Tag Archive for ACL Live

8/25/13…Dawes @ ACL Live

Dawes @ ACL Live 8/25/13

Dawes @ ACL Live 8/25/13

I have tried several times to enter my email into the random drawings for Austin City Limits tapings in the past, but this was only my second time being chosen & my first time actually attending.  I first saw & fell in love with this band during SXSW earlier this year.  I went from merely knowing the band’s name to becoming a true-blue fan of their music.  So you can imagine how crazy excited I was to receive the email telling me that I had been selected in the random drawing to receive two free passes for this taping.  I was so very happy.  I have been to this beautiful venue a couple of times before, but I always had seats.  This time I was determined to be on the floor near the stage.  I brought my friend, Ben, with me to the taping.  He really wasn’t familiar with this band either.  He was pretty much in the same situation I had been just months before.  The great thing was that he walked out of that taping a new fan.  I LOVE that.  This band is the real deal.  They’ve been working hard for the past several years, touring & playing, trying to build their fan base.  And I feel like people are finally starting to catch on.  That makes me very happy because they’re the type of artists that put a lot of time and effort into their songwriting & musicianship.  That is very evident.  The best thing about this show was that they played most of my favorite songs by them.  I was just beaming from ear to ear the whole night.  The worst thing about this show was the big-bellied geezer that insinuated himself into my personal space by pressing his nasty stomach against my back so he could move closer to the stage.  The annoying thing was that he didn’t even seem to know who Dawes was.  I could not understand why he felt the need to get closer.  I kept telling Ben that I was gonna punch him in the face.  He finally did get in front of me and THEN he started blocking my amazing view of the middle of the stage.  I was literally three rows back from the front.  I was in heaven.  How dare this disgusting man get in my way??!! lol  I finally told him off, just blatantly pushed his shoulder and said, “DUDE, you’re killing me!!  I’m shorter than you and you’re blocking my view!!!”  He stammered, “I’m not trying to be.”  And I said, “But you ARE!!”  It was a tug of war from this point on till the end of the show.  He’d move his head the wrong way to block my view & I’d push his shoulder to indicate that he was in my way.  He finally left during the last song.  What an idiot!  Thankfully there was a super nice couple next to me that kept offering to let me stand near them so I could see better.  The girl was an obvious fan and was dancing and singing along, even more than I was.  It was great to see her enjoying the band so much.  It’s always a pleasure to meet such nice people during a show.  After it was over, this same couple ran over to me and Ben to commiserate about the dumbass guy that was an annoyance to us AND to them.  At least they ‘got it’!! 😉  Dawes’ set was short, but plentiful in its awesomeness:

4/26/12…Al Green @ ACL Live

ACL Live

ACL Live

The day had finally arrived for me to see a legend on stage.  Al Green is the sort of icon that you sit back and enjoy in the privacy of your home and long to have been around  when he was in his prime, spreading his beautiful soul music to the world.  The fact that he decided to head out to do some live shows this year was one of the best treats I could have given myself…so I did.  I bought myself a ticket and waited for the day to come.

Al Green

I was bursting at the seams all day, just counting down the hours to his show.  I was even more excited that it was going down at ACL Live’s Moody Theater.  Since I had already experienced a wonderful show there some months ago, I knew the Reverend would shine on their stage.  I was unaware that he had an opening act, so when they introduced Dan Dyer at 8 o’clock, I was a little surprised.  Turns out, Dan is a local artist and he’s damn good.  For such a short set, with only his keyboards and guitar in tow, the man blew a ton of soul into the audience.  Man, does he have some strong & emotional vocals to share.  He really sounded great.  And later, I got to tell him so.  I’ll come back to that.  Dan only played a 30 minute set and then it was time to set the stage for the main guy.  The Reverend Al Green.  In between sets, I met up with a former classmate of mine who was also at the show.  We chatted a bit and took some photos before it was time for Al Action.

