Love live music? Southwest Airlines offering in-flight pop-up concerts

If you’ve ever wished you could see a concert from 35,000 feet, you’re in luck. Thanks to Southwest Airlines’ Live at 35 in-air concert series, lucky passengers aboard select flights can do just that.

dawson
Devin Dawson performs on a Southwest Airlines flight. Contributed by Southwest

The program has been around since 2011 but has increased its reach and offerings in recent years to include popular performers such as The Strumbellas, Valerie June, The Rua, NEEDTOBREATHE and Blue October, which treated an Austin to Phoenix flight with their single, “Home.”

Passengers are usually not aware that they’re on a Live at 35 flight until the flight is in the air. Typically the bands are set up at the front of the plane and play two songs. Sometimes they’ll serenade fans and sign autographs, too.

“A lot of times when we’re starting to set up people are wondering what’s going on,” said Southwest spokeswoman Alyssa Eliasen, who has participated in Live at 35 flights in the past. “People pull out iPads, iPhones, they’re capturing the music. We want people to share their experience.”

Southwest typically offers one Live at 35 performance a month. The most recent performance occurred earlier this month when country artist Devin Dawson flew from Nashville to Philadelphia and performed his new single, “All on Me,” from the air.

 

Dawson’s performance coincided with an announcement from Warner Music Nashville naming Southwest its Airline of Record and a commitment from both companies to fortify the Live at 35 concert series, which will sometimes include WMN artists.

 

Love Halloween? These spooky Central Texas day trips are perfect for October

Sure, there are goosebump-inducing haunted houses and creepy costume shops and weird historic buildings in Austin. But did you know the cities and small towns surrounding our fair city are also filled with spectacularly spooky spots?

If you’re a true Halloween aficionado, you can’t beat a quick jaunt to a new haunt in a neighboring town. There’s just something about the way the leaves rustle and the buildings creak and the moonlight casts shadows in an unfamiliar place that can be downright terrifying (in a good way).

Here are five chilling Central Texas day trips to consider before the end of October.

Georgetown

dyc georgetown 09
The Williamson County Courthouse in Georgetown. Deborah Cannon/American-Statesman

Located just 30 minutes up the road, Georgetown’s historic square is said to be home to a number of haunted buildings. One such building is the Georgetown Art Center, a former firehouse and city hall space built in 1892, where a tall cowboy in a hat and duster has been spotted pacing the stairs. Another is the present-day Williamson County Courthouse, where visitors have reported seeing a woman in a long dress disappear when approached. Book pages here have also been known to turn on their own. You can learn about these buildings and more when the Williamson Museum hosts Downtown Georgetown Ghost Tours, led by a costumed docent, at 7:30 p.m., 8 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Oct. 13-14 and 27-28. Buy tickets at hellogeorgetown.com/downtown-georgetown-ghost-tours-georgetown-texas.

San Antonio

alamo-at-dusk2Richard-Nowitz_Tag_Alamo
A view of the Alamo in San Antonio. credit: Richard Nowitz

Hundreds of people died at the Alamo, and some of their spirits are said to haunt the grounds even today. One of the most commonly spotted ghosts? A blond-haired little boy frequently seen in the upstairs left window. Learn more about the Alamo and other haunted downtown locations with a 90-minute Ghosts of Old San Antonio tour, offered nightly (ghostcitytours.com/san-antonio/ghost-tours/ghosts-old-san-antonio-tour). For extra points, book a stay at the Menger Hotel, which is widely known as the most haunted hotel in Texas.

Goliad

aam goliad 2
The main bedroom of the Quarters at Presidio La Bahia in Goliad, where, rumor has it, ghosts roam about the old fort.

Presidio La Bahia in Goliad was constructed by the Spanish Army and was the site of both the Battle of Goliad in October 1835 and the Goliad Massacre in March 1836. It’s said to still house the spirits of angry and hurt soldiers whose screams you can sometimes hear. For a true scare, stay the night at the Quarters, a two-bedroom apartment inside Presidio La Bahia. Learn more at presidiolabahia.org.

Fredericksburg

dyc fredericksburg7
People walk along Main Street in Fredericksburg. Deborah Cannon/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

From haunted historic buildings to Easter Fires to infamous locals, there’s lots of spooky lore to be found in Fredericksburg, located in the Hill Country about an hour from Austin. The Haunted History Tour offered by Fredericksburg Trolley Tours features all of the best-known stories and includes a trolley ride, too. Tours this month will be held Oct. 14, 20 and 28. The tour is not appropriate for children; minors must be accompanied by an adult guardian. Learn more at fbgtours.com.

 

Which Austin neighborhood made Lonely Planet’s list of places to go right now?

Another day, another list. But this time, Lonely Planet is getting super local, narrowing down 10 of the best neighborhoods across the country to visit right now.

Only one Texas neighborhood made the list, and yes, it’s in Austin. According to Lonely Planet, Austin’s South First Street district “offers an appealing mix of old and new — and a stark contrast to trendy South Congress Avenue one block east.”

ERZ Mural 07
Alexandra Vavoulis, right, and Noor Majdi look at a photos they took of one another in front of the “Greetings From Austin” mural on the corner of West Annie and South First Streets. Erika Rich for the Statesman

“At first glance, South First Street looks like a ho-hum stretch of cottages, food trucks and weathered buildings. But don’t be fooled by the low-key facade,” Lonely Planet asserts. “Chatty locals keep Bouldin Creek Cafe and the indie coffee shops buzzing, while beloved Torchy’s serves ‘damn good tacos.'”

BouldinCreek1516landis
Bouldin Creek Cafe employee Aja McMillan reaches for a pencil at the restaurant’s coffee bar. Along with a full menu, Bouldin Creek Cafe offers fresh coffee and 25 different hot teas. Ashley Landis for American-Statesman

Also on the list, which was compiled using tips from U.S. travel experts and Lonely Planet Locals: East Liberty and Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh; Avondale, Chicago; Point Loma, San Diego; East Nashville, Nashville; Capitol Riverfront and Yards Park, Washington, D.C.; Montavilla, Portland; and River North, Denver.

Find the complete list here.