Note: I intended to capture all kinds of pictures while in Austin but, unfortunately, left my camera back at home. What follows is mostly the photography of CHW and some from the ACL website. The words are mine, except for the ones I stole.
Good Morning Austin! Today is the day we have all been waiting for, as there are so many bands playing that we want to see, and some of them playing at the same time. I am going to go make some eggs and coffee and power up for the day. I will post more tonight when we return...
...just got back from a long Day 3. Up early and out the door, we arrived at the park just as Yo La Tengo were starting up. You could hear them as we locked the bikes up, and we all had that look on our faces like we knew we were in for something. Yo La Tengo is a band that I have listened to quite a bit, but I didn’t know what to expect live. This was one of the best shows of the weekend for me, if not the best. They even did a fantastic cover of The Beach Boy’s “Little Honda”. Huge sound from this threesome.
Next up was The National, whose album The Boxer has been getting much play on my player lately. Along with Blonde Redhead, The National brought the weekend’s best power-pop.
Decided to check out STS9 (Sound Tribe Sector Nine) at the last minute, but we still made it for the last 30 minutes of their set. Instrumental, electronica that would sound great in a dark lounge, or my basement. Nice change from all the rock.
Still reeling from the Yo La Tengo show, I knew I needed to chill for awhile before the double climax of My Morning Jacket and Wilco. We did listen to some of Ian Ball (lead singer of Gomez) and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, but I also walked around by myself for some time and just took in all the sights.
After regrouping with my mates, we hit the beer garden and decided to try and get a good spot for My Morning Jacket . When we arrived at the stage, it was already packed and we still had 30 minutes before the boys from Kentucky hit the stage. We spent the time watching the group of high school students in from of us smoke enormous amounts of weed, and then they proceeded to zone out, oblivious that MMJ were about to rock our world. I hope they didn’t get trampled when the masses exited, because it didn’t look they were going anywhere soon.
MMJ came out wearing swim trunks, swimmies, masks, snorkels, etc. Sticking with the tropical theme, they even had hula girls carrying pineapples. Very cool. Andrew Bird joined the band for two songs, and then disappeared offstage, probably to hang with Drew Barrymore, who was reported to be in the park. At this point our group split up, and three of us decided to try and catch the last 40 minutes of Wilco. Like gazelles we wound our way across the park and actually got pretty darn close to the stage. Jeff Tweedy, clean and sober, is at the top of his game right now, and he has surrounded himself with some of the best musicians in the industry. Nels Cline is a wizard on the guitar, and Tweedy seemed positive and happy. Glad we caught this one. They closed with “Casino Queen” and “Outtasite (Outta Mind)”, classic.
On our way back to meet with the rest of the gang we watched part of Ghostland Observatory, a band I don’t know much about. The sun was just starting to go down, and so were the temperatures. Cool light show, and it looked like the audience closest to the stage were at a rave. From where I stood up on the hill all I could see were bodies bobbing up and down to the music. Someone told me that they heard there were 60 thousand people in the park today. That is almost twice the size of the town I live in.
Met up the other two in our group, and about 40 thousand others all trying to get a spot for Bob Dylan. Maybe I was just tired, but I had a feeling that Dylan wasn’t going to be worth sticking around for, and I was right. We tried to listen to a few songs, but from the opening bars of "Rainy Day Woman" I could tell his voice was shot, so we threw in the towel and made our way back to the bikes, caught the end of the Red Sox/Yankees game at a local sports bar, and ate way too many wings.
Lots of bikes on the road tonight, and on our way back to the house we witnessed a guy getting hit by a truck. I heard it first and thought it was two cars, that is until I saw the bike flying across the roadway about 30 yards ahead of me. Turns out the kid was okay, he was cut up pretty bad, but it could have been much, much, worse. I feel sorry for the driver as well. Shitty way to end such a great three days.