Austin City Limits

Although some of my friends resent Austin because Cyril has defected there, I still love the city and was happy to visit for my 3rd round of the ACL festival with my brother (we did the 1st and 3rd together, but I missed the 2nd for a wedding and the 4th for K-Bitch).  It’s a pretty good festival to me because I enjoy Austin music, if not as much as NO’s.  For that reason, I expect, I don’t like the fest quite as much as JazzFest, but it’s solid (and infinitely better than it’s first year, when astronomical lines and sand burrs made the event pretty unpleasant).

Quick review:  Top act was Gnarls Barkley.  I know some folks don’t like them, and I’d only really heard Crazy, but I was intrigued.  Great showmanship, great humor, great tunes.  The whole band came out in nerdy costumes and lab coats and opened with She Blinded me with Science.  Nice.  C-Lo was a little to chatty for my taste, but there was some serious energy up there.

Other quality sets:   Thievery Corporation; TV on the Radio; Kings of Leon; Matisyahu (surprised how much I liked him, but I don’t know why he speaks with a Brooklyn accent but sings/raps with a Jamaican one); Son Volt; Tom Petty (what we caught of him before the deluge).

Bummed by the lack of volume for the Van Morrison & Willie Nelson sets.

Great to see my brother; nice to have that tradition.  And this year it only approached 100 degrees.  Also had a nice chance to catch up with Joe & Karen (& Jack & Lucy) and to see Mark’s old high school crew, Bret, Steve, & Lawrence.

Ready for next year.


One Response to Austin City Limits

  1. Ian says:

    Here’s a good ACL story a New Orleanian would enjoy…

    Galactic’s my boys, and we always support them. At their set at the festival, Leo is itchin to get on stage for what would become a great version of “Africa” but with “New Orleans” inserted into the chorus. My bud Jay is working stage tech and he’s trying to find him a guitar.. Jeff’s extra is strung for slide, and the array laid out for String Cheese has nothing Leo could use, so someone says, “there’s a whole table of guitars over there… just pick one out.” Its the table of autographed-for-auction axes, and Leo snatches one up, and hits the stage. Turns out he smudged John Mayer’s signature, which likely makes it more valuable. He also signed it himself, and added a little message he actually played it.

    Too bad you missed Ghostland Observatory. I’m sure they would have made the list if you caught it. That’s my best ‘out of left field’ act from this year, and almost as entertaining as Gnarls, which was a great, great act as well… with that Beatles cover? Aw. Loved it.

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