ACL Live Shot: Alabama Shakes

Zilker Park, Oct. 12

ACL Live Shot: Alabama Shakes
Photo by Jana Birchum

All was quiet on the Barton Springs stage front. Due to flaws in the sound engineering, the massive lump of people seemed to overpower the typically unhushed tones of the much buzzed Athens, Ala., quartet Alabama Shakes. Despite the technical gaff, 23-year-old Brittany Howard took the stage with gusto, quipping the sea of spectators on their well-being, then chiding them for not asking about hers. "I'm always alright," she laughed. The set list was predictable, considering the band's fledgling state and only one album to draw from. Howard stole the show with her rasp – a curious mix of Tune-Yards' Merrill Garbus and Southern rock belle Janis Joplin. She howled her way through the majority of the tracks from Boys & Girls, highlighting Fifties doo-wop inspired "I Found You" and the love ballad march "Rise to the Sun," where she was joined by the horn section of Brooklyn Afrobeat band Antibalas. B-side "Mama" sent the crowd for dancing shoes, tapping deep into the blues-rock aesthetic – just hooky enough to get you moving, and just dirty enough to keep you there.

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
More Alabama Shakes
ACL Fest 2015 Saturday Record Review
Alabama Shakes, Thunderbitch
Sound & Color, Thunderbitch (Record Review)

Thomas Fawcett, Oct. 2, 2015

ACL Interview: Alabama Shakes
Alabama Shakes
Friday, 5:30pm, Barton Springs stage

Doug Freeman, Oct. 12, 2012

More Music Reviews
Faster Than Sound: SXSW Online Offered Lots to Look Forward To
SXSW Online Offered Lots to Look Forward To
Virtual festival forecasts incoming local debuts and tentative fall touring.

Rachel Rascoe, March 26, 2021

Faster Than Sound: Virtual ACL Music Fest Keeps Flags Flying
Virtual ACL Music Fest Keeps Flags Flying
Nostalgic livestream and rising Austin talent fundraise for the Austin Parks Foundation.

Rachel Rascoe, Oct. 16, 2020

More by Abby Johnston
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

April 16, 2021

New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

April 9, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Alabama Shakes

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

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

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