By Chad Swiatecki
July 8-10, Frank Erwin Center
When Andy Roddick returns to Austin from Wimbledon, he’ll have some huge names – Rafael Nadal and Jim Courier to start – and about 15,000 enthusiastic fans making the trek with him. The attraction making Austin a tennis mecca is a Davis Cup quarterfinal match using tennis between the United States and top-ranked Spain at the Frank Erwin Center. Roddick lobbied hard for years to get Austin its first-ever contest in the 111-year-old tournament, the first on American soil in two years and first in Texas since 2002. Tickets for all three days sold out almost instantly in April, but can be purchased through ticket resale sites for anyone willing to part with a minimum of a few hundred dollars. Pricey? Of course, but for tennis buffs, the chance to see one of Roddick’s bullet train serves delivered on his home turf is worth it.
4 Fireworks Hot Spots
1. Auditorium Shores, July 4, 8:30 p.m., 950 West Riverside Drive
An institution like SRV and flying bats at dusk, the Austin Symphony gets things started for a display featuring the 1812 Overture and punctuated by Howitzer cannons. Free.
2. Lake Travis
For families, there’s Volente Beach Waterpark (16107 FM 2769), where live music and fireworks are great ends to a sunny day. Park admission required for late arrivals.
For a rowdier time, Carlos N’ Charlie’s across the way (5973 Hiline Rd.) is the place where the explosions help get the night started.
3. Dell Diamond
July 3, following game vs. Albuquerque, 3400 East Palm Valley Boulevard, Round Rock
The ballpark’s post-game July 3 display should be fine tuned by July since it will be one of 20 in its Fireworks Plus ticket plan. Also: The following night for Round Rock’s annual Frontier Days celebration at Old Settlers Park (3300 E Palm Valley Blvd.)
4. Lake Austin
Hop on a boat any way you can swing it and head underneath the stately Pennybacker Bridge for one of the most picturesque July 4 experiences you’ll ever see.
June 28 & 29, Paramount Theater
Put Lyle Lovett in a broom closet with a microphone and he’ll make it sound like Radio City Music Hall, so not much needs to be done to sell this billing at Austin’s stately downtown concert theater, where he’ll pair-up with fellow songwriting legend John Hiatt for two evenings.
Study their song catalog all you want, but chances are a lot of unexpected covers will lend the shows plenty of welcome surprises.
Also on tap:
June 11 • Earth, Wind & Fire @ ACL Live
June 12 • Adele @ Stubb’s
June 17 • Dave Koz @ One World Theatre
June 22 • Little Feat @ One World Theatre
June 23 • Band of Heathens @ Shady Grove
July 6 • Marc Broussard @ Antone’s
July 15 • Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison @ One World Theatre
July 30 • Vonda Shepard @ One World Theatre
RETURNS TO AUSTIN TO
HONOR HOMETOWN CHAMP
Already Austin’s most celebrated fighter ever, Jesus Chavez will get plenty of cheers but no punishment when he returns to the ring at the Frank Erwin Center on June 17. The occasion, part of ESPN Friday Night Fights’ return to Austin, will be a ceremony honoring the career of Chavez, the former lightweight titleholder, 38, who pushed greats like Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Erik Morales to their limits during a 44-8 pro career. Currently a trainer in the Dallas area, the man known as “El Matador” will close out his career and then take in a card topped by up-and-coming lightweights Fernando Guerrero and Michael Medina.
available at uterwincenter.com or 512-471-7744
Cozy theaters, free parking, reasonable tickets, good food and drinks … and the movies will be pretty great too. Violet Crown Cinema, the newest addition to downtown Austin’s suddenly bustling Second Street district, seems to have thought of everything. Focusing on independent, documentary and art house films, the theater one block west of the new W Hotel offers four 50-seat screening rooms tailormade for fans looking to enjoy quality movies without screaming kids or the sound of M&M’s rolling down the floor.
Tickets: $9 matinees,
$11 weeknights, $13 weekends.
1 p.m. Aug. 27, Ann Richards Bridge
Get decked out like Bruce Wayne for this annual free extravaganza that combines live music, more than 150 vendors, art displays of every description and, of course, roughly two million Mexican freetail bats who take to the air each night at dusk. Would it be going overboard to bring your own bat signal? Maybe, but there’s only one way to find out.
June 9-12, Travis County Expo Center, 7311 Decker Lane
The Doobie Brothers, Eddie Money, The Georgia Satellites and tens of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts take over Central Texas for this celebration of all things with a pair of wheels and a motor. Side attractions include a tattoo expo, a variety of stunt bike shows and a world record-setting motorcycle parade into downtown Austin.
Keep Austin Weird Fest and 5k
2 p.m. June 25, The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Dr.
Everyone’s heard of Christmas in July, but Keep Austin Weird Fest is more like Halloween in June. Participants are encouraged to wear the most out-there costume they can while enjoying live music and vendors as a way to celebrate Austin’s aggressively carefree attitude and atmosphere.
ATX Man congratulates Austin’s own Tyson Cole, of Uchi and Uchiko, named Best Chef in the Southwest at the 2011 James Beard Awards. It was the first time a Texan has won the award since Stephan Pyles in 1991. In his acceptance speech, Cole said that he started Uchi eight years ago “on a whim and a prayer.” ATX Man salutes Chef Cole – a true Austin original.