Laura, Sharon, & I at Al Green 4/26/12

Laura, Sharon, & I at Al Green 4/26/12

His band and back-up singers were the first up on stage.  He started off with 13 players…a horn section of 3 (trumpet, trombone, and sax), a keyboardist, a guitarist, a bassist, a percussionist, a drummer, 4 back-up singers, and what looked to be a DJ, but to be honest I really don’t know what this guy was doing up there.  lol  Once everyone was on stage, the band started playing, and then along came THE MAN…Al Green.  He strolled up onto the stage and the crowd went bananas.  He waved to the audience and walked over to his bucket of roses and started handing ‘em out to “tha ladiesssss”.  Ever the ladies man, even at 66.     The entire show was completely old-school Al.  He stuck to his main hits, including major covers he did back in the day like “Oh, Pretty Woman”, & “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?”.  I have to say that when he hit his first high note, the audience was on their feet going CRAZY!!!!!  The fact that he can still get up there just blows me away.  I was giggling with delight.  It was AWESOME!!  Al put on a show.  He was dancing, and kidding around with the audience, and he continued to pass out roses throughout the show until that bucket was empty!!  He was so hilarious when he refused to give a rose out to just any woman who ran up to the stage.  He said, “I’m giving this to someone who deserves it”, as he proceeded to flip it out to someone further in the back.  Gotta love it.  He’s still making ‘em work for it.  About midway thru the show, a dancer came up on stage and Al took one look at him and said, “What are you doing here, boy?”  I laughed out loud!!  Hilarious!!  He actually ended up with two male dancers on the stage with him.  That was probably the oddest addition to the show.  I thought they were ok, but really unnecessary.  One of the funniest moments of the evening was when Al decided that one woman was not only worthy of a rose, but also a kiss.  He actually knelt down and leaned over to give a kiss to one very lucky lady.  As soon as the other women in the audience saw THAT, they all kinda rushed the stage.  To no avail.  He did not give out any more kisses.  I thought for sure at that moment, I would see some panties flying up there.  But no, that didn’t happen.   The only other thing he threw to the audience was the handkerchief he used to mop his sweaty brow.  Oh yeah!  Towards the end of the show, Al dropped a strange little medley of songs honoring some of the late greats, like Otis Redding.  He only performed snippets of each song and would dramatically cut them off before starting a new one.  It was cool, but also kinda weird.  As great of a show as it was, it was TOO SHORT!!  After one hour, on the final notes of “Love & Happiness”, the Reverend left the stage with his band members following him off shortly after.  And that was it.  No encore.  No nothing.  Just 60 minutes of Al and then he was gone.  Poof!  One of the greatest things the venue did to keep the party going was set up a DJ on the terrace outside.  As you left the building, you ran directly into this set-up and this guy was blowin’ up the old-school tunes.  It made me stop and hang out for almost an hour longer.  And I wasn’t the only one.  The crowd was up & dancing.  It was fantastic.  I wish I could’ve stayed longer.  Everyone was having a blast and it almost made me forget that Al had put on such a short show.  Very smart on the venue’s part.  Big props to the Eleventh Hour Lounge.  Oh, and before I forget, it was during this dance party that Dan Dyer walked by me in the crowd, and I stopped him and told him, “Great show, man!” And he shyly thanked me and shook my hand.  Somehow I always seem to run into the artists that I’ve just seen perform.  Why didn’t Al come by????  Maybe next time…

2/11/12…Chris Trapper/Martin Sexton @ ACL Live

ACL Live

ACL Live

I was lucky enough to tour the Austin City Limits TV studio before it changed locations.  It was so weird to be inside and see how small it really was.  I never saw a show there, but I could imagine how great it must’ve been, being in such close quarters to the particular artist who was performing.  When I found out that they were building a new location in the W Hotel, I vowed to see a show there.  And last night, I saw that goal through.  I chose to see Martin Sexton because he’s an artist I just discovered a couple of years ago, completely by accident.  I know he’s been around for a long time, but I just hadn’t hit upon him.  But the album I came across, Black Sheep, had some incredible songs.  The one that stood out the most to me was “Glory Bound”.  Wow!!  What an amazing record!  From that moment on, I was hooked and went back and found more albums by him.  I missed an opportunity to see him at ACL a couple of years ago, so the ACL Live show was my second chance and I wasn’t gonna miss him again.  Soo glad I didn’t.  But I’ll get back to Martin in a minute.  Let’s talk about the venue and how incredibly beautiful it is.  It’s on the 2nd floor of The W Hotel building.  I went straight up to the Mezzanine level, which is where my seats were.

