Taking the Shuttle to Zilker
As I have for the previous five years, I parked in my usual spot and took the shuttles over to Zilker Park. Prior to leaving home, I had actually packed some rain gear, because it was very overcast. Usually unwelcome during ACL, rain would be a great relief from the drought we are experiencing.
Asleep at the Wheel
As always, there's only one way to start the ACL Festival, and this is with Austin's favorite adopted band, Asleep at the Wheel. Some would argue that one of the most influential events in Austin music history, was the Wheel's move to Austin from Oakland, in 1974, at Willie Nelson's urging.
Wild Beasts while
it was actually raining
At the end of the Wheel's set, I walked down the hill to the Honda stage, where Wild Beasts was playing. As I walked, it actually started raining. It was short lived, but forecasts call for more rain this weekend. It is still badly needed.
Disciples of Christ
Heading over to the Pavillion formerly known as the WAMU (now Vista Equity), I caught a set by a kick-ass, gospel group, Disciples of Christ. Four very impressive female singers powered this music into the stratosphere. Impressive singing talent was on display, for those fortunate few at this sparsely attended set.
The Secret Sisters
Continuing my orbit around the grounds, I was treated to the sound of two more female voices, singing in excellent harmony. A pair of sisters from the legendary locale of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, were seducing the crowd with their siren song.
Hearing this band from afar, I immediately headed back to the AMD stage. As I got closer, I realized that this would be a real treat. One set was enough to make me a fan of Seatlle based, performer, Brandi Carlile.
She plays a rousing mix of Rockabilly, and Country influenced music, and played an impressed cover of Johnny Cash's, Fulsom Prison Blues. Not only is she a great front person, but her band was fantastic too.
Meanwhile, over at the BMI Stage
Finally making it over to the BMI Stage, even though it's right near the Front Gate, I saw this interesting setup. A rotating wheel of glass, with alternating wedges being silvered, was mounted in this device. People would line on both sides, as it spun, and watch the really cool effect created.
Unfortunately, the video doesn't do it justice, since you get a strobe effect from the digital camera.
Francicsa was a very attractive Chilean singer-songwriter. She plays piano and sings, with music that is targeted towards an alternative, Latin Pop market. The band and the sound were good, and she herself is an excellent player.
Kurt Vile and the Violators
Like the previous, and the next acts I'm writing about, I didn't find this group very interesting.
Cold War Kids
The Austin Skyline
Gary Clark Jr.
Even though Gary is from Austin, I had never heard him play. He's pretty damn good. It is not often that a Blues player can hold an audience of anyone other than Blues fans. Gary has no problems doing this.
As I was eating dinner, I could hear this Grammy nominated singer-songwriter on the Austin Ventures stage. She is fantastic, and will return on a bigger stage in the future. In addition to be an exceptional vocalist, she is also a very good piano player.
Exhausted, tired, and having sore feet, I headed out about three quarters of the way through Coldplay's set, and got on the shuttle. I really need to pace myself, and probably won't get back until around 2PM on Saturday.