It’s a chaotic scene as the evening band breaks down their equipment, like the dozens of flashing signs and reflective traffic cones blocking what once was a short drive across Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin.

Dizzy patrons shake my barstool like a rickety amusement park ride, their voices like a bachelorette party amongst the clattering glass bottles being mercilessly tossed away.

A backlit poster of Willie Nelson greets everyone as they enter the Saxon Pub, an Iconic listening room that survived the condo boom on South Lamar. There’s a mass exodus between each performance, a new cover charge enacted for each act. Bar tabs fly across the service stage as new arrivals dash for one of the closest tables.


Willie Nelson greets fans at the Saxon Pub. Photo by Andrew Blanton

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