Monday, September 19, 2011

ACL 2011 - 3rd day

The Mullet's Festival Guide for Not Being Lame at a Festival

Rule 13
If you shine your laser pointer all over the stage and at the band, you are lame, I hate you, and when I'm resurrected as a tiger I will hunt you down and bite off both your hands.
It was hot today. Super hot. Not many rain clouds hung over Zilker Park unlike the previous two. It did sprinkle for a little bit around 5:30 but not enough to thoroughly chase away the heat or provide much shady relief. A nice breeze blew sporadically. When it did, the wind felt good. It didn't blow enough.

Today, 18 September, I saw at ACL:

1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. (Detroit)
2. The Walkmen
3. The Airborne Toxic Event (Los Angeles)
5. Chiddy Bang
6. Broken Social Scene (Canada)
7. Death from Above 1979
8. Fleet Foxes
9. Social Distortion
10. Hayes Carll
11. Empire of the Sun
12. Arcade Fire

I started out day 3 by watching Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. who regular readers may recognize from the track 'Nothing But Our Love (Kasper Bjorke remix)' that's been in the top 5 of the week before. They weren't quite as dance-y as I had hoped. Still, a lot of fun and danceable. They threw out popsicles to the crowd half-way through the set which made them really popular on a hot Austin summer day. They also covered Steve Winwood's 'Higher Love'.

Split the next hour between The Walkmen and The Airborne Toxic Event sets. The Walkmen reminded me of a countrified Rod Stewart for some reason. I've seen The Airborne Toxic Event before at 101x Fest at Emo's[1] a few years ago. There's some inexplicable about them that I really like. They covered 'I Fought the Law' and dedicated to LAPD, the London Metro cops, and the police of Athens, GA who recently "detained [them] against [their] will." Definitely a fun set.

Finally managed to catch Broken Social Scene live. I tried to make something happen when they toured immediately after the release and in support of 'Forgiveness Rock Record.' This will be one of their last shows before going on indefinite hiatus. While I did enjoy watching their show streamed live via youtube several months, actually seeing them in person is much, much better. I guess that's the influence of the crowd rather than sitting at home listening while working on your 1L brief.

Death from Above 1979 brought the day's brief rain. They also brought bad news. They played Emo's last night. It will be the last show performed at Emo's because the venue is being dozed this Monday. What the hell happened, Austin? Emo's was one of the premier live music venues in Austin and a long-standing and venerable institution of the Austin music scene. Punk acts, metal, hardcore, post-hardcore, indie and more passed through the doors of its two stages and played for one of the few all ages crowds left in the city. I've been going to Emo's for nearly a decade and a half. I've seen a lot of good shows there in college and after and made a lot of good memories there. You will be missed, Emo's.

Hayes Carll has great stage banter. He told a story about appearing on Leno and was surprised the crowd didn't boo him. That night's guest was Kathie Lee Gifford. Then he related a tale about almost appearing on Letterman. He flew to NYC to speak with his manager and to try to make it happen but ultimately got passed over in favor of another band. Stuck in NYC for the night, he decided to tune into Letterman to see who that night's celebrity guest would be. It was the complete lineup of the 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition. But at least he got to meet Kathie Lee Gifford.[2]

The guy from Empire of the Sun smashed his guitar up all crazy rocker style at the end of their set.

I saw Arcade Fire in May in Austin with Explosions in the Sky. I'm not sure what it was, but I liked this year's Grammy winners a lot more this time around. It's not because I'm more familiar with their music. Neon Bible and the Suburbs were much more heavily in my rotation back then. Weather was also nicer. And they played substantially the same set tonight and 4 months ago.

Maybe it's because I was pissed off because my (ex)friend made me miss most of the Explosions in the Sky set.[3] Was there a horn section in May? I think there was. I don't like horns much. That and they played the songs straight up this time instead of trying to stadium rock-it.

They're traveling with the same stage setup I saw in May. That's the two screens angled together to look like an old-style movie theater marquee complete with a line of lights around each marquee. There's also a larger screen below them. Because they played on the Bud Light stage, the stage where all the major headlining acts played this year (Kanye, Stevie Wonder), two screens flanked the stage where ACL camera crews projected feeds from their various cameras.

I can't say enough about how different my experience was seeing them this time. I really, really enjoyed the show. Win Butler quipped that Austinites are "horrible dancers." He also dropped a hint that another major Canadian band may be going on hiatus after finishing up their scheduled tour dates. At the close of the show, Win said that we won't be seeing them for a couple of years. That sounds like more definite plans than 'until we record another album.' Did I miss some announcement? Just thought I'd share.

UPDATE 19 September: I've gone back and added some links to songs for the various artists I saw over the weekend. I'm starting with day 3 and working backwards. It will be a slow process because I'm also a busy 2L and a weekend of fun is a week's worth of hell in makeup work. Keep in mind, just because it's linked doesn't mean it was actually performed during ACL.

[1] RIP Emo's.
[2] He says he plans on retiring that story after tonight.
[3] Don't fret, faithful readers. I'll be seeing Explosions again on 29 September at the Tabernacle in Atlanta.

No comments:

Post a Comment