This past weekend, the universe was looking down on me and rewarded me with a most awesome invitation to the Arc Angels concert at The Bluebird. Not only would this be my first concert at The Bluebird, but my first time seeing this famed Austin project in action. A rabid Stevie Ray Vaughan fan, the band includes Doyle Bramhall II and Charlie Sexton, both of Double Trouble fame. I don’t get out to see live music as much as I would like, and the concert had several pretty kickass things going for it:
- The Bluebird has some of the best acoustics of any live venue EVER.
- Moreso than watching a concert, the night was more like a audio peepshow watching friends jam in someone’s basement. The ease and comfort the band displayed was really a treat to watch. It was akin to catching a glimpse of a star on the rise, knowing that you’re poised to be one of those people who will one day soon say, “Yeah, I saw those guys when…”
- The “people watching ” aspect of the evening was simply outstanding. My companion and I scored primo seats sitting ON the bar in the balcony as were surrounded by people of an age that almost made me feel like a poseur for actually knowing some of the band’s history and digging their style. Though I lost the bet on when the post-middle aged guy directly in front of us would again break out into a raging air guitar solo, we got an intimate lesson on white sneakers, tube socks, wallet chains, black jeans, and bluetooth headsets. It was fucking AWESOME and the fodder for much laughter. Whoooooooooooooo!
As in my previous mention of Denver’s Hot Robots, no band likes the “comparison” that identifies their music to the unfamiliar. Yet if you’re looking to add something to your iPod, the Arc Angels will fall into your classic Southern Rock category with a fine dash of polished blues, laced with a much-welcomed gritty edge. Think of them as the band whose CD you found on the floorboard of your car in a case that’s beat to shit and you slipped then into the dash with a modicum of curiosity.
And five years later (or in this band’s case – seventeen…it’s been that long since their last release), the CD is still in your staple rotation.
They’ve got a new album in the works and they’re launching a DVD this year. If you have the chance, check out their stylings or catch a show in a venue near you. As a gal who remembers that she was sitting in her Advanced Political Studies class in August of 1990 when I heard the news that Stevie Ray Vaughan had died, I’m glad that a part of his music lives on and has gone on to contribute to the groove that IS Austin, Texas. For some true Stevie-like stylings yet with their own brand of memorable riffs mixed in, check out their recording of Shape I’m In. I don’t much fuck around when it comes to music. You won’t regret giving this Austin phenom a listen and/or viewing.
***Special thanks goes to my concertgoing companion who made sure I didn’t bust my ass on the stairs and for spotting the bar for my gimp girl self to sit on.