Austin City Limits 2008
Okay so here it is. The entire weekend breakdown. Now we rest......till the Presets and Cut Copy show tonight!
Day 1 kicked off in true ACL fashion.... It was hot and dusty. But that didn't stop the crowds or us to get in full festival mode. Sure we started a bit late due to some late night pre-parties. We still managed to make it down for our first highlighted show of the day. Here is the breakdown of Day 1.
Yeasayer - We have knocked out 5 or 6 Yeasayer shows in 2008 so the excitement level wasn't as high as it should have been. Not that they don't deserve it, I mean come on we wouldn't keep seeing them if they weren't so damn good! The band was in full form and they pulled off another solid set. Looking back it was the ideal way to kick off the weekend.
Vampire Weekend - The great big hype. I am converted. The band impressed me so much at SXSW that I have been preaching about them ever since. Yeah maybe they don't deserve THAT much attention but you can't deny that they write great tracks. They didn't even have a big enough catalog to play the entire hour. And that was with two new tracks. But who needs quantity when every song is a hit....
Jamie Lidell - Lidell was in true form and has finally perfected the chemistry with his entire band. Decent sized crowd but I still think people are missing out on this guy. Such a perfect blend of funk, soul and pretty much everything else you can think of. Check out this video of the final 5 minutes of the set to get an idea.
Gogol Bordello - You cannot measure that amount of energy. This band is special and words really can't describe what a great experience a Gogol show is. No complaints except for they probably could have had a higher slot. Imagine if they had switched with N.E.R.D?
Hot Chip - What else can I say? I have been hooked since day 1 and these guys continue to amaze. They took a sluggish midday crowd and really turned things into a really good party. They have a guy on bass synthesizer and that says it all. We managed to capture them performing "Shake A Fist" and have the video for that below. Check out the drum "circle" at the beginning. Brilliant.
Jenny Lewis - I couldn't help but notice she was playing the WaMu stage.. Does that mean it was now the Chase Stage? Either way she was amazing. The new tracks off "Acid Tongue" are amazing and she even teared up during the performance of the title track. Bandmate and boyfriend Johnathan Rice even offered up a cover of "Love Hurts" towards that end. An unexpected highlight!
N.E.R.D - All the girls standing in the line for the bathroom..... And so it goes. We have had our share of Pharrell and Co. this year. From SXSW to Glow In The Dark. They provide a good time and use their performances to hook up and seriously who can blame them? It was a good time and fun to check out while trying to find a good spot for The Mars Volta.
The Mars Volta - It's hard not to biased. They are my absolute favorite band. Tonight was my 9th time seeing them and the one thing I can say is that as a fan I can understand that it's not everyone's cup of tea. But tonight was an exception. They were in true form and probably played one of the tightest sets I have ever seen them perform. The energy was right and they even went crazy and performed a whopping 4(ish) songs! I took a video of the video screen and really liked the way it came out. Check it out.
After Parties - Yes, Hot Chip was playing a house party tonight. For those that missed out I can say that it was kinda cool but don't believe the hype. While at the party we did manage to catch members of Hot Chip, Man Man and Trail of Dead enjoying the festivities. We also managed to make it down to the 508 House for the Antics party. I have to admit I was awestruck when DangerMouse and Cee-Lo of Gnarls Barkley came in. CSS played DJ and spun records from Coolio and Vanilla Ice. The best part though had to be the free vodka!
Day 2 kicked off with mellow sets from Mugison and Jose Gonzalez and then picked up steam with the lovely Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings.
CSS - As energetic and fun as usual. They were kind of stuck playing a little bit too early so the heat kind of put a damper on the energy. But you always get what you paid for with their shows. A good time.
Erykah Badu - She started late and was a little too preachy but you can't argue that she has a beautiful voice. Most of the talking really ate up the time she had to perform some of her most famous songs but what we did get was worth it.
MGMT - Same as Lolla they played a bit too early. But I have to say that they played to one of the biggest crowds I saw on a smaller stage this weekend. There were a ton of people! Its always interesting to see a band you knew about early on get big like that. There were some sound issues but they still managed to play a great set.
John Fogerty - One of the highlights. It was just nice to see somebody playing such an arsenal of classics with an enormous amount of energy and enthusiasm. My only regret was that I wasn't closer to the stage. I was surprised that I knew as many songs as I did.
The Black Keys - Only caught a few songs because I didn't want to spoil the Sunday night after show. But I managed to stick around long enough to see one of my favorite bands play a really strong set. I also managed to capture some video of them performing "Psychotic Girl".
Beck - The sound on the AT&T stage was absolutely horrible. It was so off that you could hear conversations a lot more than you could hear the music. Beck is never bad in concert and has always tried to do new things and this was just kind of more of the same. Not to mention that he finished a little over 10 minutes early! I enjoyed to better parts of the show but as we were walking out a fellow festival goer put it best... "Best worst concert ever".
Silversun Pickups - Walked in just in time to catch the entire set. The crowd was especially mellow which is usually how it goes on the third day when everyone is exhausted. From what I could tell the new songs sound great and it's always fun to hear my favorite track from the last album.
Okkervil River - Finally got to see this band. Even though they are from Austin I have never had a chance to see them. The new album is fantastic and they played heavily from it. They commented on how good it was to be home even though it was only for one day.
The Raconteurs - Jack White mentioned on several occasions during the set that he was sick and that had a disc in his back out of place. Although he looked at times like he wasn't doing to well that didn't effect his guitar playing. Proving once again that Jack White at 50% is still better than most. As always I have to give credit to Brendan Benson who really is the band secret weapon.
Tegan and Sara - I had mostly seen them in passing during other festivals so I really made it a point to stick around for this set. "Back In Your Head" is one of my favorite songs right now and I really wanted to hear it. They were fantastic and I really kick myself now for not catching their show at Stubb's a few weeks ago.
Aftershow / The Black Keys at Stubb's - Took some time to get out of the park and make my way to Stubb's so I unfortunately missed The Black Angels. Matter of fact I walked in just as the Keys started. They played an explosive set and really relied heavily on material from their latest album Attack and Release. Both CeeLo and DangerMouse of Gnarls Barkley were on hand and bobbing their heads during the entire show (pic below).
I don't what else to say other than they are my favorite band right now. Below is video of them performing Strange Times.
Now on to Fun Fun Fun Fest.....