Alejandro Escovedo Lights Up Venerable Austin Club

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Alejandro Escovedo's Thursday CD-release show at the venerable Continental Club in Austin was as much about celebrating the 57-year-old Hep-C survivor's career-defining album Real Animal as it was about honoring the Continental, a 51-year-old venue that just this week gained designation as a historical landmark.

Shortly after midnight on the first of back-to-back nights, Escovedo, ever dapper in a pinstripe suit, began his set for the 193-capacity crowd with "Put You Down." It was a slow-building, curious opener for the six-piece considering it wasn't from the scorching new album, but it nonetheless set the tone for the forthcoming dynamic interplay between the three-headed guitar section and strings duo comprising cello and violin.

Soon enough, Escovedo showcased what the people came for: deafening new tracks like "Real As An Animal" (which he noted was homage to Iggy Pop) and "People (We're Only Gonna Live So Long)," its lyric "We still got time/But never quite as much as we think" ostensibly a nod to both his late-blooming career and the club he first started playing nearly three decades ago.

Set List:
"Put You Down"
"Always A Friend"
"Everybody Loves Me"
"Sister Lost Soul"
"Chelsea Hotel '78"
"Swallows of San Juan"
"Rosalie"
"Sensitive Boys"
"People (We're Only Gonna Live So Long)"
"Chip 'n' Tony"
"I Was Drunk"
"Real As An Animal"
"Castanets"

Encore
"Smoke"
"All the Young Dudes"
"Beast of Burden"