Dimmed under a cloud of purple and blue lights, Cherry Whitten and Rio Tripiano took the stage at Darwin’s on 6th street for their first gig in Austin. Within minutes of performing, a guitar string popped. Immediately after reaching for the second guitar, another string popped. A performer in the audience saw the sheer madness occurring on stage and loaned his guitar. For many, this might have ruined the show, but these two performers showed that they could work under pressure.
On a Tuesday night, 6th street is fairly laid back. Parking is actually obtainable and the surplus of drunken college students remain out of site. With the cool fall breeze lingering in the empty streets, the historically rowdy 6th street has a completely different face on.
I had never been to Darwin’s before this evening. As I crossed Brazos Street, I could hear the powerful vocals of Cherry Whitten covering “Kids” by MGMT a few blocks away. Together with her musical partner, Rio Tripiano, the duo provided crowd entertainment and a musical experience for the bar-goers that night.
The duo originated in College Station and has a well-established fan based in the college town 100 miles east of Austin. For their first show in Austin, they did a number of innovative covers such as: Katy Perry’s “I Kiss a Girl”, Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah”, and a Beatles medley. By adding their own original twist to the songs, they demonstrated their talent and creativity as musicians.
In between a number of classic covers, the two versatile performers played original songs that integrated a number of different music genres. By keeping the crowd involved throughout the entire performance, Whitten and Tripiano brought a new attitude to a laid back Tuesday.
Taking the stage in Austin can be a scary thing. World-renown as the live music capital of the world means there are a lot of big shoes to fill. Whitten and Tripiano demonstrated their skills as they humbly took the stage with confidence. After an hour performance, musicians from other bars invited the two to play with them that evening. Pretty good night for a first time gig. Keep your ears open, these two will definitely be making their name in Austin.