We have every type of trailer in Austin – food trucks, coffee wagons, even mobile pet stores. And while I’ve grown to love all of those necessities, I recently discovered a new art to utilizing these vehicles: On-airstreaming.
About two years ago, J.B. Hager and Paul Boukadakis took a classic airstream and turned it into another concert venue in Austin. Ok – maybe concert venue is an overstatement, seeing as only 9 people can fit inside in the airstream at a time. But there is no question about it: behind closed doors, they create a one of a kind concert experience for music lovers.
On-airstreaming captures performances cooped up in the back of the airstream, asking bands to abandon their normal full stage set up. Bands like Guster, Matt Nathanson, and GSD&M Industry Party performers Apache Relay have graced the (can we call it a…) stage. The stripped down versions, curved tin walls and rubbing of elbows will catch you off guard in the best way.
(Images of Apache Relay, Blitzen Trapper and Madi Diaz courtesy of Michael Bullock/On-airstreaming)
“The airstream in itself is not only the hook, but it’s the main character,” Boukadakis explains. “Being a director, my main job is to connect the audience to the performer. And when he [JB] presented the idea to bring an artist into an airstream, a light bulb went off in my head. That was an instant setting where I could create an intimacy between the artist and the audience member. You feel like you are sitting right there.”
After watching just one video, I felt it too. These were bands I had and had not heard of being shown off in a whole new light. Hager has been working in radio for over 16 years and he explained that this is something you couldn’t do anywhere else. “Part of the experience is giving the bands a real taste of Austin.” They welcome the bands with beer and barbeque and spend time hanging out and relaxing with them taking a break from their hectic tour schedules.
SXSW, Austin City Limits Music Festival and the other bands coming through town provide a plethora of opportunities to record in the airstream. However, the hot Texas sun didn’t bode well for airstream ambiance. On-airstreaming is in the process of relocating into a space on Guadalupe and 2nd street to provide some extra space for fans to enjoy the shows along with some air conditioning.
Whether you are in town wandering in the 2nd Street District or you’re just on the hunt for exclusive music content, make time for On-airstreaming. There’s no doubt J.B., Paul and team are just getting the airstream rolling – hypothetically, of course.
Check out a video from Angus and Julia Stone below or see more on their Facebook page here.