  (http://xgames.espn.go.com/xgames/) for 4 years starting on 2014. Although there were no major reported problems with the event or locale, it did seem if X Games and the    Circuit of the Americas   (http://circuitoftheamericas.com/) learned and grew for 2015.







Events were much closer together. The main village (called the Galleria) was located in the Grand Plaza. Food and vendor booths abounded. Traveling to the Big Air or Skate Park event areas were close and there was much to see on your way to any event. The dirt courses were also very close to the central hub. So it seemed an overall and overwhelming kudos is on deck.






The music portion is what I care about. It was a varied and wide selection of genres to keep a broad spectrum of the crowd pleasantly entertained. The 360 Amphitheater  (http://austin360amphitheater.com/) was the prefect anchor for all of the sights and events. I only caught one act here. It was exactly who I wanted to see. Although there were several other amazing performances that happened throughout the weekend, I knew I had to pace myself for Saturday.


Phranchyze (http://www.phranchyze.com/) is one of Austin, Texas many outstanding hip hop performers and rappers. It was amazing to see him on the big stage and having the opportunity to strike. His set was fast paced and fun, Lyrically entertaining, and with some catchy hooks. I have seen Phranchyze on the small stage in a club set, this was UNDOUBTABLY a different experience aurally. By the end of his set, the crowd grew from several of us on the floor, to close to a hundred. This did not include the many people hanging around the upper edges of the Amphitheater.











It seems the lesson learned from last year's main act in a venue that holds ~15,000 people was solved. With the construction of the Super Stage on turn 11 of the Circuit of Americas track, more than 40,000 people... Not a problem.


  Metallica (http://www.metallica.com/) made their triumphant return to Austin on the Saturday of the Xgames. With years from their last performance in Austin, no relevant new album out, and not even currently on a tour (all of 3 shows scheduled in 2015) they proved what almost 30 years of music does to a fan base... It makes it Generational!
 



The Super Stage lived up to its name. With 2 huge screens on either side of the stage and the entire back of the stage being a giant screen. There was really not a moment to miss of Metallica's performance. Whether you were looking through a lens or not, the whole performance was dumbfounding. There was even a crowd of about 200 onstage that joined the band for the entire performance.


























The use of lasers during Metallica's epic song, One, was timed perfectly and visually stunning. This is not to disparage the entire performance. It was completely complete! From start to finish. Opening with what is now their standard, 'Quest for gold' (including video from 'The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly') until the bitter end and what seemed to be 3 en cores.






For all of those in attendance, the ones who have never seen Metallica, those who have, and those who ARE Metallica, it was an EPIC near 2 hour performance. It left me wanting for no song in their catalog. In the time that has passed from this performance, I have not heard one complaint about a song they didn't do. Even listening to my Metallica CO'S again and realizing what songs they didn't do... It was metal head, metal mulisha perfection.


Here is the link to the full photo album from the XGames (https://goo.gl/photos/SqpxgTtTNtQskM6a6)







Laters

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Run to the Hills

Cafe that is. Located on way South Congress, Austin, Texas. Although the sign is bold as can be, the restaurant seems unassuming from the street. Whats more, is the hidden gem right out back.



When I get the chance, I will definitely go back and check out the restaurant and tell you all about it. For now, lets talk about the backside.




Out back behind the Hills Cafe (http://hillscafe.com/), is their beautiful courtyard and stage. Home to a very large and majestic oak, a very decent bar, and plenty of room to roam, people watch, and enjoy the musical performances. This is probably the one place which would be damn near impossible to describe. It is an outdoor venue. The stage is pushed up next to the restaurant with the large oak tree right in the middle of the yard, in front of the stage. There are some buildings to stage left and plenty of more room to hang out while a band is playing. The angles and overall shape of the place is what leaves me at a loss for words to put the picture in your mind.


The KOKE FM Free music series (http://kokefm.com/free-texas-music-series/)on Wednesday nights is what brought me out. I have done a couple of other reviews of this free country music series, when the event was held close to where I live. It does seem to change locations annually so don't be sad if you cant make the Wednesday night drive somewhere. The KOKE FM Free music series will be near you soon enough.


I have enjoyed the Free music series for the number of acts it brings to Central Texas. Not just really great Texas Country music artists, but the opening acts are always something to behold as well. New, up and comers making their way onto the scene and carving out their niche. To take advantage of the KOKE FM music series and join them and all of your friends at Hills Cafe would not be a loss by any stretch of the imagination. The opportunity for food, music, beer, and a Texas evening. DAMN!

I will wrap this Review of both Hills Cafe, as well as my kind words about the amazing thing that KOKE FM allows us to be a part of by saying it was my great friends in the Cody Bryan Band who had me visit Hills cafe for the first time.





The Cody Bryan Band (http://codybryanmusic.com/main.php) was the opening act this evening. They are NEVER a band to disappoint! There tunes are fresh, fun, and lively. The front man Cody Bryan has turned into a helluva performer and becoming a greater entertainer. He doesn't bore you with 'VH1 Storytellers' babbling, but he draws you in with his few words, his laugh, and his smile. The rest of the band proves to be the amazing silent partner that brings the whole thing together into one killer set. Time and Time again, I have said you need to catch these guys on they way up. Because the big stage is calling.










BTW, check out their web page in a hurry for their new EP to be released featuring the new single 'Small Town Noise'
 



Laters