10/8-10/10/10…Austin City Limits Music Festival @ Zilker Park

ACL Festival 2010

I had such a GREAT time volunteering at the festival the year before that I knew I would volunteer again in 2010.  And boy was I excited about the line-up!!!
DAY ONE:  October 8, 2010
I smartened up this year and made sure I requested all early morning volunteer shifts.  Because I had volunteered the year before I had first pick of shifts.  I was a happy girl.  After my shift ended at 3pm on the first day, I grabbed some food and then booked over to see The Black Keys.  I was so excited!!  I had liked them for about 8 years since first discovering them while living in NYC.  I loved their raw take on the blues.  The only problem was that I was super exhausted after having stood out in the beating sun for four hours.  By the time I got to the stage I was ready for my afternoon nap.  So yes, while I did hear some of their songs, I did kinda doze off.  Crazy, right?  But I can truly sleep through ANYTHING!!  Here’s their set list:

  1. Thickfreakness
  2. Strange Times
  3. Girl Is on My Mind
  4. I’ll Be Your Man
  5. Everlasting Light
  6. Next Girl
  7. Chop and Change
  8. Howlin’ for You
  9. Tighten Up
  10. She’s Long Gone
  11. Ten Cent Pistol
  12. Your Touch
  13. I Got Mine

Check out their final song “I Got Mine”:

I was awake for that.    After my power nap, I was ready to go for the rest of the day.  I can’t help it.  I’m old. lol  The next band up was Spoon.  Surprisingly a lot of people moved on to other stages, so a ton of room opened up and I was able to walk my way up, closer to the stage.  I couldn’t wait to see this band!  They’re originally from Austin and I had really been getting into their music.  I’m so glad I stayed to see them.  They blew me away.  AND they had a horn section.  I freakin’ loved that.  I thought they were fantastic.  Seeing them live definitely made me like them more.  They had great stage presence and musical skill.  I was super impressed.  They had a fun set list for the day:

  1. Car Radio
  2. Got Nuffin
  3. Stay Don’t Go
  4. You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb
  5. Trouble Comes Running
  6. The Ghost of You Lingers
  7. Don’t Make Me a Target
  8. Don’t You Evah
  9. I Turn My Camera On
  10. Waiting to Know You
(The Fiery Furnaces cover) (with Eleanor Friedberger)
  11. Written in Reverse
  12. I Summon You
  13. Jonathon Fisk
  14. The Underdog
  15. Black Like Me

Here’s when the horns came out on “The Underdog”:

I got so excited when I saw that horn section.  Something about those horns…:)  I’m happy I chose to see this band.  When they were done, I had a big choice to make.  Sonic Youth or Vampire Weekend??  I really wanted to see both.  But finally it came down to longevity.  And I had definitely liked Sonic Youth longer & harder than Vampire Weekend, so they won out.  Again, the crowd was not as big as I thought it should be, and I eventually managed to position myself right in front of the barrier next to the left side of the stage.  What a great view I had to see such a legendary band…for me, at least.  The only real downside for me was that they really kept their set list to a collection of their most current songs.  And although I’ve kept up with them throughout the years, all I wanted to hear was “Screaming Skull”, “100%” & “My Friend Goo”.  This was their set list:

  1. Sacred Trickster
  2. No Way
  3. Calming the Snake
  4. Mote
  5. Antenna
  6. Stereo Sanctity
  7. Anti-Orgasm
  8. Poison Arrow
  9. What We Know
  10. The Sprawl
  11. ‘Cross The Breeze

They did throw in the token oldie, but I wanted MORE!!! Oh well.  Here’s an oldie that I did get to see “Mote”:

The last band I was planning to see for the night was The Strokes.  I was a little worried that they may be a bit disappointing since it had been so long that they had played together.  From the beginning, things got weird.  Julian Casablancas went on a very strange tirade somewhere in the beginning of the set.  He was spewing out the strangest things.  I could not grasp what the hell he was talking about.  Honestly, I stayed for a few songs before I felt like I had enough.  I was tired, I had a big day ahead of me, & I wanted to get a jump on that shuttle line.  Here’s what they played that night:

