Saxon Pub's grand reopening show set for May 28, with many weekly residencies returning
(Update, May 20: Tickets to the May 28 Grand Reopening Show are now sold out. Also on May 28, Austin PBS will air the documentary film "Nothing Stays the Same: The Story of the Saxon Pub" at 9 p.m.)
May 28 is shaping up to be a momentous Friday night for live music in South Austin. Last week we reported that the Continental Club and its sister venues, the Continental Gallery and C-Boy's, will reopen on that date. And now the Saxon Pub has chosen the same date for its return after being closed for more than a year during the coronavirus pandemic.
A recent post to the venue's Facebook page announcing the reopening date offered the following testimonial: "Our new patio is ready, shows are being booked, our stage is primed, our staff is fully vaccinated and eager to greet you!"
The first act to take the stage of the storied South Lamar Boulevard venue since March 2020 will be the Drakes, in the 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. free-admission happy hour slot that was occupied for nearly a decade by Denny Freeman. The legendary local guitarist died of cancer on April 25.
At 8 p.m., the Saxon's official "Grand Reopening Show" will feature Lee Roy Parnell with guests Marcia Ball, David Grissom, Johnny Nicholas, Bonnie Bishop, Brannen Temple and more. Tickets, $15 advance and $20 day of show, are available via the venue's website. A separately ticketed show with the Damn Quails will close out the club's first night back at 10:30 p.m.
The Saxon's bread-and-butter has always been its weekly residencies, and many of them will resume. Sundays will feature trad-Irish band Ulla (5:30 p.m.) and songwriting collective the Resentments (7:30 p.m.). David Grissom will be back in the saddle for his 6 p.m. Tuesday happy-hour show. And Walt Wilkins is back on most Wednesdays in June with an 8 p.m. show.
Two notable changes: Bob Schneider's Monday night Lonelyland shows are not on the books for June, nor are Patrice Pike's Thursday evening shows. Moving into the Monday 7 p.m. slot is Johnny Nicholas, who previously played many years of Wednesday shows at the Saxon.
A couple other notable new residencies in June: Django Walker, son of the late great Jerry Jeff Walker, will follow Wilkins on Wednesdays at 10 p.m.; and PAACK, an all-star female local supergroup, will play Thursdays at 6 p.m.
Saturday prime-time slots for the first three weekends will feature Dawn & Hawkes on May 29, Beat Root Revival and Vincent Neil Emerson on June 5, and the Guy Forsyth Blues Band on June 12.