Ian Hunter

Live Shots

Ian Hunter

Auditorium Shores, Friday, March 18

Before Ian Hunter took the stage there was an interesting contrast in the range of Mott the Hoople and Buick McKane T-shirts in the crowd. Especially since Alejandro Escovedo had just warmed everyone up with a show of near hurricane force. The Austin musician has long championed Hunter's music, but it wasn't until one followed the other that the obvious influences really shone. Hunter took the stage on an odd note with the downhearted ballad "Rest in Peace." While he used fewer instruments than Escovedo to craft his sound – three guitars, keys, and the occasional mandolin and harmonica – the orchestral sweep and use of dynamics to build a mood then tear it down was unmistakably similar. To the assembled faithful's disappointment, Hunter concentrated mostly on his latest material, particularly from 2001's Rant and his latest, Strings Attached. Yet while the tunes may have been mostly unfamiliar, he remains a powerful presence onstage, with a top-notch band and songs that continually remind us of the glory of rock & roll. Early on, Escovedo joined in for a duet on "I Wish I Was Your Mother" that obviously touched him even though he's performed the song on his own countless times. Particularly moving was a musical reflection on the passing of longtime Hunter guitarist Mick Ronson, "Michael Picasso," which Hunter sang with such conviction you could feel his heartbreak. Near set's end he rang out the Mott tunes and had everyone singing along to "Saturday Gigs" and "All the Young Dudes." He may be tired of singing them, but you wouldn't have known it, and he left the crowd merry and satisfied.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 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
Wednesday Interview
Wednesday Interview
Delta Spirit

Jim Caligiuri, March 20, 2015

Wednesday Picks & Sleepers
Wednesday Picks & Sleepers
First night SXSW Music recommendations and hints

March 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017

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

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

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