The eve of ACL 2012 had security’s panties in a knot, as long lines formed outside Stubb’s back lot. Despite the warm invitation from the Wheeler Brothers’ publicist, our Canon 7D became a liability and Eric and I wondered whether our established threesome would make it through the gates.
The five members of the Wheeler Brothers opened their set while we jumped through hoops outside. But with a photographer wristband attached firmly to Eric’s wrist, we earned our entrance and he edged his way toward the stage. As he positioned himself for close-ups, security approached again. Photos were only allowed during the first three songs.
Fascinated that our Austin musical events have adopted such an excess of legislation, my faithful photog used his powers of persuasion effectively. He talked his way into the pit area in front of the stage and 360 degrees of rapid-fire camera action. We retreated to the far end of the lot to find my favorite Stubb’s bartender and observe the rest of the show.
Six months ago, the Wheeler Brothers were basking in the spotlight of the Austin Music Awards. They took home five titles, the most noteworthy of which was Best New Band. They’ve been expanding their notoriety ever since.
On the night our paths crossed, they were reflecting their new-found recognition onto a local non-profit that could use the attention. The Wheeler Brothers teamed up with Gary Clark Jr. to raise funding and awareness for the Waller Creek Conservancy.
The Stubb’s venue was well-suited for the cause. Waller Creek begins north of UT, behind Stubb’s BBQ, to Lady Bird Lake. It touches the Austin Convention Center, our Capitol’s grounds, two city parks, a wide range of wildlife, and more. Waller Creek Conservancy exists to transform the creek’s ecosystem and how it touches our city. Last Thursday, the Conservancy announced the winner of their design contest for this transformation.
Stubb’s outside lot, lined with covered bars, BBQ vendors and Conservancy merchandise, was well-populated for the Wheeler Brothers’ show. We tend to love our hometown boys, especially when they rally behind our hometown. The rally is no surprise to devoted fans. “Call Me in the Morning,” from the band’s debut album Portraits, echoes…
“Time is arbitrary
Take me back to Austin”
There’s some mystery in the music. It can be hard to tell where the rock ends and the country folk begins. But there’s nothing mysterious about why these long-time friends showed up at Stubb’s. They love what they do and they love why they do it. This stuff doesn’t need to be complicated.
How does your Austin routine intersect with Waller Creek?