I saw this show at Stubb's BBQ in downtown Austin. I was invited by my 28 year-old Japanese foreign exchange student friend, Noboru. He bought tickets after a bleach-blonde valley girl accquaintance of his told him about the gig but he really had no idea what he was in for. Noboru and I met up with valley girl and a couple of her friends (who were all still in high school so any thoughts I had of trying to get with one of them completely went away) and we squeazed our way through the packed basement at Stubb's.
First up was Justin Young. He was another one of those "sensitive and dreamy" singer-songwriter-who-exclusively-plays-acoustic-guitar type of musicians. He had a nice voice but nothing he played really caught my interest. The mixing throughout his whole set was really bad though. His voice was frequently drowned out and when this girl randomly showed up to sing with him the audience could barely hear her. Up next was Anuhea. She looked a little like Jessica Simpson and had a pretty voice. She also played a beautiful Martin Dreadnought Guitar. Her set was more memorable and she had a few really good vocal hooks. The mixing greatly improved during her set and everything was smooth and audible. She made a joke dedication before playing her last song. "Justin Bieber, this is for you, babe!"
After her was the headline performer, Trevor Hall. It was baffling that valley girl and her friends decided to bail on his set after talking a lot about how awesome Trevor Hall is. Noboru and I didn't do anything to bother them. Whatever. It's their loss because Trevor Hall played a pretty badass set. Trevor is a white dude with dreadlocks who sings and plays acoustic guitar but fortunately he was a lot better than what his description makes me think of. While Trevor was described to me as Reggae, that alone isn't a good label for him. His vocal delivery was very much in the style of Reggae (We be jammin', mon!) but his repertoire was quite diverse. He played some straight reggae, did indie pop ballads and he also treated the crowd with a few progressive/psych rock freak outs. Me gusta! Trevor's lead-guitarist was excellent. He looked like Nick Mason, the drummer for Pink Floyd, but his playing made me think of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (The Mars Volta, Solo) if he took a less dissonant approach to playing guitar. Justin Young and Anuhea returned to the stage to make guest performances during Trevor's set. The odd thing was that they shined so much more then than they did during their own sets. They were very soulful and their performances commanded a lot more attention.
It wasn't one of the best live music experieces I've ever had but Trevor Hall saved the night from being mediocre. Sixth street was a glorious mess and I randomly received verbal threats by some idiot who stood on the sidewalk rapping to poorly sampled beats playing on a crappy boom box. Keep Austin Weird I guess. The night ended for Noboru and I with Smirnoff and Ramen Noodles.