The Austin Chronicle

ACL Live Shots

Reviewed by Chase Hoffberger, October 15, 2010, Music

Mayer Hawthorne

Zilker Park, Oct. 9

Between covers of the Doobie Brothers' "What a Fool Believes" and comparing himself to Canadian crooner Michael Bublé, Mayer Hawthorne's Saturday set of softcore soul straddled the thin line between corny and charismatic. Dressed in traditional black-and-white blue-eyed soul gear, Hawthorne and his four-man backing band kept Motown alive for the Stones Throw spinner, flipping through cuts from his 2009 debut LP, A Strange Arrangement, including "Your Easy Lovin' Ain't Pleasin' Nothin'," "Just Ain't Gonna Work Out," and "Maybe So, Maybe No" before taking his share of the recently released, somewhat-unfortunate Snoop Dogg collaboration "Gangsta Luv" – maybe the closest thing to hip-hop at ACL all weekend save for Ninjasonik two hours earlier. It gave the swelled crowd reason to shake a tail feather, but there's something intrinsically goofy about seeing Hawthorne cover Pharrell's "Beautiful." Sillier still was his lead-in to "Green Eyed Love," the closer: "[Single] ladies, put your hands in the air. All right guys, you know who's available now." It was the perfect summation of Hawthorne's 45 minutes, a short sell as far as sincerity but a welcome change for the afternoon.

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