Thursday, August 24, 2017

Festival Crashers Do ACL

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Posted by shore On October - 5 - 2009

aclback@AndyShore ACL 2008 was my favorite festival of last season, and I could not wait to get back for another year. Despite only being in my new digs in LA for a week, I had to come see what ACL 2009 would have in store. Zack was so excited to get to the festival, that we arrived before 10:30 on Friday. While I sat down to write an e-mail, Zack headed in to listen to Andrew Bird’s sound check. With time to kill, we found a full Beatles Rock Band set up and put on a little show of our own. Zack and I channeled our inner John and Paul, while taking on the responsibilities of both playing and singing at the same time.

Early on, we caught Leatherbag for our first show of ACL, before discovering the Sound and the Jury winners Bright Light Social Hour. From there we caught some shade at the Austin Kiddie Limits stage with Paul Green’s School of Rock All Stars and then channelled my inner soul child while seeing a few minutes of the Gospel Silvertones. Early morning turned to early afternoon as we checked out Sara Watkins, who in my opinion desperately misses the rock star that is Chris Thile.

After Zack and I split up at Sara Watkins, our ACL really began. Zack found himself onstage with the Knux, making such an impression while dancing that two separate strangers came up to us during the day to compliment him on his moves. We rendezvoused for some MMW acid jazz before heading back across the park to see what the Avett Brothers were all about (totally over-hyped). We snuck in a fat wristed friend and met up with another for the Walkmen, before working our way close to the stage for Zack’s favorite show of the weekend in Phoenix.

We caught bits and pieces of Raphael Saadiq and K’Naan before John Legend had us singing along. I left to meet up with a label rep from K’Naan that I had met at the ACLtv taping the night before, which turned into meeting K’Naan and several tall boys during Them Crooked Vultures. After that onslaught of rock, Kings of Leon and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs weren’t doing it for Zack and I and we decided to call ACL Friday a day.

Due to heavy rains, and Zack having to work at 6am on Saturday, we didn’t make it to the festival until after 6:00. We worked our way over to the Levon Helm Band, only to find out he wasn’t singing due to doctor ordered vocal rest. After being bored at the Decemberists, our evenings took very different paths. Zack remembers lasers and can picture the UT marching band, or at least see their costumes at Ghostland, but that’s it. I had an excellent time as usual, as DMB busted out several new tunes. Despite having a designated meeting spot for after the festival, it wasn’t until an hour after music had ended that Zack and I found each other (we had decided to meet at the tent with the disco ball, but Zack just went to the first tent he saw).

It was back on for Sunday, despite Zilker Park being a complete and total mud pit. Zack pulled the Sodomy Crash for a second straight day and headed over to the Heartless Bastards. I walked over to check out some of White Lies, and joined the crowd in the disco tent to watch the Cowboys for a bit. Zack met me back there to go get our rock on with the Arctic Monkeys. From there Zack went to get a good spot for Passion Pit and I went to re-up on water. Then it was Zack’s number one man crush, Jack White, in his newest band, the Dead Weather. Back on the other side of the park, it was time for a muddy little dance party and Girl Talk. Pearl Jam closed out ACL 2009 with guest spots from Ben Harper and Perry Farrell and closed the fest down with “Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World.”

Zack’s top 5 shows:

5. Girl Talk 9.0/10 If Dave is the most dependable rock show, Girl Talk is the most dependable dance party. The only variable is the characters you’ll dance with. And what you’ll convince them to do.

4. Pearl Jam 9.2/10 Arena rock at its finest with the best guest stars, huge covers and the perfect end to ACL ’09.

3. Them Crooked Vultures 9.2/10 The tightest rhythm section of all time brought back fist pump-rock. They’re scary good now. Just imagine when they’ve been playing together for a while.

2. The Dead Weather 9.5/10 They have Jack White. What else do you need to know?

1. Phoenix 9.7/10 The #6 seed coming into the festival, Phoenix was the biggest surprise of the weekend with their infectious Friday afternoon set that I never stopped thinking about. “So sentimental. Not sentimental, no!”

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