Review: ACL Day 2

Andy attended Day One, focusing mostly on the festival itself and not the music.

I said earlier this year that I wasn’t going after the heat and dust last year. Finding a cheap 3-Day Pass from someone who couldn’t make it up from Galveston because of an exam changed my mind. I neglected to bring my camera yesterday (and buy liter bottles of water at the gas station by my house where they’re 99 cents as opposed to the $2 or $2.50 near Zilker Park) so no pretty pictures for you.

We arrived yesterday around 2:30 and sat down at the Austin Ventures stage to watch Blue Van. I wandered off to look for a cheap hat, an unsuccessful trip because of my enormous noggin, but was underwhelmed by the few songs I heard.

We parked ourselves at the AT&T Blue Room stage for Nada Surf. I loved “Popular” when it came out and had heard good things about the band. They were ok, not great. We headed over to the AT&T stage for The Shins and I remained in that general area for the rest of the day. The Shins were good. I wouldn’t buy their music, but I enjoyed them. I turned around to watch Aimee Mann from a distance at the Heineken stage. I could hear pretty well actually and the jumbo screen made it easy to see.

The Raconteurs were up next, by far the best band of the day. I’d only heard “Steady As She Goes”. The whole band was amazing; great drummer, excellent harmonies and Jack White can bring it. They did a couple of covers: “Bang, Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” and was that a Yes cover at the end? We moved up for Massive Attack since it seemed that most of the festival goers headed to the other end of the park for Willie. I’ll never understand why you’d want to go see a guy you can see many other times throughout the year in better surroundings when a band that hardly ever comes to Austin is playing at the same time.

Massive Attack had an impressive light show. The camera work on the jumbo screen was extremely irritating. I don’t know if they were having technical problems or if it was intentional. The video was sepia toned for the Raconteurs, an interesting touch. Massive Attack played several tracks from Mezzanine. They were quite a contrast with the Raconteurs, relying more on the light show and fog for visuals instead of individual performances and kinetic energy. With Tricky long gone, they were also short his replacement; his wife gave birth to a son the night before.

I didn’t see Ben Kweller, but my sister met up with us later in the evening and told quite a story. Apparently, he got a nosebleed partway through his set. He attempted to soldier, shoving a tampon supplied by his girlfriend up his nose. The nosebleed was bad enough that it began to expand in his nostril, causing him to abandon that remedy. He quit early, apologizing for not being able to continue.

The weather cooperated yesterday with cloud cover making most of the day bearable. By the time the sun went down, there was a decent breeze, a welcome contrast to last year’s blast furnace / dust bowl. Since it’s raining right now, it looks like today will be nice and cool as well. I’m not heading over there until 3, but I’ll have the camera today. Stay Tuned…

1 Comment so far

  1. mss (unregistered) on September 17th, 2006 @ 5:53 pm

    What Yes song do you think The Raconteurs covered? I would have found that interesting.

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