Saturday, February 6, 2016

SXSW: Springsteen shows up Austin one night early, plays sideman to Joe Ely, Alejandro Escovedo and Garland Jeffreys

Bruce Springsteen showed up one night earlier than scheduled at SXSW on Wednesday, turning up at the Austin Music Awards as a guest of his Austin buddies Alejandro Escovedo and Joe Ely.

SXSW: Springsteen shows up Austin one night early, plays sideman to Joe Ely, Alejandro Escovedo and Garland Jeffreys

0 comments

Bruce Springsteen showed up one night earlier than scheduled at SXSW on Wednesday, turning up at the Austin Music Awards as a guest of his Austin buddies Alejandro Escovedo and Joe Ely.

How cool was it? Pretty darn cool. Here was the best part: The presence of The Boss at the awards show - where bluesman Gary Clark Jr., who absolutely killed it at La Zona Rosa later that night, was the big winner, was the headline news, but instead of stealing the show, Springsteen played it like a sideman.

First, Escovedo brought Ely out, and the Lubbock-born wildcat country rocker kicked out his "The Highway Is My Home." Then Ely, said "we need another guitar player out here," and the flannel shirted guy from New Jersey came onstage and went to work.

He was on stage for four songs. First, he played lead guitar on Ely's "Love or Fear." Next, he dueted with Escovedo on "Always A Friend" from 2008's Real Animal, prefscing it with a story about how he played the song "at the enormodome" in Houston with Springsteen that year, and "those three minutes changed my life."

More coverage
Photos: The scene at SXSW
Read Dan's updates from SXSW here
Big names, Philly contingent at South by Southwest fest

Then, Ely took over the mic again for a rustic but robust take on Woody Guthrie's "Ain't Gonna Be Treated This Way," with Springsteen again sticking to lead guitar and cotributing to a verse of two. And then New York rocker Jeffreys came out for a Escovedo-led cover of the Rolling Stones' "Beast Of Burden," a song he and Springsteen had snaked their way through at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park a couple of summers back.

Here's the other thing: There were lots of hot shot acts in town in Austin tonight - Jimmy Cliff played in somebody's backyard, for goodness sake, with Robert Plant introducing him - but Springsteen close to play with pals. As my friend Nick from Brussels said, 'He wants to play with his mates." And he chose to do it at the local awards show at the Austin Music Hall, an event that is largely ignored by the free beer and barbecue feeding music industry hordes that take over the town for SXSW week. 

Instead, it's a local event, attended by people who support the music sence in Austin all round, and don't just drop in for SXSW. Most of those people are going to get shut out of Springsteen's show on Thursday night, but this way, they got their peice of the Springsteen experience, too. And let me tell you, they appreciated it.

Springsteen gives his SXSW keynote on Thursday morning, and plays with the E Street Band Thursday night. That's Escovedo to his left, and Ely to is his right, in the photo above.

Previously: 'Downloaded' and Michael Kiwanuka Follow In The Mix on Twitter here

Inquirer Music Critic
0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

Join Dan as he blogs about music and other forms of popular culture

Dan DeLuca Inquirer Music Critic
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
letter icon Newsletter