ACL Live Shot: Autre Ne Veut

Crooner shouldn’t become a psychologist just yet

Arthur Ashin and crew, 10.5.13
Arthur Ashin and crew, 10.5.13 (by Gary Miller)

When Arthur Ashin first started making music as R&B alter ego Autre Ne Veut, he was afraid the exposure would influence his graduate work in psychology. If you saw him live on Saturday at ACL, you’ll understand why.

Ashin came out onto the Honda stage wearing basketball shorts, a baggy white shirt, and black Doc Martins with his hat pulled backwards as an extended introduction of “Play by Play” streamed off of his black Macbook. Then he started to sing, and suddenly, Ashin appeared almost manic – pacing, clutching the mic for dear life, and doubling over to retch out the words. All of that commotion, and he still sounded silky smooth.

Delicate, vulnerable vocals on this winter’s Anxiety were reinforced by gruffness, with Ashin often dropping out of falsetto for a full-blown belt. The kind of androgynous crooning on “Ego Free Sex Free” lost its ambiguity as Ashin sounded increasingly masculine to great effect. His foil – one lone singer positioned on the opposite side of the sparse stage – had a bigger role live than on disc.

Her voice worked alongside Ashin’s, matching his power with a smoldering alto. Plus, she provided a semblance of normalcy while the lead carried on. At one point during an extended break, with no soundboard to adjust and just the snap of the drummer, Ashin stared down the crowd, not singing, for a full minute. I shrunk under his gaze from 60 feet back.

An Autre Ne Veut performance won’t be a great advertisement if he decides to become a practicing psychologist, but it’ll keep audiences coming.


For more ACL Fest coverage, see austinchronicle.com/acl. For photo galleries from the fest, see austinchronicle.com/photos.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More ACL Fest 2013
The Rain Can't Stop the Music
The Rain Can't Stop the Music
UPDATE: ACL acts including Mowglis make alternate plans

Richard Whittaker, Oct. 13, 2013

ACL Live Shot (Second Weekend): The Cure
ACL Live Shot (Second Weekend): The Cure
Robert Smith summons the rain

Doug Freeman, Oct. 13, 2013

More Autre Ne Veut
ACL Music Fest 2013 Saturday Reviews
Autre Ne Veut
Anxiety (Record Review)

Abby Johnston, Oct. 4, 2013

More by Abby Johnston
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
80 local picks from Molly Burch to Brownout

Dec. 28, 2018

Best Live Music Performances of 2018
Best Live Music Performances of 2018
The bands and venues that kept our critics on their feet

Dec. 28, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

ACL Fest 2013, Autre Ne Veut, Arthur Ashin

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle