Austin's Free Week 2022: Break it down with Dâm-Funk; have a Vegas-style Elvis wedding
After a year off during the pre-vaccine pandemic, Free Week’s return to the Red River Cultural District in the first week of January is a welcome sight.
Launched almost two decades ago to help downtown venues get through the traditionally slow stretch after New Year’s Eve bashes, the series of no-cover concerts offers an easy way to sample some of the city’s up-and-coming bands at 10 venues, most within walking distance of each other.
As with all events right now, check each club for safety protocols or changes in the lineups.
The main event has been condensed to three days this year, but anchor club the Mohawk and Eastside rock haven Hotel Vegas get the party started early with free shows beginning on Saturday and continuing through the week.
Shake off your hangover at the Mohawk on Saturday when Dâm-Funk, the L.A. artist and producer who reinvented '80s electro-funk for the digital era, headlines a dance bash that also includes appearances from Austin's Vapor Caves and acclaimed body rockers Austin Boogie Crew. On Monday, the club gets loud and rowdy with instrumental metal titans Eagle Claw, Rickshaw Billie’s Burger Patrol and Ungreaved on the outdoor stage. After a more contemplative Tuesday with Robert Ellis, Garrett T. Capps and Croy & the Boys, the Mohawk turns up the volume again on Wednesday when garage punks A Giant Dog, Drakulas, PR Newman and Pleasure Venom wreck shop. Dreamy R&B soulstress Mélat plays the club on Thursday with p1nkstar and Blumoon.
As the event takes off in earnest, several of the best options are on Friday, including atmospheric rockers Bright Light Social Hour topping a five-band bill at Empire; a hip-hop lineup at Mohawk with Blackillac, Tee Double and more; a diverse indie bill at Swan Dive featuring Chris Conde, Pelvis Wrestley, Primo the Alien and more; and a Latin-focused show at Flamingo Cantina with Los Skarnales, El Combo Oscurro, Tiarra Girls and more.
Austin acts to watch in 2022: Nané, Andrea Magee, Superfónicos, Buffalo Nichols and more
While the Free Week spotlight is primarily focused on local and regional artists, a few neighbors from the north are in the mix this year. Canadian rock band TWRP and indie rocker Rich Aucoin are both on the bill at Empire on Saturday.
Also on Saturday, Hotel Vegas hosts a Bowie and Elvis birthday celebration. In true Vegas style, the club will have an Elvis impersonator on-site to perform weddings as you groove to your favorite David Bowie tunes. (Weddings are limited to five couples and you must pay the marriage license fee in advance. Contact the club for more details.)
Here’s the full venue-by-venue schedule:
Saturday outside: Dâm-Funk, Vapor Caves, Austin Boogie Crew
Monday outside: Eagle Claw, Rickshaw Billie’s Burger Patrol and Ungreaved
Monday inside: Glass Shadows, Good Looks and Dead Leg
Tuesday outside: Robert Ellis, Garrett T. Capps and Croy & the Boys
Tuesday inside: Willy Mason, Altamesa and Georgia Parker
Wednesday outside: A Giant Dog, Drakulas, PR Newman and Pleasure Venom
Wednesday inside: Van Mary, Rusty Dusty, Queen Serene and Midnight Butterfly
Thursday outside: Mélat, p1nkstar, Blumoon
Thursday inside: Horse Opera, Andria Rose, Felt Out, Tombus, Dmitri
Jan. 7 outside: Blackillac, Tee Double, Deezie Brown, Chucky Blk
Jan. 7 inside: Jesus Josh, Aux Cutter, Kxhnid, Vamps
Jan. 8 outside: Unsane, Blk Ops, Glassing, Easy Prey
Jan. 8 inside: Bleed, On Being an Angel, Hotmom, Deep Cross
Thursday Garage: Darkbird, Kalu & the Electric Joint, Foxtales
Jan. 7 Garage: Bright Light Social Hour, Calliope Musicals, Go Fever, Megafauna, We Don't Ride Llamas
Jan. 7 Control Room: Trouble in the Streets, Night Drive, Los Alcos, Wes Denzel
Jan. 8 Garage: TWRP, Rich Aucoin, TheBrosFresh
Jan. 8 Control Room: Night Cap, Cowboy Diplomacy, Lewd Dudes
Jan. 9 Garage: Superfónicos, Nemegata, Wache
Cheer Up Charlies
Thursday: M.E. Welbourne, Orthy
Jan. 7: Body Cruise, Replica Federation, Mission Indigo, Arena, Galafutura, Alcapulco 86
Jan. 8: Magna Carda, Dorio, Mike Melinoe, Positive Thinking
Saturday: Heavy Meddo, Pelvis Wrestley, Choux Choux
Sunday: Borzoi, Dry Guy, Billy Mirror
Monday: Swass Nite Ft. Portrayal of Guilt, (Expletive) Money, Dirt Pile, Hell House, Blank Hellscape Djs
Tuesday: La Femme Solitaire, Van Mary, Vonne
Wednesday: The Stacks, Frosty Palms, Billy Glitter
Thursday: Tear Dungeon, Being Dead, Quentin and the Past Lives, Montaz
Jan. 7: Annabelle Chairlegs, Big Bill, Hot Cakes, Bad Markings
Jan. 8: Bowie + Elvis Birthday Celebration
Jan. 9: Peach Fuzz Calendar Release with Buffalo Hunt, Queen Serene, Hey Cowboy! (Benefitting Planned Parenthood)
Thursday: Magic Rockers of Texas, Lord Friday the 13th, Dream Reamer, Juniper Berries
Jan. 7: Sudden Deaf, Dayeater, Transit Method, Mugdog
Jan. 8: Duel, the Well, Billy King & the Bad Bad Bad, Funeral Kab
Thursday: Flobama, Cloudchord, Zeale (MC), Ben Buck
Jan. 7: Chris Conde, Pelvis Wrestley, Primo the Alien, Galactic Projector
Jan. 8: Drip Fed, Monte Luna, Castle Club, No Kid$$$
Thursday: Easy Compadre, Figure Factor, Gothess Jasmine, Roi33
Jan. 7: Curse Mackey, Sex Pump, SINE, Hermajestie the Hung, DJ AsuraSunil
Jan. 8: Urban Heat, Most Modern, Haunt Me, AI, Rosalind Hussell
Thursday: Amplified Heat, Peth, Holy Death Trio
Jan. 7: Blue Tongue, Alex Riegelman, Under the Rug
Jan. 8: Foolish Ones, San Saba, JeTexas, Michael Hale Trio
Jan. 7: Los Skarnales, El Combo Oscurro, Tiarra Girls, DJ Tropicana Joe
Jan. 8: Lion Heights, Micah Shalom, Soulfiya, Kroywen
Jan. 7: Psychotic Reaction, Psychic Love Child, KVN, Urban Heat