I had originally hoped to check out the final Austin show for Guided by Voices last night. Unexpectedly, the GBV show was postponed. It was around this time that I realized there was another big ticket gig for an Austin Saturday night: Alejandro Escovedo would be wrapping up a special two-night stand at the Texas Union Theater.
Escovedo is Americana and roots rock’s best-kept secret. He’s an Austin tradition, an Austin music institution. He’s also battling Hepatitis C. Therefore, he doesn’t tour much at all anymore, and many of the best in his genre have come forward for benefit shows and even a recently released tribute album called Por Vida. So, yeah, seeing him Saturday night was going to be a big deal indeed. My pal Raoul Hernandez wrote up a really nice interview with Alejandro, to advance the show. Check out the interview here.
Alejandro was on fire Saturday night, absolutely stunning. From peaceful and meditative original songs like “Tugboat,” his tribute to the Velvet Undergound’s Sterling Morrison, to a raging and raucous cover of Iggy & The Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” the show was nothing short of electrifying. Opening act (and former bandmate) Jon Dee Graham had commented that Escovedo taught him how to be both loud and quiet onstage. That’s what the sold-out audience got: blissfully loud and achingly quiet. And Alejandro never seemed too tired or too put-off. He was in truly top form.
There’s a show in Austin on November 4 at the Paramount Theatre. It’s a benefit for the Alejandro Fund and will feature performances by John Cale, Los Lonely Boys, Caitlin Cary, Lenny Kaye, and more. Information for that show can be found here.
All I can say is, if you’ve never seen Alejandro Escovedo live before, now’s certainly the time.