Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week

A couple of mini-festivals, Progger, Blk Ops, Mama Duke, and more live music to see

Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week

Fat Gator Music Fest

Texas Ski Ranch, Saturday 2

Austin meets the Big Easy (in New Braunfels) at this all-day fest from rapper Nook Turner's activist/music promotions outfit Jump on It that looks to play on the connection between Central Texas and New Orleans that developed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, with considerable pockets of transplants settling in the area. Fredo Bang takes the headliner spot from cousin Boosie Badazz, who was slated as the top act for the fest's original spring 2020 lineup that fell victim to the pandemic. More Louisiana flavor comes from early 2000s crunk heroes Ying Yang Twins. "By far, this is the biggest event we've done in over a decade," Turner said, explaining that attention-grabbing promotions with national headliners are intended to pay the bills and fund Jump on It's community activism projects. And the name? "Being the fat gator means being dominant in your area and you're fat because you're the biggest and the best ... a skinny gator is the one who's not eating." – Chad Swiatecki


Half Step, Thursday 31

Following a return to action playing music from the video game Super Metroid, Progger reactivates for real with this gig at Half Step. Like their fellow Texas iconoclasts Snarky Puppy, with whom they've shared personnel, Progger's more a collective than a band, but still hums to the tunes of local saxophone monster Brian Donohoe and guitarist Matt Muehling. With the band having not released an album since 2018, expect both new tunes and vintage blowouts, all played with a level of musicianship higher than the tip of the Frost Bank Tower. Best of all, it's free. – Michael Toland

Bon Iver

Moody Amphitheater, Friday 1 and Saturday 2

With no new album being pumped at press time, there's tantalizing uncertainty surrounding the rustic art-pop collective as they prepare for this weekend – only the second stop of a globe-encircling 2022. Considering our tentatively post-pandemic mindset, I'd prepare for a set list stressing the spiritual continuity between the group's two most expansively communal albums – 2019's I, I and 2011's recently reissued self-titled LP, plus a minimum of isolated cabin balladry. Also within the realm of possibility: one of Justin Vernon's contributions to Taylor Swift's indie-folk duology. Glistening, vibe-forward neo-soul sensation Dijon opens. – Julian Towers

Blk Ops

Lost Well, Friday 1

Blk Ops is best described as controlled chaos – like if Neurosis were a teenager coming out of its angry grindcore phase and getting into harsh noise. The trio's as pedigreed as they come, consisting of members from seminal Dallas grindcore kings Kill the Client, local heavy-hitters Dining With Dogs, and Lubbock legends the Dead See. Their unpredictable heavy metal, using psychedelic soundscapes and unconventional sounds like horns and live vocal effects, will leave your mind altered. Adding to the psychoactive sounds, experimental noise-doom duo Deep Cross supports, with newer outfit Phase IV opening up. – Robert Penson

Viva Los Motos 2.0 With Red Fang and Municipal Waste

Austin Motocross Park, Saturday 2

Picture a scene straight out of 1971's postapocalyptic mash note The Omega Man: After 16 months of raging global pandemic, a bedraggled cluster of survivors living amongst the ruins of a major urban center converge on an OG motocross site out beyond the airport. Before you can say, "Don't you mean Mad Max?" hundreds of rabid Neanderthals erupt into a man pit under an enormous, Euro-style festival tent as the track roars to life with riders launching two stories in the air while High on Fire spits flames and everyone loses what's left of their ever-loving minds. Now ongoing thanks to backliners Boss Radio Music Services, a hometown crew manned by drummer Buddy Hachar of medieval ATX metalists Greenbeard, last June's spectacle returns with DJs, vendors, and never-ending moto launches. Oregonian quick-sludge cryptids Red Fang headline behind fifth disc Arrows, as nervy and distressed as any George Miller film, with spigots manned by Virginian beer thrashers Municipal Waste, and supported by local speed hammerheads American Sharks and Austin legacy punks Pocket Fishrmen. – Raoul Hernandez

Mama Duke, BluMoon, Chucky Blk

Hotel Vegas, Sunday 3

Bodying haters with gender-bending braggadocio and unflinching confidence comes easy for rapper Mama Duke. While she's yet to release a follow-up to the knockout, blitzkrieg debut Ballsy (2020), the Palacios native remains a centerpiece of Austin hip-hop, while also bulldozing a lane for queer people like her. Support comes with neo-soul outfit BluMoon and poet Chucky Blk. Butterscotch-sweet timbres and watercolor jazz swirl in the former's 2019 LP, Slow Burn. Chucky Blk orbits on an astral plane all his own on A Scathing Critique of Current Affairs. – Alejandra Ramirez

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