Jul 23, 2018

Live Review / Tyler Childers / Austin, TX

©Fernando Garcia

by Robert Dean

Despite my friend’s Doug’s best efforts to give me alcohol poisoning last night at The Scoot Inn, I managed to enjoy a hell of a night thanks to Tyler Childers and his band. 

Ripping through tracks off of his debut record, Purgatory, Childers and his band proved why the show was sold out, with folks standing on the outside, trying to grab a ticket to get inside Austin’s hottest (it was 105 last night) gig. 

Staring out into the crowd with those low-slung eyes, Childers always appears to be searching for something, calling out to a void that could swallow him whole. Through his prayers to the outer world, the crowd fed off Childers relentless psychic energy and last night, we saw the entertainer people in and out of the country world are falling love with, much like his mentor, Sturgill Simpson. 

“Feathered Indians,” “I Swear To God,” and his biggest tune, "White House Road” all made their appearance into the set, while lots of tracks off the Red Barn record popped up in the setlist, too. Not gonna lie, I was waiting for “Nose On The Grindstone” but can’t win em’ all. 

Photo by Jurae Danielle from Floores' show
From the videos I took, I can double down on my enthusiasm for Purgatory and Tyler’s ability to work a room full of cowboys from outside Austin, and the hipsters in camo shorts and Vans alike. Together with his band, those boys held the place in the palm of their hands, rising and falling with every shouted chorus. While some front men rely on fancy moves or a lot of banter, instead Childers let the songs do the work for him. 

Through my adventures of being a drunken mess, I managed to sneak into the green room and talk to Tyler’s band. This the part where I would typically look at my notes and tell you a whole bunch of facts about their time on the road, and their bond as friends. But, thanks to a lot of Jameson, I accidentally deleted my notes last night, because I’m a remarkable journalist. 

Photo by Jurae Danielle from Floores' show
But, what I do remember is how absolutely sweet those dudes were. What a sincerely, nice, group of humans, especially Tyler’s drummer, Rod Elkins. It was apparent throughout the set that his band,  known as The Food Stamps, are a UNIT. They play with precision and execution that is perfection. It made my heart happy to know these were the guys Tyler came up with, the guys from West Virginia he paid his dues with instead of some jobbers from Nashville.

If there’s a night you want at a country show, it’s outdoors on a hot night in Austin, Texas. The weather was perfect, the Lonestars were cold, and we were ready to ride with Tyler Childers and his band. It was exactly what you hope for when you lay the cash down for a show: an experience you’ll be telling folks about for a time to come. We’ll see Tyler Childers grow into the larger venues like Stubbs and ACL soon enough, but for those who were lucky to experience those songs last night, this was one of the nights where we can say, “I saw them way back when.” 

Thanks for that, boys. Come back to Austin anytime. This time, I promise I won’t delete my notes while drunk. 

Who the hell am I kidding? I totally will. That shit was awesome. 

*editor's note - not edited*

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