Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Advertise in our classifieds section
Your classified listing could be here!
October 4, 2022

Liveshot: Timeless Bonnie Raitt gives Austin “Something to Talk About”

Charlotte Keene
Bonnie Raitt and her band perform the first song of their set at ACL Live at the Moody Theater in Austin, Texas on Oct. 14, 2023.

As Foo Fighters and The 1975 rocked Zilker Park Saturday night as part of ACL Fest, another big name delivered a moving performance across Lake Austin at the Moody Theater. Bonnie Raitt, with her impressively lucid, bluesy voice and signature slide guitar licks, closed out her Just Like That tour right in the “Nick of Time.” 

The “Something to Talk About” singer thanked the crowd for their love and loyalty, and especially for choosing her performance over the massively attended festival. She mentioned she stopped by ACL on Friday and even joked that she never saw so many “naked legs and cowboy boots” in the crowd. 

For the classy 73-year-old singer, Saturday’s 90-minute show proved to be all about the music, as the theater restricted cell phone use at Raitt’s request — a stark contrast from most concerts, where people watch the show through their phone screens as they record. 

Raitt and her five-piece band, which included returning longtime guitarist George Marinelli, rocked through a mix of hits and covers, while the “Luck of the Draw” hitmaker showed off her suave slide guitar chops in nearly every song. Her incredibly enduring voice carried the same graceful tone as her personality. She also paid tribute to musicians gone too soon, including Jimmy Buffett, Art Neville and her good friend John Prine. 

Arguably Raitt’s biggest hit, her performance of “Nick of Time,” which found her seated behind a keyboard delivering smooth harmonies with her band, marked a poignant moment in the set. She also performed a mashup of her “Love Sneakin’ Up on You” and Chaka Khan’s “You Got the Love.” For the encore, Raitt welcomed Asleep at the Wheel member Johnny Nicholas on harmonica to the stage. 

As the crowd gave its love back to Raitt, she looked above and thanked the “R&B and blues musicians who built this building,” referring to ACL TV’s half-century of history. 

Saturday’s performance marked the end of Raitt’s tour and a remarkable run, which began with winning the Grammy for Song of the Year, besting Taylor Swift, Harry Styles and Beyoncé. The show also served as a rehearsal of sorts for an ACL TV taping Sunday night, which will air in February. Despite 50 years of performing, Raitt shared her nervousness about the cameras, poking fun at her “advancing age” and noting that “TV is forever.”

She also noted she would make a surprise appearance at Antone’s Monday for a benefit supporting Austin musician Sarah Brown, illustrating Raitt’s commitment to the music scene.

Raitt promised she and the band would return, showing that after five decades in the industry, she is no longer “scared to run out of time.” 


Opening Act: Sunny War

Audiences often overlook opening acts, but Sunny War, a skilled acoustic guitarist and folk-punk singer, proved too impressive not to mention. Standing alongside Anthony da Costa, the duo split lead guitar duties. Her beautifully husky voice and guitar picking created a haunting sound capable of filling a symphony hall. While da Costa noted the songs come from War’s solo artistry, the duo made for a perfect pair, and their serene harmonies imbued an early Buckingham Nicks vibe. 

They expressed their anxiousness at opening for and meeting Raitt, and their playful commentary in between songs as they re-tuned their guitars charmed the audience full of people awaiting Raitt’s arrival.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Logan Dubel, Senior Life & Arts Reporter
Logan is a journalism freshman serving as a senior life and arts reporter. He joined the Texan in Fall 2022 as a general life and arts reporter and comes to UT from Reisterstown, Maryland. While not writing his latest feature, he loves collecting vinyl, going to concerts and being Stevie Nicks' biggest fan.
Charlotte Keene, Senior Photographer
Charlotte Keene is a junior Journalism major from San Antonio, Texas. She enjoys making playlists and watching movies in her free time.