For local music fans, there’s no better way to start a new year than with Free Week. The annual affair’s official dates for 2022 are January 6-8, but some of the participating venues are kicking things off as early as tonight. Here are five must-see Free Week shows. (By the way, be sure to keep an eye on the individual listings for these shows, as the lineups could change due to COVID-related issues.)
Tuesday, January 4 at Mohawk
Get your Free Week underway Tuesday, January 4 at the Mohawk alongside a noteworthy mix of country-leaning acts. Croy and The Boys, Cactus Lee, and Harry & Emmy are set to perform outdoors, and Willy McGee will play indoors.
Alternative choice: Semihelix, Warmtapes, Gilded Lows at Volstead
Wednesday, January 5 at Mohawk
Punk vets A Giant Dog are headlining the outdoor stage at the Mohawk this Wednesday, January 5, and they’ll be joined by an equally energetic group of rock bands, including PR Newman and Drakulas. The fun doesn’t stop there, though, as Rusty Dusty, Queen Serene, and Midnight Butterfly are also playing indoors.
Alternative choice: Frosty Palms, Billy Glitter at Hotel Vegas
Thursday, January 6 at Empire
Empire is hosting a quality show in its Garage this Thursday, January 6. Darkbird, whose single “Heartbeat” was one of the best songs to come out of Austin last year, tops the bill, which also features the genre-bending Kalu and The Electric Joint and the synth-driven Foxtales.
Alternative choice: Lord Friday the 13th, Magic Rockers of Texas, The Juniper Berries, Dream Reamer at Valhalla
Friday, January 7 at Empire
Head to Empire this Friday, January 7 for what’s likely the biggest Free Week event. Out in the Garage, you’ll find a great variety of rock acts, including The Bright Light Social Hour, Calliope Musicals, Go Fever, Megafauna, and We Don’t Ride Llamas. The bill for inside the Control Room is stacked, too, with Trouble in the Streets, Night Drive, Los Alcos, and Wez Denzel.
Alternative choice: Annabelle Chairlegs, Big Bill, Hot Cakes, Bad Markings at Hotel Vegas
Saturday, January 8 at Valhalla
Those of you in need of a good dose of heavy psych rock should be sure to swing by Valhalla this Saturday, January 8. Two vets of the genre, Duel and The Well, are headlining the evening, which also features Billy King and The Bad Bad Bad and Funeral Kab.
Alternative choice: Magna Carda, Dorio, Mike Melinoe, Positive Thinking at Cheer Up Charlies