By Robert Dean
When Austin Lucas made his way through Austin for his annual South by Southwest show, he was not fucking around. Playing to a capacity crowd at Austin’s legendary Continental Club, Lucas ripped through favorites spanning the totality of his records, but playing fan favorites like, “Alone in Memphis,” “Run Around,” “Go West,” and new banger “My Mother and The Devil.”
Lucas and his band smoked through the set, turning new festival-going faces into interested parties. More than once, I overheard people asking who he was, and at one point, as Lucas stood at the edge of the stage, singing to the crowd without a mic, slowly strumming his guitar, some drunk bro’s were talking too loudly, but a woman told them to can it.
There’s an interesting line between Austin Lucas and what he’s perceived to be. While most people think of him as a country singer, there’s a lot of The Clash going on in that mix. Lucas’ punk roots are shining through more than ever, which I felt was self-evident as took in the show: when the songs go off, they really go hard, and I’d have loved to see him crank that telecaster and fuzz pedal way up so when the dynamic parts hit, they dropped like atomic bombs. If there’s one thing you can say about Lucas’ it’s that he knows how to craft a punchy, yet powerful hook that again, screams punk rock rather than Waylon or Willie.
I hope in the sea of drunk festival goers, he landed a few new fans. That performance was too good to be just a “highlight,” instead it was easily one of the better shows I’d taken in all SXSW. With a tight backing band that could rip the hinges off a work truck, no reason should keep you from hitting and Austin Lucas show. He deserves to play sold out bangers every stop of the tour. His work ethic deserves payback.