Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Just got back from sweltering swamp of Austin, TX for the final three days of my summer festival tour. Nine days this summer I have spent outside in the heat watching bands on huge stages. Not sure if I'd ever do it again though. Austin was super fun, although my crew was a little couples-centric (nothing new). I also had a better Chicago dog in Texas than I had in a combined two weeks in Chicago! That's fucked. ACL- Let me break it down quickly since I am kinda hungover from the Converge/Mastodon show last night (yes I made a decision- more on that later).

We saw Ted Leo bash his forehead open with the mic during "Ballad of the Sin Eater" AGAIN. Gotta be a gimmick. I love Ted Leo. If I could be anything, I'd be a Pharmacist. Pretty much the same set as Pitchfork...loved hearing the new songs but it is such a bummer that he hasn't even started recording them yet.

Guster played two songs I knew the words too. Totally busted...I have their first record.

Wolf Parade slayed despite Daunte (the old guitarist from Hot Hot Heat/new dude in WP) having "e.coli" as Spencer pointed out. Even without him they pulled off a fantastic set, including a surprisingly epic version of "I'll Believe In Anything". All the usual favorites were in the set, and they even closed with "Dinner Bells". It was the hottest part of the day/entire festival but it didn't matter. I fucking love Wolf Parade so much.

Gnarls Barkley came out as "John Nash and the Beautiful Minds", but it was too hot to leave what little shade we could find. Apologies to Cat Power as well, even though we could hear her soul floating through the trees.

Van Morrison was boring. But he is a legend and dude knows how to write a smooth jam. Made me miss my dad.

Nada Surf played "Popular" three songs in. They must be bummed to still play that song ten years later.

TV on the Radio didn't stop moving despite the heat, and played "Young Liars" which was awesome. Kyp must have been suffering under all that hair. A little uneven, and I was bummed out over a few arrangements of the songs, but overall awesome. I can't stop listening to Cookie Mountain.

The Shins still suck. Sorry Zach Braff.

Matisyahu? Always good! Twice this year! He jumps out into the crowd, walks across amps, dances the hora. I would never listen to his music, but homeboy puts on quite a show. Yarmulkes off to you sir.

New Pornographers brought Neko Case with them, and I still couldn't get into it.

Flaming Lips were worth watching just for spectacles sake. Balloons, streamers, fake blood, aliens, Santa Claus, and gigantic hands. Awesome. And the "She Don't Use Jelly" song (they can't put that one away?).

Muse. How can you describe Muse live? Ryan Lien just told me "beautiful". And he was right. There was so much noise, perfect noise, coming from these three dudes it was insane. The musicianship and stage performance were so in a class by themselves it was hard to believe you were at an outdoor festival. Highly recommended. They do however also get the award for shittiest crowd of the day (lots of sweet bros jumping up and down incessantly giving the devil horns). But even that actually added to the experience, especially when they drop that riff at the end of "Knights of Cydonia" (riff of the year!). The whole place seemed to explode, and I kinda got goosebumps. A top band at the top of their game. I wasn't a huge fan before but now I rabid. Check them out.


Blogger January said...

You forgot to mention SUFJAN and My Brightest that not included cause it wasn't technically part of ACL?

3:30 PM  

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