Saturday, October 9, 2010

Austin City Limits Festival, Day 1

I have a friend who won a pair of tickets to ACL (I love a friend who calls you at times like these!), so we have thrown ourselves into the chaos. And chaos it is! I haven't seen attendance numbers, but it has to be in the tens of thousands.

The bands I've heard of are all playing today and tomorrow, so Cindy and I just wandered around and sampled things yesterday. Don't yell at me about "You haven't heard ?" Now I have. I listen to a LOT of music, but I hadn't gotten around to these before yesterday.  =)

  • Pat Green. Your basic Austin country. He busted out a little U2 at one point ("With or Without You"). Pretty good, but I don't listen to a lot of country.
  • Qbeta. They were on a stage that was shaded -- a naturally attractive prospect in the heat of the day. We only caught their last tune, which was kind of a dance-raggae thing and a lot of fun. I was sad I couldn't hear more.
  • The Band of Heathens. These tied for the best of the day for me. They were a mix of several genres, funky and rocky with great harmonies. As we were walking by, the singer said, "We're gonna have a little church now. Y'all need to have some church, I think!" or something like that. In that crowd, it was pretty funny. Then they broke into a funky praise thing. Lots of people were dancing around with hands in the air. They were fun. But we were actually on our way to
  • Beach House. We listened to them for half a song and decided The Band of Heathens was more fun, so we went back. Still only caught like 3 songs though. Curse the hour-long sets!
  • Slightly Stoopid. Several people said this was a fun band, and they were. Good groove, sort of a rock/reggae vibe.
  • Vampire Weekend. Holy cow, what a huge crowd, and a lot of pot in the crowd.  We were a LONG way back and were still packed in. They were OK, would probably have been better if I owned any of the music (I'd considered buying it but hadn't gotten around to it).
  • Sonic Youth. One friend asked me how I was going to decide between Vampire Weekend and Sonic Youth, so I went to both. We found chairs by SY, which was nice. They were highly sonic, but no longer young, and Cindy and I laughed about the 3 minute outros on several songs. In a one-hour set, that adds up. We kind of wished we'd stayed at Vampire Weekend, but it was really nice to sit down, too.
  • The Strokes. We both loved The Strokes, who I probably should have heard before now. I'm not sure how to categorize their music -- it's rock, but with elements of other stuff thrown in. Their singer had some interesting stage banter. The first thing he said to the crowd was, "If all y'all would come out of the woodwork, maybe we wouldn't be so broke!" I hope he gets his wish. I'll probably buy some stuff.
So that's Day 1. I'll try to keep taking notes and posting so all two of my readers can have some new music to try out on youtube.  My dad will hate all of it (except maybe Pat Green).

Oh, a couple of other comments on the fest: with so many people temporarily in one place, there is no way to use your phone in any real way. I'd love to twitter or facebook updates (and I really tried yesterday), but the network just won't handle that many people. There is no twitter, no facebook, no texting. Calls will usually go, but you can forget about data.

And those porta potties? With that many people onsite (all eating, drinking and what-have-you), those need to be cleaned more than once a day, y'all. For real. Yick.

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