When Birbiglia, who is in Austin for SXSW this week to promote his new film Sleepwalk With Me, learned that Van Etten was performing at Stubb’s on Wednesday night for the NRP SXSW Showcase, Birbiglia called up the network to see if he could finagle an invite.
In addition to accommodating his request, NPR invited Birbiglia to introduce Van Etten and company to the stage.
“This is my dream come true,” said Birbiglia. “This is actually one of my favorite albums (Tramp) by an artist in just years and years.”
Van Etten and company — Doug Keith, Heather Broderick, Zeke Hutchins — took over from there, quickly proving why her stock continues to rise as she rolled through a 40-minute set that featured tracks from Tramp.
Alternating between a Guild acoustic for the sparse and beautiful ballad “Kevin’s” or the dreamy track “Leonard” and a 1965 Fender Jag for rockers like the set-closing “Serpents,” Van Etten quite simply shined.
“All I Can”