Austin Plaine / Katie Toupin – Mercury Lounge – Tulsa, OK – 3/11/23

For the first two weeks of March singer songwriters Katie Toupin and Austin Plaine embarked on a co-headline tour covering part of the Mid-West and the South.  The second to last date of the tour would hit Mercury Lounge in Tulsa, OK and for a Saturday night the downtown area was fairly quiet but fitting for an acoustic concert.  Still recovering from laryngitis, Katie Toupin took the stage first and to only play quieter songs since she was still recovering.  Katie Toupin’s career is a remarkable one, having been in Houndmouth for multiple years, she pursued a solo career in 2016 which has been the most rewarding.  She started off her show with “Astronaut”, a song that was licensed by the Houston Space Center.  The rest of the set Katie tested out newer songs including “Lights Of New York” around her first time in New York City with Houndmouth.  A perfect storytelling song that gives the listener an idea what it’s like being in a band that hasn’t visited New York City before.  Also sprinkled through her set were Houndmouth songs “Houston Train” and “Casino” which accompanying guitarist Marvin Kendrick Ballard handled solos and backup vocals flawlessly.  Ending her set was her “Topo Chico Theme Song”, who also sponsored the tour.  Katie explained that on a whim she wrote a jingle for the company, thinking maybe it will be in a Super Bowl commercial one day, but she would find out they don’t really do commercials let alone any advertising.  Alas, she still let them know and they did sponsor her podcast and help her make a music video.  Thinking it is a catchy jingle, she has been playing the song every night to show Topo Chico that it truly is.  Even though the Tulsa crowd needed a little persuading to sing along, it can’t be denied that the song truly is a catchy one.

Austin Plaine started making a name for himself in 2014 when he released his first self-titled album.  The album would receive great praise, major national tours, and his single “Never Come Back Again” would garner over 20 million streams.  He would share the same industry heartaches as other musicians, but his acoustic, wanderlust, beautiful storytelling music returned with Stratford.  Austin’s music is the perfect road trip soundtrack or for a quiet evening at home music, and hearing his music live is a perfect way see the emotion in his songs.  Just like Katie Toupin, Austin’s setlist featured a lot of new music including “Mourning Doves” and “Turn It Around” which are available now to download or stream.  However, he did play new songs not available yet which some were light hearted in lyrics while others fit perfectly in his discography.  It wasn’t mentioned if these songs would be released on an album, but it was mentioned that a third album will be released this September and completely independent.  As for his other songs, like “Houston” and “Fangs”, it’s always enjoyable to hear Austin’s songs stripped down compared to the recordings.  The songs could be considered completely new songs because the vibe of them are completely different and the additional guitar by Wyatt Marsh adds another layer to the songs.  A re-recording of his previous albums only on acoustic would make for a great addition to his discography.  With a new album ready to come out this year and hopefully additional touring, Austin Plaine has an exciting year ahead of him and hopefully the best one yet.

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