Since his start on SoundCloud at 15 years old, South London native Tom Misch has come a long way, selling out Mohawk on his first visit to Austin last Wednesday. Light rain showers falling through the trees added a bit of drama to Misch’s dreamy guitar solos and stories of success and failure in romantic adventure. The writer and producer, now 23, leans heavily into the soloing mines that lie within his breezy neo-jazz, translating his intricate, genre blending beats to the stage beautifully.
Misch opened the set with his latest album Geography’s opening track, “Before Paris,” which samples audio from a 2011 interview with jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove.
“Starting to try to be a musician or artist—something like that—because you wanna make money, because you wanna do a job, that’s — that’s the wrong way. You have to do this because you love it. And it doesn’t matter if you broke, you still gon’ do it. I go out in jam sessions, and I play regardless of if I’m getting a check or not.”
Hargrove’s words melt into Misch’s smooth, funky guitar, as he reminds us of his roots before showing off the raw, unique artistic talent that brought him from London to Austin. He builds the tempo from there, even featuring a cover of Outkast’s “Prototype,” paying homage to his hip-hop influences. Between songs, Misch rattled off guitar riffs from Biggie’s “Big Poppa” and Dr. Dre’s “Xplosive,” recalling his early SoundCloud days when he’d remix rap, playing his signature jazzy guitar over world famous bars.
Show highlights included the appearance of saxophonist Braxton Cook, who brilliantly complements Misch’s energetic guitar riffs. Cook and Misch especially vibed on the dance-inducing “Day 4: Everybody Get Down,” from collab-centric EP 5 Day Mischon, which he literally created over the course of five days, laying down a new track each day. Another stand out was the violin solo in “Water Baby”—full of reverb, soul and surprising pivots that left the crowd weak. His set list balanced new tracks from Geography with his first two albums, bringing us on a journey from his SoundCloud days to his present reality of sold-out shows on the Geography Tour and high profile collabs.
Despite his success, Tom seems to maintain the same low key vibe and humble ingenuity that first attracted music lovers. In a recent interview, he says he still makes music the same way he started: alone in his bedroom. His live show makes it clear that the coolness of Misch’s music comes from his short lifetime exploring musical curiosity, combining his findings in jazz, soul, hip-hop, pop and rock, creating a truly unique and versatile sound that his fans love enough to watch in the rain.
- Before Paris
- It Runs Through Me / Losing My Way
- I Wish
- Disco Yes
- Tick Tock
- Day 4: Everybody Get Down
- Prototype (Outkast cover)
- Water Baby / Crazy Dream
- You’re On My Mind
- Colours of Freedom
- South of the River
Encore: We’ve Come So Far, Lost In Paris, Watch Me Dance
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