Hot Luck Fest, Grupo Fantasma, Neko Case and more Austin music
Here are our top live music options in the Austin area for May 26-June 1.
Thursday: Long Center Drop-In with Nuevo
Launched during the height of the pandemic when outdoor shows were a top priority — they’re still a safer option, even now — this weekly summer series features local bands playing on the Long Center’s spacious front lawn. Kicking things off this year is Tejano-soul band Nuevo, whose self-titled debut album was among Austin’s best releases of 2021. Also booked for the series in coming weeks are Sweet Spirit, Ruthie Foster, David Garza, Geto Gala, David Ramirez, Octopus Project, San Gabriel, Money Chicha, James Robinson, Think No Think, Jeska & the Vanity Project, Natalie Price, Luna Luna, Sharon Silva and Past Lives. Each week’s performer will be announced on Monday; admission is free but RSVP is required at thelongcenter.org.
Thursday-Saturday: Hot Luck Fest
Whole Enchilada tickets that include entry to all events for this music and food fest curated by barbecue pitmaster Aaron Franklin, Mohawk owner James Moody and Mike Thelin of Feast Portland sold out earlier this year. But individual tickets remain for some food events, as well as all of this year’s concerts. The music program includes turntable legend DJ Jazzy Jeff, indie rockers Superchunk, retro garage band Shannon & the Clams and more. hotluckfest.com.
Friday: Grupo Fantasma with Joe Bataan at Paramount Theatre
The mighty nine-piece from Austin via Laredo has thrilled audiences around the globe with their world-class blend of hip-shimmying cumbia and border funk for over two decades. For this performance, the group will be joined by Joe Bataan, an Afro-Filipino artist who grew up in Spanish Harlem in the 1950s and ‘60s surrounded by R&B, Afro-Cuban and Puerto Rican music. His synthesis of those sounds over a career that spanned four decades and 23 albums earned him the title “King of Latin Soul.” Grupo Fantasma will play a short set before backing Bataan for the rest of the night. Brown-eyed soul band Eddie and the Valiants from San Antonio opens. $20-$45. 8 p.m. austintheatre.org.
Saturday: Dreamfest at Dreamland
What’s the best live music venue in Central Texas that also has mini golf courses, pickleball courts and an outdoor art gallery? We’re pretty sure Dreamland in Dripping Springs is the only one that qualifies. Opened during the pandemic, Dreamland’s multiple-outdoor-stages setup has been a positive development for folks living west of town, and it can be worth the trip from Austin for special shows such as this all-day fest. Performers include Bob Schneider, Carolyn Wonderland, Sir Woman, Del Castillo, Bob Schneider, Gina Chavez, Beat Root Revival, Pat Byrne, Calder Allen, Wyatt Weaver and Braydon Zink. The $50 ticket (part of which benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society) is good for mini golf as well as the music. Children 5 and younger get in free. Gates open at 9:30 a.m. dreamland.us.
Saturday-Sunday: Austin Live Music Revival
This two-day event features over 20 performances from Texas acts split between Empire Control Room and Garage and Antone’s. Notable artists include Houston rapper Lil Flip, Austin rapper Abhi the Nomad, Austin blues phenom Jackie Venson and crunk-step producer Crizzly. A portion of proceeds from the event will benefit the Black Austin Musicians Collective, who will also program part of the lineup. $70-$90 two day, $50-$70 single day. facebook.com/MVRKlive.
Saturday-Sunday: Lone Star Jam at Round Rock Amp
This annual gathering of Texas roadhouse country-circuit mainstays has hopscotched across several locations over the past decade, but the opening of a new outdoor amphitheater in Round Rock seems like a promising long-term home. Sixteen local and regional bands will perform across two days; highlights include the Eli Young Band and Reckless Kelly on Saturday, and Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen (playing together) and Morgan Wade on Sunday. $70-$300. roundrockamp.com.
Wednesday: Neko Case at Paramount Theatre
Like Wilco, Case first gained attention in the 1990s as an alt-country performer but soon gravitated more toward indie rock. Her commercial peak came with 2009’s “Middle Cyclone,” which reached No. 3 on the Billboard charts. She’s released just two solo albums since then and seems due for another, though those years also produced a splendid collaboration with K.D. Lang and Laura Veirs, plus a few more records with the New Pornographers. M. Ward opens. $36-$66. 8 p.m. austintheatre.org.