Wednesday, October 13, 2010

ACL Festival 2010 - Day 2

First Aid Kit

I arrived early again Saturday morning. I guess this is something that comes with old age ;) The first band I heard was a Swedish duo, First Aid Kit. They were fantastic vocalists, playing acoustic music. It was interesting, but a little slow and subdued for my taste. Nonetheless, they were both excellent performers.

First Aid Kit

Towards the end of their set, they had to deal with bleed-over from the AMD stage and the next act:

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

Grace Potter is beautiful tall blonde with a great voice, who also plays Hammond Organ. With all that going for her, I wish she had better music. Perhaps I'm in the minority though, but I don't dig hearing covers of Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit. The rest of her set sounded like some 80's vintage Heart songs that didn't make the final cut for the album, and got left on the studio floor.

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

Pete Yorn

What can I say? Pete is fantastic, as is his band. He is an Austin favorite, and very clearly enjoys playing ACL.

Pete Yorn

the Gaslight Anthem, Manchester Orchestra and Kinky

I was unable to get acceptable pictures of these bands. I also ran into people I knew at both the Gaslight Anthem and Manchester Orchestra sets. The fact that I was engaged in conversation rather than listening, probably says something about my assessment of these bands.

I did find Kinky very interesting, however. There is a bit of buzz about them in Austin and other locales. I may have to check out one of their shows soon. They play an eclectic mix of Latin, Funk, Electronic and Dance music. They killed under the Pavilion formerly known as the WAMU.

Gogol Bordello

I met up with my friends, Ron and Alissa, and we trekked over to hear this band based upon a recommendation. I can sum them up this way: Take Frank Zappa and his band, lower the overall level of musicianship several fold, and make the humor a lot more annoying, and you have Gogol. Once per lifetime is enough for this crew. Gogol Bordello


After several aborted attempts, I was finally able to see Muse live. They very definitely killed during their set, and the crowd was rocking. Although they are often mentioned with Porcupine Tree, I don't see the connection there. They are most certainly not Prog.

The best description I can think of is that they are Depeche Mode with more guitar, and more upbeat lyrics. Rhythmically, they're kind of vanilla, with everything having a dance music kind of feel (which may explain the prevalence of female fans).

The leader of the band is Matthew Bellamy, and he is Muse. He is Freddy Mercury (with a similar incredible vocal range) and Tommy Morello (from Rage Against Machine) all rolled up into one. The other 3 members of the band (bass, drums and keys) could be easily replaced, without any impact.

Other notable things about their performance were the kick-ass light show. They do use a lot of sequencers in their show, but it's somewhat forgivable. Muse

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