Austin’s own Patty Griffin closed out SXSW’s Free Outdoor Stage at Auditorium Shores on Saturday, March 16 following Andrew Bird’s mystic set. Austinites and visitors in town for the festival spread out along Lady Bird Lake to enjoy the music, sunset, and drinks and food from local businesses. It was both a calm and energetic evening, the perfect kind to exit the madness that had been SXSW.
Patty’s presence on stage was one that felt comforting, as if she was a friend you’ve known for years. After her first song she smiled to the crowd and said a simple, “boy, it’s good to be here,” while we all thought, “no Patty, it’s good to have you here.”
Patty, who had just turned 55 that same day of her performance, proved to us that the saying is true – voices do become ripe with age. Her smooth, celestial voice filled the sky as audience members swayed back and forth to one of her bigger hits, “Heavenly Day.” It truly did feel like a heavenly day. (Side note: if you’ve watched “Haunting of Hill House,” then you’ve listened to Patty Griffin. Her song “Heavenly Day” was the song Nell danced with her husband to at their wedding.)
A heavier yet heartening moment in the show included a tribute to musician George Reiff, who Patty explained had been a big part of her support system when they both had cancer. Patty played the song “Luminous Places” to honor his life and light while the crowd went silent in respect.
If you haven’t had already, catching folk artist Patty Griffin is a must for music lovers of all kind, especially if you live in Austin. For more coverage on SXSW, click here, and be sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter.
Leigh is a native Texan gone temporary New Yorker and now proud Austinite. Passions include but are not limited to music (both as a spectator and dabbler), traveling & cultural adventures, film & television, true crime, design (of the fashion, interior, and graphic sorts), and photographing & writing about all the aforementioned. Self-acclaimed coffee connoisseur & wino, cat aficionado, book worm, and nature junkie.