  1. Is This It
  2. Hard to Explain
  3. You Only Live Once
  4. Someday
  5. Under Control
  6. Juicebox
  7. Trying Your Luck
  8. Evening Sun
  9. Reptilia
  10. Last Nite
  11. New York City Cops
  12. Vision of Division
  13. Between Love & Hate
  14. Take It or Leave It

And here’s a great video of their first two songs:

Looking at this now, I wish I had toughed it out.  I think I missed a great set of music.
DAY TWO:  October 9, 2010
This was a jam-packed day of music.  Today my volunteer shift again entailed passing out programs.  But today I decided to move locations and work my shift near the Barton Springs Entrance.  This was a great decision because it put me right between two stages.  Plus, I happened to get with a cool group of volunteers.  We had a blast!  AND I got to hear some of the early bands like First Aid Kit & Pete Yorn perform.  I wasn’t able to pay as much attention as I’d like, but it was nice to catch some of their music while I was working.  When I got off my shift at 3, I ran over to the Main Stage to catch the last half hour of The Gaslight Anthem.  They were good.  I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t wowed.  Next stop…Black Lips.  I basically did my shows in half hour increments.  There were so many bands I wanted to see that overlapped that the only way I could catch them was by moving on after half of their set.  I just kept on moving. lol  Black Lips was NOT what I expected exactly.  They were kind of dirty rock.  It took a little adjusting to get into them.  Again, they were cool, but I wasn’t blown away.  When I had been volunteering a couple of the girls I was with kept raving about Manchester Orchestra so after Black Lips I made an effort to catch the last part of their set.  They were pretty and mellow…the perfect backdrop for a nap.  So I made myself cozy on the grass & took a quick power nap.  Yup, it was just what I needed.  But, unfortunately I didn’t really get a good grasp of this band either.  I didn’t really start getting into the day till a little later.  After my catnap, I ran over to catch some of Silversun Pickups.  I had a couple of their albums & liked them a lot.  But radio really made me hate them by overplaying the song “Panic Switch”.  So I enjoyed their show until they got to that stupid song and then I was OUTTA THERE!!  I couldn’t take it.  But I moved onto something better:  Broken Bells.  Wow!  I loved them.  I wasn’t really familiar with all their music, but it sounded great.  This show is what started re-energizing me.  Happy & full of music, I headed over to catch some of The xx.  I had tried to see them at one of their showcases during SXSW earlier in the year at Mohawk, but the place was so freakin’ crowded that I ended up leaving.  There was so much buzz going around about this band that I KNEW I had to see them.  Well, it took me a little to get into it, but once I did, I really loved it.  Their music is moody and mellow, but also dancey in a weird sort of way.  I was totally into it.  Check out their song “Crystalised” and you’ll get what I mean by this description:

I wanted to stay for their whole set, but I also really wanted to catch some of Monsters of Folk.  So I tore myself away halfway through their set and ran over to see MOF.  They came out looking oh-so-dapper in suits and started off with “Say Please”:

I was impressed and I liked what I saw and heard.  But I could only stay for the first few songs.  LCD Soundsystem was coming up next and I wanted to get as close to that stage as possible.  They were a MUST-SEE for me.  I had liked them for the past 5 years and loved them.  Loved James Murphy and everything he was involved in.  So off I went.  I was only able to get as far as the sound booth in my journey to the front of the stage.  There were so many freakin’ people there, but I was happy with my spot.  I made a couple of friends.  It was good.  The set list appears very short for LCD, but the songs were all very extended versions, so the set itself was indeed an hour.  Oh, how I wish it could’ve been longer.

