Friday, September 26, 2008

ACL 2008 Day 1

Long day, great weather, some dust, and pollen or ragweed ;( My friend Dan, and I arrived early, parked near Antones and touch the shuttle.

The Calm Before the Storm
AMD Stage - Cable Tray and Snakes

Asleep at the Wheel

How else would you kick off an ACL Festival? This year, Ray had a younger girl (who couldn't have been more than 15 years old) on stage as the 2nd fiddle player. She's a great player now, I can only imagine where she'll be in 10 years.

Other highlights of the show included a great rendition of Hot Rod Lincoln.

Asleep at the Wheel

What Made Milwaukee Famous

An Austin band that I had never seen before. Good, but not my cup of tea.

Jakob Dylan and the Gold Mountain Rebels

Jakob appeared on the same stage that his father had last year. I have seen him several times with the Wallflowers, and can honestly say, I liked that band better.

The first two songs of this set were played very tentatively. If I had to hazard a guess, it seemed like there was a problem with the on-stage monitors. This was quickly remedied, and they finished with the type of Singer/Songwriter set that you would expect.

The Freddy Jones Band

I caught these guys in the WaMu (wonder who the new sponsor will be next year?) pavilion. These guys were a really tight and experienced band, playing "Adult oriented" Pop/Rock. Enjoyable, but the genre is not something that would compel me to buy an album.

The Freddy Jones Band

Patty Griffin

Patty was one of the recommended act, and was fantastic. She lives in Austin, but apparently tours quite a bit. Fantastic band, including a old friend, Mike Longoria, on drums. I'm not usually one to listen to much Americana, but I have made a mental note to catch her, the next time she plays here in Austin.

Patty Griffin

David Byrne

Holy crap, David hit it out of the park with this show. Easily the best show of the day, and could quite possibly be the best show of the Festival when it's all over.

At the beginning of the set their were 8 people on stage, David on lead guitar, keys, bass, drums, percussion and 3 backup singers, all dressed in white. They were joined on stage by 3 dancers (also in white), around the third song. The entire set was a well choreographed show, integrating music and dance throughout. As an observer, I could not help but think of Stop Making Sense.

I can't say enough good things about the Rhythm Section in this band. They were fucking awesome; the best I'd seen in a long while. Everyone in the crowd was visibly dancing or boppin' along to the backbeat. The show also consisted of a well rounded selection of Byrne's solo material and a healthy serving of reworked Talking Heads songs.

Two thumbs up for this one! I also just realized, that all of the Talking Heads albums in my collection are on vinyl. Time to refresh the collection with digital.

David Byrne

Evening Wrap Up

Antibalas

I caught about half of the set, from this NYC based funk band. Probably would have listened to more of their set, but they were on the way across Zilker.

Alejandro Escavedo

Supposedly Alejandro's first ACL. I listened to two numbers before proceeding back towards the AMD stage. I've seen him enough at SxSW to not feel like I was missing anything.

The Swell Season

I probably should have listened to the previews of this band. I caught two numbers from this act, and wished I had seen the whole set.

Mars Volta

I've tried to get into this band on the recommendation of other Prog fans, particularly King Crimson fans. I don't hear any similarity, and have never found them that interesting. Hearing them live, changed nothing. I'm just not in to them.

Manu Chao

Sounded fine and had a good band. Another case where I can't understand what all the fuss is about though. Seems to play a hodgepodge of World Music, but always seems to end up on the Reggae/Ska end of the genre spectrum

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