The third annual Hi, How Are You Day was held on January 22, 2020, at ACL Live at the Moody Theater. Honoring the legacy of Daniel Johnston, this yearly event brings together artists and music lovers to celebrate Johnston’s birthday and promote a mission that was near and dear to his heart: removing the stigma around mental health.
For additional background on this event and the Hi, How Are You Project, check out our recent article, Hi, How Are You Day: Inspiring Austinites Through Music and a Mission.
In partnership with American Campus Communities (ACC), the Hi, How Are You Project crafted an incredible lineup of musicians and bands who were all inspired by Johnston’s work. Each set included a special cover of a Johnston original, bringing voices and hearts together to commemorate the artist who healed not only himself through his work, but others as well.
The evening kicked off with a recorded message from Johnston himself, welcoming guests and live-streamers near and far. The event’s MC was none other than Andy Langer from Austin City Limits Radio, our beloved ambassador of all things music in ATX. Kentucky rock band Dan Luke and the Raid launched the first act of the night, followed by songwriter Katie Schecter, who performed side stage with her fiance Nick Bockrath (also lead guitarist for Cage the Elephant).
Soon after, Austin’s own psychedelic rockers White Denim took center stage and got us all moving and grooving to their funky jams and upbeat melodies. After a brief intermission, the founders of the Hi, How Are You Project chatted with Langer about Johnston’s influence on the organization and their hopes to promote meaningful conversations around mental health.
Langer then introduced TV on the Radio’s lead singer Tunde Adebimpe, who delivered a unique set of loop music and Johnston covers on the side stage. Musician Jason Faulker (a producer on one of Johnston’s albums) followed on center stage for a brief solo act before being joined by another Austin favorite, Spoon.
Headliner Cage the Elephant wrapped up the performances with a dynamic hour-long set full of passion, energy and celebration. Guests jumped out of their seats to sing and dance along with those around them, both friends and strangers joining together to enjoy a common cause and appreciation.
The evening concluded with a balloon drop as all the performers came together on stage to sing The Beatles classic “All You Need is Love.” Voices filled the theater in celebration and unity, a moment which reminded me how special the Austin community truly is.
Love where you live and those in it.
For more information on the Hi, How Are You Project visit https://hihowareyou.org/.
Feature Photo by Leigh Kettle
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.