10/11/13…Austin City Limits Music Festival @ Zilker Park, Day One

3 day wristband

3 day wristband

 

I made it!

I made it!

This would be my first time attending ACL Fest as a paying guest.  The first three years I attended as a volunteer.  This meant me working a 4 hour shift the morning of the fest and then spending the rest of the day seeing music.  It was great…at first.  But after doing it three years in a row, it became EXHAUSTING!!  I finally made the decision to shell out the 200 plus dollars for a 3-day wristband this year.  The line-up warranted my attention…all I needed to make up my mind was the inclusion of Depeche Mode AND The Cure.  Yeah, I was in!!  I drove downtown thinking I would easily find a parking spot at the Palmer Events Center (a friend suggested this), but the lot was full.  So after driving a little further on Barton Springs I settled on a $25 spot at the Elks Club.  Yikes.  But at least, I was a not-too-far-walk from Zilker Park.  It was fine.  My timing was spot on.  I arrived at the park just in time to see my first band, Jimmy Eat World.

ACL Fest 2013They started with a bang:

They had me at GO!!  I stayed for the entire set.  I really enjoyed how they began and ended their set! And mid-set they played one of my FAVORITE songs by them, “23”…

Jimmy Eat World put on a fun show and they were a great way to start my weekend of music!!  The next band that I wanted to see was fun.  I had a little time between Jimmy and their set time so I decided to grab something to eat and then head over to the Lady Bird stage.  It was pretty packed and I didn’t really feel like trying to get closer to the stage, so I set up my blanket and chilled on the grass.  While I’m a fan of some of their music, I wasn’t completely impressed with the set.  I actually felt a little bored at times.  It’s not because they were boring, I guess they just didn’t completely draw me in.  They were ok, but they’re not a band that I would seek out in the future.  Okkervil River was the next band I had planned to see.  They were performing at the Honda stage (directly next to the Lady Bird stage), so I walked over to hear a bit of their set.  I wasn’t completely into it, so I decided to go back to the Lady Bird stage to see how close I could get for Vampire Weekend.  This picture shows how close I did manage to get…

Vampire Weekend stage set-up

Vampire Weekend stage set-up

I was a happy camper.  This was my second time seeing them, but the first time they only played a 20 minute set.  So I was very very excited to get an hour with them.

 

Their music is pretty high energy, so everyone was dancing around pretty much the entire time.  They are such a FUN live band…MORE fun than “fun.”.  See for yourself:


I had a GREAT time seeing them play again.  I think the one surprise for me was how much the bass player got into the performance.  This man was DANCING!!  I don’t remember him being quite so active the last time I saw them.  He totally put a smile on my face.  I love Vampire Weekend!!  After they were done playing, I had to make a decision, ‘do I go check out part of the Queens Of The Stone Age set?’ or ‘do I stay put and try to get even closer for Depeche Mode??’  This was a very big question.  I hadn’t seen DM for 12 years and I had NEVER seen QOTSA.  I was super torn!!  But I knew if I left my spot at the Lady Bird stage (the same stage Depeche Mode was going to play), I would never get that close again.  Sooo…I decided to skip QOTSA and hang out till DM came on.  Kaskade played at the Honda stage, so I kinda heard that, but to be honest I wasn’t really paying attention.  About 10 minutes before Depeche Mode came on, it started to rain.  I put up my umbrella, to the chagrin of the guys behind me, who continued to mumble about it up until it stopped raining (literally minutes before DM came on) and I put it back down.  I got a nice waterfall on my head when I did put the umbrella down, which these same guys applauded since apparently that same waterfall effect had been drenching them the whole time I had my umbrella up.  Ooops.  lol  Anyway, I was soo very happy when DM came out.  I had never been this close at any of the shows I had been to.  So this was a special treat.  Yes, they are older and yes it shows, but I’m sorry, Dave Gahan is super sexy.  And he has so much fun on stage shaking his ass and flirting with the audience.  He’s such a ham.  It was GREAT to get such a close view of his stage antics.

I couldn’t get over how amazing they still sounded.  I was thoroughly impressed and even more impressed at how deep they dug into their library of music.  They played a couple of songs off of their new album, but they also satisfied their long-time fans (like me) with some great oldies.

It was an incredible set.  I was literally on cloud nine at the end of the show.  The weirdest thing that happened while they were playing was when this girl (who had kinda shared my umbrella with me) fainted during the show.  I wasn’t paying attention to her, but all of a sudden there was a whole bunch of commotion next to me. In fact, this guy stepped on me so, annoyed, I looked over to see what the hell was going on and that’s when I saw her laid out on the ground.  I guess she was drunk and probably dehydrated to the point that she just passed out.  Scary.  This guy handled it, got her water and then she seemed to be better.  But it got pretty freaky for a minute there!!  Back to the show.  It was a sing-a-long, hit-packed set.  Here was one of the highlights:

I would say that my first day was a great way to start the weekend!

 

 

 

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