Summer in the City

It’s no secret that Austin is the live music capital of the world. But if you think that fact changes when the mosquitos swarm and the thermometer shoots past 100, you’re dead wrong. Even when the Texas summer is going strong, there are few ways we like passing the time in Austin more than taking in a live show. Besides, as long as the beer stays cold, who cares how high the temperature climbs? Here are a handful of shows that some music-loving GSD&Mers have enjoyed this summer. Spotify playlist above, descriptions in the middle and some instagrams below.


Blues On The Green is a favorite summer tradition in Austin. It’s almost as much of an excuse to drink with friends on a blanket in Zilker Park as it is a chance to see free live music. But no amount of screw-top wine could distract from how solid this year’s lineup was, week after week. Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears absolutely killed it, as per usual. White Denim kept hold of their status as the next big Austin band. But my favorite would have to be finally seeing The Gourds bust out their chicken-fried cover of Snoop Dogg’s ‘Gin and Juice.’” –Tyler Booker


“One standout was an Arum Rae show at Stubbs indoor. I’d never heard of Arum Rae before the show, but the minute she started purring into the mic it was like a sexy chills festival in there. Girl can wail.” –Nathan Lewis


“I was lucky enough to catch a clipped set from CHVRCHES during SXSW, and that got me geared up for a full show at Mohawk this summer. I was not disappointed. They’re studio sound translates to a live venue in a wonderful way, you can’t help but move to every song, and they’re charming to boot.” –Tyler Booker


Yo La Tengo made their glorious return to Austin this summer. Last time they were in town as 2009 touring for Popular Songs. What was so great about the show was the fact that they just weren’t f-cking around. No opener, two sets. One acoustic, one electric. Considering a lot of the songs on their new record Fade are acoustic, it made sense to play them the way they were intended to be played live. And to also still take an hour and a half to melt faces once a few tears had dried up. From the sound to the set list to the crowd it was a pretty perfect show. And anyone who thought they played “The Story of Yo La Tengo” for too long needs a stern talking to.” –Dylan Heimbrock


“Sometimes it takes seeing a band live for me to realize just how much I appreciate them, and that’s true of Belle and Sebastian at ACL Live. I only started to get to know their stuff a couple of years back, so I didn’t have the strongest connection to their catalog. And it seems in that regard, I was the odd man out at their show. The entire audience would jolt at the start of each song. There were lots of tear-stained faces. All in all, it was a beautiful performance that solidified my fandom.” –Tyler Booker


Fitz and the Tantrums at Stubb’s was a highlight of the summer. I liked their new album going into the show, but seeing it live changed everything. They charmed the crowd and kept us dancing the entire time. Sweaty, good times.” –Adele Hazan


“Summer does so much to remind me of growing up in a small town in Texas. Stifling heat, lightning bugs, country music. The ACL taping by Jason Isbell might as well have been a time machine – expertly crafted songwriting and just enough twang to make your heart hurt put me right back on the porch at home.” –Reagan Ward


“One of my favorite music surprises this summer was definitely Seryn, a 6-piece wall of sound with folk instrumentation and rhythm galore. I’m a happy camper whenever I see an upright bass on stage. But when everyone in the band started jumping around between banjo, accordion, bass, cello, trumpet, organ, guitar, and ukelele, and lots of rhythm action, they won a place in my heart. Their thick harmonies and gang vocals soaring over layers of rhythm were downright majestic. It was captivating and joyful.” –Nicole Corley


Little Hurricane was f-cking awesome. They’re a two-piece with just drums and guitar, but they filled the small venue at Stubbs indoor with enough noise to make your grandmother reevaluate buying war bonds instead of all those amplifiers she could have. They played every song they had (they informed us of this) and a few covers too. When we left it was raining, so I guess they brought enough force for that, too.” –Nathan Lewis


“You might say that a concert in May isn’t a summer concert. But, hey, shut up. Because the show that Father John Misty gave to Austin back in May is the best I’ve seen this year, so I’m mentioning it. The man smolders his way through song after song and makes no apologies for the irreverence of his stage banter. He’s not going to say he’s sorry if he tells you to shut up. But I will. I’m sorry I told you to shut up earlier.” –Tyler Booker

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