Butch Walker

Final SXSW Live Shots

Butch Walker

Central Presbyterian Church, March 14

With a résumé that includes Southern sleaze metal (SouthGang), cheeky power pop (Marvelous 3), and Top-40 hack work for Pink, Avril Lavigne, etc., Butch Walker has proven himself a genial polymath with a yen for hooks. His own music often makes ironic commentary on this business of show, but took on a self-reflective, narrative air Thursday – perhaps appropriately, given the church setting. Opening with a pair of piano ballads, the pompadoured popsmith rooted through his past with a surprisingly pretty tenor and unguarded heart. Picking up his guitar, he continued the theme with the visceral self-help of "Going Back/Going Home," and by the time his band joined him, the pews of acolytes rested comfortably in the palm of his hand. Walker treated the crowd to a new tune, the countrified childhood reminiscence "Let It Go Where It's Supposed To," but mainly stuck to crowd-pleasers, including sing-along "The Weight of Her," Muscle Shoals' ballad "Closest Thing to You I'm Gonna Find," and the pop pastiche "Synthesizers," complete with a chorus of "Come On Eileen." Ending with the balls-out rock of "Bodegas and Blood," Walker came full circle, re-establishing the ironic decadence of his early work while retaining his mature introspection.

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Sign up for our South-by-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters/ for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest Tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 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 Music Reviews
Free Week Live Shots
Knife in the Water, Star Parks, RF Shannon, Julia Lucille
Cheer Up Charlies, Jan. 3

Rachel Rascoe, Jan. 12, 2018

Free Week Live Shots
Tinnarose, Abram Shook, Carry Illinois
Barracuda, Jan. 5

Libby Webster, Jan. 12, 2018

More by Michael Toland
Top 10 Austin Albums of 2017
Top 10 Austin Albums of 2017
Consensus on the best local platters

Dec. 29, 2017

2017 Music Critics Poll
2017 Music Critics Poll
Best roadshow, best new local acts, R.I.P.s, etc.

Dec. 29, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Butch Walker

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

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