A new socially distant, drive-in concert experience rolled in to the Austin area in late October, reviving our beloved music scene we’ve missed for months. Benefitting Black Fret and HAAM, Love & Lightstream offered concert lovers a unique and safe way to to see their favorite artists perform live for the first time since early spring. All shows were held at The Haute Spot Event Venue in Cedar Park, Texas, a quick 20-minute drive from Austin.
The series began the weekend of October 23 and was extended through November 15. The full lineup including the following artists and bands. Tickets varied anywhere between $100 to $325 per car, which included up to six guests in each vehicle.
My boyfriend Dylan and I had the chance to check out Caroline Rose and Shakey Graves’ incredible performance on Thursday, October 12, which surpassed every expectation we could have hoped for. Those who know us know that Shakey Graves has been and always will be in our top five favorite artists, so to say we were excited for this opportunity was an understatement. In fact, Shakey Graves was one of the first artists we bonded on during our early dating days. We even ran into him once at one of our favorite bars, but that’s another story you can read about here.
Love & Lightstream’s drive-in set up was one of the most innovative and creative ways I’ve seen an organization adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. Practicing all the necessary protocols and safety measures, they made it easier than ever to find your parking spot and get quickly settled. Upon arriving, each visitor was given a brief rundown on how the event would work, along with a little gift bag including snacks from Kibo, a Love & Lightstream sticker, coupon cards for various businesses, a case of Waterloo Sparkling Water and an instruction card for ordering food, drinks and merchandise.
After being directed to our parking spot, Dylan and I set up our lawn chairs and blankets and ordered a couple cold ones for the evening. Within 10 minutes of ordering our drinks online, a golf cart showed up with a couple friendly staff who hand delivered our order. To be honest, I would take this over waiting at a crowded bar any day, even when we do go back to “normal” life.
Caroline Rose kicked off the evening with an acoustic set of her older, folky tunes that brought a wave of peace and contentedness over the venue. Shakey Graves soon joined her on stage with the remainder of his band, who she joked was “now her band.” With Shakey on the drums and Caroline leading vocals, the remainder of her set featured some of her newer, indie pop tracks which invigorated and got us all ready to dance and jam out.
After a brief intermission, Shakey Graves returned on stage and delivered some of his best songs, old and new. Though it has been over a year since we’d seen him perform, he was still the charming and hilarious Shakey we know and love, jokingly chanting “Honk, honk!” in between each of his songs, which I realize now may sound very confusing without proper context. Given the whole crowd was spaced out and far from the stage, spectators were encouraged to honk their car horns in lieu of clapping or shouting applause. This eventually turned in to a entertaining and hilarious “honk-along,” during one of his most popular songs, “Dearly Departed.”
For 2020, this was an evening I’ll always remember and cherish, and to be completely honest, it’s hard for me to articulate just how special it felt to experience live music during an admittedly tough few months. At one point in the evening, I found myself tearing up as immense amount of gratitude fill my heart. Love & Lighstream proved that the Austin music scene can still live and thrive, even in the midst of a global pandemic.
Feature image courtesy of Love & Lightstream
For more coverage on music, albums and more, visit https://shuffleonline.net/music/, and be sure to keep an eye out for future interviews with various artists in and outside of Austin!
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.