SXSW Music News: Jenny Lewis Makes Surprise Appearance on Rainey Street

Netflix embed follows up Father John Misty with Rilo Kiley singer

Hard to follow Saturday’s surprise set from Father John Misty, but Netflix’s Highwaymen House buzzed palpably Monday evening. The Thirties-themed speakeasy setup in Banger’s Basement on Rainey Street hosted Jenny Lewis after Lukas Nelson as promotion for streamable feature The Highwaymen. Bedouine started the show gently with “Nice and Quiet.”

Opener Bedouine, aka former Austinite Azniv Korkejian (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Subtle soloist, the latter drew a petite fan crowd, fighting with the noise of attendees chatting with old timey-garbed actors detailing a murder mystery. The Syrian-born, L.A.-based singer also known as Azniv Korkejian stepped up to the plate with dry stage humor and new cinematic track “When You’re Gone.” Local jazz flutist Joe England joined for another unreleased song.

Bedouine’s plastic red roses and vintage prairie dress meshed well with the spaghetti Western atmosphere. That maybe made follow-up Lukas Nelson an outlaw eccentric in Mad Hatter’s headwear, complete with feather. Backed by his fourpiece Promise of the Real, the country music scion packed and then rocked the very limited-capacity space with anthemic Americana.

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Willie Nelson’s long-haired son ended one chugging blues breakdown with a chandelier-bumping leap, and ripped a guitar solo on “Something Real” using his bright, pearly whites. An unreleased spiritual chorused the advice, “Turn off the news and build a garden with me.” 2017 Lady Gaga collab “Find Yourself” bookended the live-wire set.

Jenny Lewis during her surprise headline set Monday on Rainey Street (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Photo by David Brendan Hall

Jenny Lewis, outfitted in a leather jumpsuit, wound up the lawless, golden-hearted bandit of Monday’s saloon setup. The former child star and indie rock veteran garnered cheers for punchy pop confection “She’s Not Me,” and took to keyboards to deliver lush rock ballads. A playful delivery of Rilo Kiley track “Portions For Foxes” played to a front row of fans capturing every last second on their iPhones.

Launching new release “Red Bull & Hennessy” to end at midnight, Lewis delivered a summarizing statement for the SXSW experience:

“Please don’t make this song title into a cocktail. Thank you.”

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Jenny Lewis, Rilo Kiley, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Bedouine, Azniv Korkejian, Father John Misty, Joe England, SXSW Music 2019

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