I started this project during the pandemic to help local businesses to keep their doors open and raise awareness in the community. Austin is a forever-changing landscape and has lots of culture to provide. But due to political, economic, and socio-economic changes throughout the area, things tend to disappear or have to move elsewhere. This was a very real occurrence in 2020 and even has repercussions going on still in this recovery period.
I wanted to take a moment to stop and appreciate the things in this city that make it special. People that build businesses and spaces for us to go and enjoy. I wanted to promote shopping local and getting to know the people around you even in better times. This is just part one and hopefully will have more to celebrate in the future.
Sidenote, a lot of businesses did get attention and increases in business for this in 2020. Thank you to everyone that drew attention to these places and helped keep some lights on during a very dark time.
As you can tell from this blog, I love a good reunion show. Jawbreaker is no exception. Austin was lucky enough to get a date added to the reunion tour on July 13, 2018 at the Skyline Theater. Jawbreaker wasn’t always my favorite band. I had to give it several listens. After I started seeing the pattern of the bands that I liked have an affection for Jawbreaker, I started to see the bigger picture.
What also caught my attention was the release of the documentary Don’t Break Down: A Film about Jawbreaker. Seeing all the collective bands and fans of Jawbreaker talk about this moment in time and telling their story of making it brought real light about how life is in a band. Success is defined and showed in different ways. By industry standards, Jawbreaker wasn’t as successful as they wanted. Fans saw something completely different and were hoping for a longer run than they had as a band. Just like any tragic music story, the fallout is the hardest. In the end, the band came to terms and turned it around this year.
In true punk fashion, Riot Fest got a jump on their reunion plans in 2017. Riot Fest has been responsible for hosting a few reunions under their belt and this was no exception. Luckily, this reunion wasn’t short lived and this tour actually happened. At the Austin date, we had local openers Lemuria and A Giant Dog. I definitely believe Lemuria was influenced by a band like Jawbreaker with their introspective lyrics and riffs.
A Giant Dog might be the crown jewel of the current Austin music scene. I am not surprised they opened for sure a high profile show. I am not sure they are completely underneath the umbrella of the punk genre but at the very least you will be entertained by their garage influence.
This was the first show I have seen at this made-up venue. The Long Center is a theatre but doesn’t normally do concerts of this kind. Margin Walker events put on this tour date and built the stage for the Jawbreaker show specifically due to the Mohawk being a smaller more intimate venue in town. It was a cool venue and you could see the whole stage from the hillside. I would like to see this venue set up again for another artist. I would also love to see Jawbreaker again.
Here is the setlist from this date and some videos from this show:
West Bay Invitational
Sea Foam Green
Save Your Generation
Do You Still Hate Me?
The Boat Dreams From the Hill
Sluttering (May 4th)
Kiss the Bottle
Shield Your Eyes
No encore for some weird reason. It was rumored they were going to play Chesterfield King but honestly, it was stupid hot outside so who knows what really happened at the end of the night.
This might be the golden age of punk reunions. The last 5 years have brought several bands out of hiding and back to what they do best. There are several listed throughout this blog even. The Distillers have made the list of much-anticipated reunion tours. With these limited dates, there has been a lot of buzz about each show. Most of the week I have been following their press and fans on their journey.
I got to relive the magic at the Mohawk here in Austin, Texas. They didn’t have any local support bands but they choose the L.A. based band The Flytraps for all the tour dates. You can guess their possible inspirations; The Cramps, Joan Jett and the Runaways, and just old school rock and roll. They were a fun opener. Kind of cheesy but it worked on several levels. Kristin Cooper is an amazing bassist and she is a frontwoman extraordinaire. The one thing I couldn’t figure out was if their guitarists looked bored on purpose or if it was an act. I have to admit it kept me guessing. Their songs were catchy and had some clever subject matter. I will say they were professionals and got people behind their music. They also got a lot of their merch sold, which bands should take note of their hustle. Even though they were a great opener for this tour, I think a more street punk type of band would have made the tour even sweeter.
The Distillers came out the gate with “I am a Revenant” which would be my top choice for an opening song. Everything they played was pretty much what I wanted to hear. Their discography is not a large one but every album is great. Setlist below:
I am the Revenant
Die on a Rope
Sick of it All
The Gallow is God
Love is Paranoid
For Tonight You’re Only Here to Know
Drain the Blood
City of Angels
The Blackest Years
They played a little from each album and my favorite had to be “Die on a Rope”. Unfortunately, Brodie’s voice wasn’t 100% at the Austin date. I think this was to be expected on some level since these albums are intense and have real highs/lows vocally. I think the band did their best collectively to make sure the show went on as planned. I thought her voice sounded beautiful in ” The Hunger” which just starts out with just vocals and guitar. One thought I had originally about this tour was Brodie going to able to sing some of this material since it is very personal and haunting. Luckily it seems liked second nature and the band made it seem effortless. I was also really thankful to see a ton of women at the show because in most scenes the female gender lacks in representation. I think this is a sign that there is a need for more female fronted/minded bands that represent all of us. This short tour makes me hopeful for the future of women in music and to hear some new tracks from the Distillers themselves.
Feel free to comment about other dates on this tour or photos/videos!