Friday night we saw Alison Krauss & Union Station at The Backyard. At one time far outside Austin, suburbia has now claimed most of the land around this uniquely Austin venue. We parked outside what will shortly be a Bed Bath & Beyond, or maybe a Barnes & Noble, or another of the too familiar cookie cutter retail shops that spring up around new neighborhoods. Walking over the dust, wire, and new concrete of the construction site, we were thankful for a chance to see a show at The Backyard before the landscape changes entirely, invaded by 24-hour parking lot lights and noisy cars.
Inside none of that could be seen or mattered, though, and the stars came out midway through the set on a clear sky above the open-air venue. Alison’s voice was beautiful and effortless. Songs from the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack, other great tracks like The Lucky One and Restless, and a bunch of incredible songs that were new to me. For the encore, her voice soared as if she hasn’t even really been trying before. The audience was moved and in the span of an hour I went from being a little familiar with a few songs, to a life-long fan.
Need some music? The Alison Krauss iTunes Essentials is a good place to start.