- Posted on Mar 19th 2012 3:00PM by Steve McLean
Steve McLean for AOL
The music began at noon and went to 2:30AM, with a lineup handpicked by Escovedo. When the legendary musician himself hit the stage, accompanied by his large Sensitive Boys band, he was like an orchestra leader as he led the ensemble through a roots rock-oriented set with pop and blues shades.
On 'Anchor,' the guitar interplay with David Pulkingham was brilliant while most band members got to solo during 'Chelsea Hotel '78' and a go-go dancer was even invited to join in while perched on a cabinet beside the stage.
The musical guests started arriving midway through Escovedo's set, with rockabilly artist Rosie Flores leading off with Lavelle White's 'If I Could Be With You,' a rocking blues song in which the diminutive Flores showed she could play with the big boys when it came to the six-string. She duetted with Escovedo on 'Goodbye Again,' which she co-wrote with Dave Alvin, and it sounded like a classic country song.
Patti Smith guitarist Lenny Kaye must be a Neil Young fan, because the band performed a rousing 'Powderfinger' and 'Like a Hurricane' after he ambled on stage. Kaye makes everything look so effortless as he fit seamlessly with the well-oiled Sensitive Boys lineup.
R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck had already performed with Chuck Prophet and at a Big Star tribute for SXSW, and he showed no signs of slowing down on stage with Escovedo. He even brought bandmate Mike Mills along with him for good measure; Mills beamed as he sang the Troggs' beautiful 'Love Is All Around.' R.E.M. fans got an even bigger treat when Mills strapped on a bass to lead hundreds of concert-goers in a sing-along rendition of 'Don't Go Back to Rockville.' It was pretty magical.