Michael Kiwanuka

South by Southwest Aftershots

Michael Kiwanuka

St. David's Historic Sanctuary, March 16

Downtown during South by Southwest is best described as total fucking chaos, an unrelenting assault on the senses. Michael Kiwanuka's soft, sweet acoustic set in St. David's Historic Sanctuary was a blissful respite from the madness and a perfect pairing of artist and venue. Accompanied only by a bassist, the London-born singer-songwriter shared tunes from his forthcoming debut, Home Again, with an audience so quiet you could hear the camera shutters of the front-row photographers. Sitting in pews has that effect on folks. Standing in front of a white candlelit altar, Kiwanuka began with the bittersweet "Always Waiting" and "I'm Getting Ready," two songs as sincere as they are simple. In this setting, "Tell Me a Tale" took on an otherworldly quality, tapping deep into the gospel tradition as Kiwanuka's voice reverberated off the tall, vaulted ceilings. "Lasan," a recent collaboration with the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, ached just right and highlighted Kiwanuka's graceful songcraft: "Just you live your every day like you're running out of time/Say the things you say, don't leave any word behind/Try to find you something that won't fade away in time."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 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  

More Michael Kiwanuka
ACL Music Fest Saturday Reviews
Michael Kiwanuka
Home Again (Record Review)

Thomas Fawcett, Oct. 12, 2012

Day Party Crawl
Michael Kiwanuka/Alabama Shakes

Dan Oko, March 16, 2012

More Music Reviews
Review: Holy Wave, <i>Five of Cups</i>
Review: Holy Wave, Five of Cups
Five of Cups (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Sept. 1, 2023

Review: The Bright Light Social Hour, <i>Emergency Leisure</i>
Review: The Bright Light Social Hour, Emergency Leisure
Emergency Leisure (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Aug. 4, 2023

More by Thomas Fawcett
Dispatches From a New Decade of SXSW
Dispatches From a New Decade of SXSW
Our favorite musical moments from the fest

March 25, 2022

The Best Music We Saw at SXSW on Friday
The Best Music We Saw at SXSW on Friday
Seventies funk GOATs, queer nu metal, and so much more

March 19, 2022


Michael Kiwanuka

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

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