Top concerts in Austin: Mitski, Dropkick Murphys, Austin Symphony's 'West Side Story'
Here are our top picks among live music options in the Austin area for Feb. 24-March 2. Check venue websites for COVID-19 protocols and any possible pandemic-related postponements or cancellations.
Drama at Mohawk
Self-described as “happy-sad music handmade in Chicago,” the duo layers soulful vocals from Austin-born vocalist Via Rosa over expressive dance grooves from Na’el Shehade. Together, they create easy chillwave vibes that will move your body as they put you in your feelings. $20. 7 p.m. mohawkaustin.com. – D.S.S.
Dana Cooper at Cactus Cafe
Originally from Missouri, singer-songwriter Cooper released a solo debut on Elektra in 1973 before moving to Texas and teaming up with Shake Russell for several well-received duo records. A new solo album, “I Can Face the Truth,” came out last week. The Cactus, a historic venue in the University of Texas’ student union building, had been closed for nearly two years when it quietly reopened recently, with Tuesday open mics and occasional performances by local and touring musicians. Free. 7:30 p.m. cactuscafe.org. – P.B.
'A Fistful of Tango' with Montopolis at Esquina Tango
Pianist Justin Sherburn and violinist Leigh Mahoney of Austin classical-crossover ensemble Montopolis will perform fellow local musician Glover Gill’s traditional tango arrangements to accompany “The Toll Gate,” a 1920 silent Western, in this unusual event that also will include an introductory tango class. The original film has been reinterpreted by comedian Carlos Larotta “in the irreverent style of the Alamo Drafthouse production Master Pancake Theater,” according to the Facebook description of the event. $20. 7 p.m. doors. esquinatango.org. – P.B.
Mitski at ACL Live
In 2019, the 31-year-old singer and master of evocative pop composition spooked her fans by announcing a performance at Summerstage in NYC would be her “last show indefinitely.” To quell the ensuing panic among lovers of her intimate songcraft, she later took to Twitter to clarify that she was just taking a much-needed break. Two and a half years later, she has a new album (the final one contracted through her label), “Laurel Hell,” that reinforces her ability to weave powerful emotion through sweeping soundscapes. She will be joined by Japanese band Chai. 8 p.m. Technically sold out. acl-live.com. – D.S.S.
Austin Symphony Orchestra presents 'West Side Story' at the Long Center
Steven Spielberg’s recent Oscar-nominated remake has reignited interest in the classic 20th-century musical theater production that was first adapted to the screen in 1961. The orchestra will show the original film and perform its iconic score live. $19-$79. 8 p.m. thelongcenter.org. – P.B.
'United Vol. 6: A Black History Month Boogie' at Cheer Up Charlies
After postponing last year’s boogie due to the pandemic, the Groove Temple brings back their annual Black History Month celebration. While keeping the dance floor hot, the party aims to educate Austin on the Black and LGBTQ roots of house music. “We can't express our excitement about the relaunch of this celebration of Blackness, house music culture, women, fellowship, and dance in Austin,” organizers said in a Facebook post about the event. DJ Ms. Melodic from Houston will join Chicago native DJ Shani on the tables. Queen Deelah will emcee. $5. 9 p.m. facebook.com/thegroovetemple. – D.S.S.
Mike Norton Instrument Drive with the Houston Jazz Collective at Antone’s
Norton, a renowned Houston-based booking agent who died in 2016, wanted the guitars he’d collected across the decades to be given to young musicians in need. His friend Steve Haas helped make this possible, teaming with Cannonball Instruments and Austin’s Anthropos Arts to add 20 horns to 20 amps and guitars that will be presented to Austin-area youths on this night. The Houston Jazz Collective, featuring Darrel Lavigne plus Gerry Gibbs & Thrasher People, will play a Mardi Gras-inspired celebratory set. $20. 8 p.m. antonesnightclub.com. – P.B.
Dropkick Murphys at Stubb’s
St. Patty’s Day is still a couple weeks away, but the Murphys will ring in March with their decidedly Celtic take on punk music that has made them a favorite in their native Massachusetts and beyond for more than 25 years. The band released its 10th album, “Turn Up That Dial,” in 2021. $39.50-$45. 5:30 p.m. doors. stubbsaustin.com. – P.B.