Martin Sexton @ ACL Live 2/11/12

Once I saw how great the view was, I was stoked.  My dad had told me that there wasn’t a bad seat in the house and he was absolutely right.  No matter where you are, you have a perfect view of the stage.  Even if you choose to go with General Admission tickets, there are actually some chairs set up on either side of the stage along with a smattering of tall-boys in the middle of the floor.  I had bought Mezzanine tickets because I didn’t want to stand the whole time. But after seeing how the venue is actually laid out, I may just do GA next time, especially if it’s for an artist that I’m really crazy about.  There is also a balcony level which was not in use tonight.  I scoped out the venue a little more during the intermission and saw that all the great photos they had at the previous location were all up in full glory along the halls of the Mezzanine level.  There are also a few bars in the venue, I believe at least two on each level.  Aside from how aesthetically incredible this venue is, sonically it is BEYOND!!  I mean, while Martin was playing, the sound carried throughout in such a crisp, clear way.  Yet, during the quieter moments, both the audience and Martin could catch one another’s  dialogue.  It was so awesome.  Truly!
HOOK: So, when I heard that Chris Trapper was the opening artist, I had little or no expectations.  Never heard of the guy.  He came out on stage with an acoustic guitar and a second acoustic set up behind him, no band.  His first song sounded good, though.  By his second song he was asking for audience participation.  He wanted us to sing along.  He was hilarious, basically making the point that none of us were there to see HIM and that he had no right to ask for us to sing along, but he wanted us to.  And ya know what, his great sense of humor wasn’t lost on this group.  And people DID sing along.  I was laughing because I thought that was so great.
LINE:  By the third song, Chris got so bold as to ask for the audience to move closer to the stage.  He said, you guys want be closer when Martin comes out anyway, so you might as well come closer now.  And guess what??  People did move closer in to his performance.  He really had a great rapport with the crowd and people responded to him.  He was absolutely winning me over with his charm and his great songs.  I kept trying to figure out who he reminded me of.  And then it finally clicked.  Bob Schneider.  For you Austinites that know and love Bob, you’d be missing out if you didn’t check Chris Trapper out.  He has the same gift of quirky, funny, and ,sometimes, such sweet lyrics that really touch you and at the same time make you laugh out loud.  He’s also a great vocalist and guitarist.
SINKER:  Chris was great about leading up to each song by sharing the story of how he came up with it.  He’s a wonderful story-teller.  The last song he did, “Skin”, is on his latest album.  And once I heard the lyrics, that was it.  I was sold!!  DONE!!  He said that he had CD’s for sale at the merch table.  So during the intermission, I went down to find that CD.  And who should be sitting there?  Yeah, Chris Trapper.  He was chilling with his glass of wine.  I didn’t even notice him at first, but when I realized it was him, I took a couple of minutes to tell him how great his performance was.  And I was honest and told him I had never heard of him, but that I really enjoyed his show.  He was so nice and gracious and I even got him to sign my CD.  When I told him my name, he told me it was a beautiful name and then asked about its origin.  It was just a cool moment.  Thanks Chris!!
Now, back to Martin Sexton.  I was pretty excited to see his performance.  Chris Trapper had given him a great lead-in.  So I couldn’t wait.  I had no idea what an AH-MAY-ZING show I was about to experience.  Please allow me to gush.  This guy is without categorization.  He was born to do what he does.  I was so thoroughly blown away that it’s hard for me to even verbalize how much I loved his show.  I didn’t want to leave.  And I’m thrilled he played for almost two hours.  He not only has a superb voice, but the things he can do with an electric guitar blew my mind!  I mean, the guy was scatting and he had that guitar sounding like a freakin’ stand up bass.  No joke.  He was drumming it, making crazy sounds.  He yodeled, beat boxed, and just kept me on the edge of my seat.  I’m kinda speechless right now.  He had me in the palm of his hand almost immediately.  His fans just adore him.  He told us this was a “No Set-List Tour”.  And he wasn’t kidding.  The audience was shouting out requests and he would be like, “Coming right up”, and then he’d play it.  I mean…so great!!  THEN, towards the end of the show, he’s doing one of his songs and he morphed it into “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston.  This guy who has nothing whatsoever to do with Whitney Houston was kind enough to pay tribute to her.  Again…blown away.  He did two incredible covers one by Prince, “Purple Rain” and the other I can’t remember now.  He also did do one encore.  When he came back on stage he played his one and only song on acoustic guitar and ended the show on a quieter, but beautiful note.  Martin seems like a super cool guy.  He announced that he had his latest CD on sale for $5 at the merch table, but if you were out of work it was free.  He expressed how grateful he was about us shelling out our hard earned money on live music.  And it was obvious how sincerely he meant it.  I would see him again in a heartbeat.  I had the best time and I am so grateful that I got to see this incredible performance.