Alabama Shakes, Live In Concert: SXSW 2012

The Alabama Shakes' lead singer, Brittany Howard, onstage at NPR Music's SXSW showcase at Stubb's Wednesday night.
The Alabama Shakes' lead singer, Brittany Howard, onstage at NPR Music's SXSW showcase at Stubb's Wednesday night. (Katie Hayes Luke for NPR)

A staple of "Bands To Watch" lists far and wide, Alabama Shakes sure didn't shrink under the open Texas skies during NPR Music's 2012 SXSW showcase at Stubb's on Wednesday night. Armed with a bright new batch of songs from the forthcoming Boys & Girls — not to mention booming, shout-along standbys like "Hold On" — lead singer Brittany Howard seemed to feed off a crowd 2,000 strong and packed to the exits.