Lee Rocker, who along with "Slim" Jim Phantom, and Brian Setzer and their band The Stray Cats breathed life back into the rockabilly scene in the early 80s, will be bringing his own band to Austin as one of the headliners for Memorial Weekend's Revival Festival in downtown Austin.
I had a chance to catch up with Lee and talk about the Revival Fest, some of his influences, and what it was like to be an emerging artist in the music scene in the UK during such an important time.
This years revival fest features Reverend Horton Heat, Nekromantix, Lee Rocker, Three Bad Jacks, Psycho Devilles, The Smites (Tribute to The Smiths), Rosie Flores, Holy Moly!, Johnny Hootrock, and the Hot Rod Hillbillies. It is Saturday, May 26th, Memorial Weekend 7th St & Trinity Ave, Austin TX 78701, located in the heart of Downtown Austin. For tickets and more info see http://revivalfest.com/
I don't quite know what to make of American Idol runner-up James Durbin. Opening for Evanescence was a good spot for him to get some seasoning, and he has a strong band behind him. But he definitely needs to put some miles on his show.
James Durbin and his band will be touring the states all May. To check out his tour schedule see his site athttp://durbinrock.com
Amy Lee and the current rev of Evanescense stopped at Austin's Stubb's BarBQ to play to a sold out crowd a few days before she is set to play the Johnny Cash tribute at ACL Live as one of the feature performers.
The band delivered a solid show to an audience that varied greatly in age, with a large number of pre-teen girls dragging parents around in tow. Mixing hits from their monster debut studio album Fallen with songs from 2006's The Open Door and last years self-titled release Evanescense they had a robust set list to work from.
The "Hermit of Mink Hollow" Todd Rundgren brought his tour through town last night, and despite being sick as a dog, somehow managed to make it through his set in Austin, though it took a little help from audience members. He sounded like the "Old Todd Rundgren" when he talked, but it all went to hell went he started singing.
It's gotta be a frustrating and tough decision to make when an artist is ill. They want too, but can't, deliver the experience the audience wants, and yet they don't want to cancel, which would also disappoint the audience. A real damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. We hope Todd get's better soon!
Goth metal band Lacuna Coil from Milan, Italy opened the Megadeth "Gigantour" in Austin, putting on a strong show that seem to surprise many concert goers. It's not often you hear thrash metal fans talking up a female vocalist, but Andrea Ferro and the rest of the band have the chops to keep up, and since forming in 1994 have lots of experience to back it up.
The band has 4 Central/South American dates at the end of March before heading home to Europe. For more info see lacunacoil.it
California pioneer thrash metal band Megadeth closed out their "Gigantour" in Austin, sans tourmates Motorhead, who cancelled due to frontman Lemmy Kilmister's illness. Though some fans were disappointed, fans of Megadeth, as well as the openers, got treated to longer sets.
Dave Mustaine and crew will tour the east coast and midwest in May. For tour info see megadeth.com
1970's guitar rock icon Ronnie Montrose, whose blistering leads inspired and paved the way for much of the guitar driven rock heard today, lost his battle with cancer yesterday.
With a career that started in 1969, over the years the 64 year old Denver native led a number of his own bands as well as performing with a staggering number of musicians, including Sammy Hagar, Herbie Hancock, Van Morrison, Boz Scaggs, Gary Wright, Tony Williams, The Neville Brothers, Dan Hartman, Edgar Winter and Johnny Winter just to name a few.
The Empress of Soul, Gladys Knight, still has it,and tonight she brought it to a sold out ACL Live show at the Moody Theater. Even at 67 the singer shows no signs of slowing down, releasing a new single just last year.
Gladys Knights current tour takes a break after their Auburn Hills, MI show on March 6, but starts back up in Washington state on Match 30. For tour info see gladysknight.com
Keeping the seventies alive, Earth, Wind, & Fire blew into town and sold out ACL Live at the Moody Theater at the foot of Austins swanky W Hotel. Though it was a reserved seat show, no one on the floor remained in their seats very long, as it is understandably hard not to dance as they tore through their deep catalog of hits.
Earth, Wind, & Fire are celebrating their 40th anniversary with this tour, the US leg of which ends in Bossier City, LA on March 10th. For info see earthwindandfire.com/
Formed in 2000 by former Tripping Daisy frontman Tim DeLaughter, the Dallas Texas based choral-psychedelia group The Polyphonic Spree packed up their van (it must be a big one) and stopped at La Zona Rosa to fill the stage with sights and sounds, and people, and doing a wicked "Tommy/Pinball Wizard" cover.
The Polyphonic Spree hits the road again at the end of March with a tour of the West Coast. For info see thepolyphonicspree.com