What can I say? It was hot. It was crowded. It was dusty. It was hot. But I ate BBQ and Tex-Mex ’til my heart’s content. And I got to see so many of my friends. That’s what was important to me. Sure the band lineup was incredible but it was really just an excuse to make my way back into Austin to have some beer and laughs with the people I miss. I hadn’t realized how much I missed them until the date of my arrival came closer. New York and unemployment have a way of leaving very little time to be nostalgic. These people, my friends, are really why I’m here.
But the music that I did hear was pretty damn good. It was the first time that I was able to see all the biggies that I promised myself I was going to stop at nothing to see: Mates of State, Fiery Furnaces, Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand, the Arcade Fire and Thievery Corporation. The Fiery Furnaces rocked. It was a testament to their ADD nature that none of the songs I recognized sounded anything like the album counterparts. Eleanor Friedberger is my new favorite rock girl. Sorry I missed Ambulance LTD, Asylum Street Spankers and Zap Mama. Martin Sexton and Rachel Yamagata were pleasant discoveries.
The group that surprised me the most was Thievery Corporation. I didn’t know if it was just going to be two guys standing at DJ tables and totally boring. But I have to say that it was quite possibly the best show in my three years of going to Austin City Limits Festivals. They had a live band, including a sitar player and different singers for EVERY song.
Like I said, good times. But considering how much I went through to get back here and the exhausting heat, this will probably be my last hike into Zilker for ACL.
The Fiery Furnaces.
Friends at Dog & Duck
Davy as the angel (devil?) on my shoulder