Scotty Austin in Clearwater: real rock with attitude

Live Review

The Scotty Austin band. Photo by Chyrisse.

By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa

Live Review: Scotty Austin band at OCC Roadhouse, Clearwater, Florida – January 28, 2023

Jason Boatwright and Scotty Austin. Photo by Chyrisse.

Rock At Night has covered gigs at Orange County Choppers (OCC) Roadhouse in Clearwater, Florida—but I had never been there until Saturday. The motorcycle-themed establishment has a restaurant (an impressive menu and service), gift shops, and two stages for live performances. Overall, the atmosphere felt very relaxed as we observed folks playing cornhole, enjoying a beer, and listening to a cover band on the smaller stage.

Rock At Night was at OCC on the evening of January 28th to catch Scotty Austin’s performance. We last saw him at the Hops and Hogs Festival-Orlando in March 2021. He was performing with Saving Abel but later left the band that summer to pursue a solo career. In addition, he brought along his longtime friend, Saving Abel drummer Steven Pulley. Guitarist Jason Boatwright, who hails from Austin’s hometown of Parsons, Tennessee, and bassist Nick DiBlasio joined forces.

Last spring, the Scotty Austin band released a badass version of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” and, in the fall, an original single, “Money.” The song is on Rock At Night’s playlist; we can’t hear it enough. 

With shiny Harley-Davidsons as a backdrop, we took photos of Austin and his band members before the concert. He was gracious to speak with us about his new music, leaving Saving Abel, and the ongoing tour, which will take him throughout North America the entire year. Look for our podcast interview with him.

Scotty Austin. Photo by Chyrisse.

Shortly after 9 p.m., the band hit the stage and performed a mix of Saving Abel hits, covers, and original songs. Charismatic and energetic Austin coaxed the crowd close to the stage to dance as they performed Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.” He candidly spoke with the audience between songs, making the concert feel intimate, and paid homage to a friend who returned from Iraq and helped him “get clean.” His honesty and authenticity added to his charm.

Austin showed versatility by singing with his raspy, full-throated ‘rock’ voice and taking over Boatwright’s guitar by fingering the strings. Saying he is a “classically-trained guitarist,” he performed on an acoustic guitar and sang an emotional ballad. Before performing Saving Abel’s hit “Addicted,” he bonded with the people near the stage by sharing a tray of tequila shots, much to their delight. During the song, the crowd yelled “bullshit” during the chorus while throwing fists into the air.

Austin explained that Addicted was the “longest #2 ever” before lodging into a crowd favorite, “Sex Is Good.” The next song, he explained, was inspired by a roommate involved with crystal meth. As a result, the FBI arrested him, inspiring a song initially titled “Larry and the Blue Dog” but later recorded by The Trash Brand as “The Devil’s Ride.” The song was pure rock ‘n’ roll, which revved up the crowd as Austin fist-bumped people near the stage.

The Scotty Austin band. Photo by Chyrisse.

The band performed a song inspired by Austin’s autistic son, followed by a cover of Cage the Elephant’s “Ain’t No Time for the Wicked.” He explained that the band had recently recorded the song in the studio and “the next album would be a “fuckin’ masterpiece” since it took “two years to make it.” 

While performing “Left For Dead,” an audience member passed his cell phone to Austin. He had been FaceTiming a friend. Austin put the phone next to every band member’s face before handing it back to the member.

The evening ended with the heavy and infectious single “Money” followed by “Rebel Yell.” By this time, half of the audience crowded near the stage while dancing in place and with arms raised. Nobody wanted the party to end because it was one hell of a show.  Austin and the band showed they are true professionals and entertainers, giving 110 percent.  For an evening of fun, catch the band in your city.



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Chyrisse Tabone, Ph.D.
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