All Night Long

South by Southwest Aftershots
Chase Hoffberger, March 22, 2012
Photo by Gary Miller

Gary Clark Jr.

La Zona Rosa, March 14

The lights shine brighter these days, but the game's still the same: Gary Clark Jr. plays the hell out of his guitar. Headlining a Warner Music showcase that included Dr. John and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Austin's native son – whose Bright Lights EP last summer had critics asking why we need the Black Keys – didn't do much that locals in attendance hadn't seen before for $5 covers around town. Standing tall in a fedora and jean jacket, Clark opened with a long solo before dropping Delta oomph on "When My Train Pulls In" and "Don't Owe You a Thang," a chugging "It's all you get now, baby" chorus sung in refrain while Clark teased a playful closeout. Later, he went soulful, crooning in falsetto on "Please Come Home" before another extended solo led into set closer "Bright Lights," the song that's proved Clark's official welcome into the national scene. "Bright lights, big city," here we come.

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