Putting the romance back into touring, Austin to Boston profiles Ben Howard, The Staves, Nathaniel Rateliff and Bears Den as they travel backwards from Austin to Boston in just 2 short weeks.
The moment the world found out that Gill Landry from the band Old Crow Medicine Show had a narration voice from your childhood dreams, is the moment that Austin to Boston became one of the best music documentary-come-films, dare I say it, ever!
Directed by James Marcus Haney and lovingly compiled over three long years by co-producers Ty Johnson and Mumford and Son’s Ben Lovett, Austin to Boston is a feel-good film that details the highs and lows of touring three thousand miles in vintage VW camper vans.
The road trip begins after the final night at Austin’s SXSW Music Festival, with the four bands piling into five vintage VW’s and setting out on the most convoluted tour, playing everywhere from bars to barns, rooms to rooftops, packing out tiny venues and wowing crowds with their unique sounds.
Playing guitars out of windows, jamming in campsites and setting off fireworks, the freedom, self-discovery – and in Nathaniel Rateliff’s case: a journey into the past – is cleverly explored throughout the film by quiet scenes and private conversations.
The tour experience portrayed in Austin to Boston harks back to traditional cinematic explorations of the American highway as a means to self discovery; paying homage to traditional tropes of the American Road Movie genre through their tagline: ‘The road is a fresh start, the freedom to be the person they see, or know themselves to be.’
Apart from the amazing panoramic shots, VW montages and endless close-ups of the bands, the true beauty of this film is the way in which it manages to capture the essence of an old-fashioned road-trip. The spirit of travel, new friends and post-gig buzz transcends through the screen, having even the most unassuming traveler in the audience packing their bags to do an American road trip of their own.
There’s nothing quite like the camaraderie and friendships made on the road, the film showing how from all different walks of life and musical backgrounds, the road can create life-long friendships that surpass the endless expanse of route 66.
Topping off the opening night with a surprise Acapella performance by over 20 Aussie vocalists including the likes of Ainslie Wills and Jo Syme from Big Scary, Austin to Boston has been heralded around the globe for its unique take on a traditional journey – explicating the old saying that the experience of being on the road is less about the destination, and all about the ride there.
Austin to Boston is currently playing at ACMI and will be coming to cinemas in June.