  1. Dance Yrself Clean
  2. Drunk Girls
  3. I Can Change
  4. All My Friends
  5. You Wanted A Hit
  6. Tribulations
  7. Movement
  8. Yeah
  9. Home

I had so much fun during this band’s performance.  I loved seeing everyone in the audience dancing.  I was dancing.  It was one big dance party at the Budweiser Stage.  The set started with the sun up, but James Murphy welcomed in the sunset and it was beautiful!  Their second song “Drunk Girls” was their latest song and really got the audience riled up:

This show was definitely one of my favorites of the day.  It was during their set that I really began to feel the effects of being in the sun all day.  My face was hot and red, my lips were on fire (a precursor to what was to come), & I just felt dirty, literally.  YUCK!  But I toughed it out because last on my list of shows was Muse.  And I was NOT gonna miss a second of their performance.  In between LCD & Muse, deadmau5 did a set at the neighboring stage.  I was not about to lose my spot, so I just listened from where I was sitting.  I could kind of hear it, but I’m sure it would’ve been more fun being in the thick of it.  A friend of mine told me right before the Muse show that it would change my life.  Yeah, maybe it didn’t change my life, but it was pretty f’n amazing.  Between the laser show and the incredible musicianship of the band, I was blown away.  They had a pretty decent set list for a festival show:

  1. Uprising
  2. Supermassive Black Hole
  3. New Born
  4. Map of the Problematique
(+Who Knows Who riff outro)
  5. MK Ultra
(+Negative Creep riff outro)
  6. Nishe
  7. United States of Eurasia
  8. Feeling Good
(Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newley cover)
  9. Undisclosed Desires
  10. Resistance
  11. Interlude
(Star-Spangled Banner intro)
  12. Hysteria
(Back in Black riff Outro)
  13. Time Is Running Out
(House of the Rising Sun intro)
  14. Starlight
  15. Stockholm Syndrome
  16. Encore:
  17. Plug In Baby
  18. Knights of Cydonia
(Man With A Harmonica intro)

And they started the show off with a BANG with “Uprising”:

I was going nuts and I will never forget this show…EVER!  I had made a new friend before they started playing, a girl who was visiting from Mexico.  She was super friendly and hilarious.  She definitely made this show even livelier.  Thanks Gaby!!

My new friend, Gaby, & I with her friend (yellow shirt) and random couple that annoyed the hell out of us during Muse.

My new friend, Gaby, & I with her friend (yellow shirt) and random couple that annoyed the hell out of us during Muse.

She kept trying to get me to jump over into the sound booth area, but I wouldn’t.  She finally got in there, got kicked out, and then back in there again.  She was fearless & I loved it!  I stayed till the bitter end with these guys.  Like I said, I didn’t want to miss a thing.  It was a great way to end a fantastic day of music.  I couldn’t wait till the next day.

DAY THREE:  October 10, 2010
When I woke up to start getting ready for my day, I felt something very weird on my mouth…VERY weird!  I got up to go look in the mirror and my lower lip was so swelled up it looked like I had gotten a lip injection that had gone very wrong.  I mean, I looked like a clown!!  And it HURT!  I was in shock because I had no idea what it was.  I jumped on my computer and started looking stuff up and finally I realized that it was a blister from all the sun I had taken in the day before.  My lip was sunburnt???  Are you kidding me??!!  I was mortified and in pain.  And there was no way I was leaving my house!  I mean, there was no way for me to protect it.  And not only that, I looked like a FREAK!!  Man, I was upset!  REALLY upset!  I immediately jumped back online to send an email to my Volunteer Supervisor to let her know my situation.  My dad told me I should’ve photographed my lip as proof.  YUCK!  I did not want that ugliness captured on film.  Call me vain if you like, but I was not doing it.  I just didn’t want my missing the shift to affect my future as a volunteer because if I could’ve made it, I most definitely would have.  I ended up missing some incredible bands, including Band Of Horses.  And I still haven’t seen them live.  So so sad!!  But I suppose everything happens for a reason.  And even though I missed this final day of the Festival I still had an incredible time the first two days.

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