Tag Archive for Austin City Limits Music Festival

9/16-9/18/11…Austin City Limits Music Festival @ Zilker Park

Austin City Limits Music Festival 10 Year Anniversary 9/16/11

Austin City Limits Music Festival 10 Year Anniversary 9/16/11

DAY ONE:  Friday, September 16, 2011
This would be my third year volunteering for ACL and I was very excited to be back.  The line-up this year was pretty incredible.  And now I was truly an expert when it came to parking, catching the shuttle, and protecting my extremely fair skin. lol  And I had also managed to get all early volunteer shifts which led me to have an open afternoon & evening of music!!  YES!!  On the first day, I was a greeter at the Barton Springs entrance.

Saying hi to my friend, Kim, while I was working my volunteer shift on opening day, 9/16/11.

Saying hi to my friend, Kim, while I was working my volunteer shift on opening day, 9/16/11.

I had learned the year before that if I was at this entrance, I would be able to hear some music from the moment the fest began.  The first couple of bands that played on the stages that flanked this entrance were Cults & Wild Beasts.  I honestly don’t remember much about Wild Beasts, but I do remember Cults being fun and making me want to dance.  They definitely had an audience for such an early set time.  James Blake was the first act I saw after my shift ended.  I guess I expected a little more from him after all the buzz I had heard about him.  But honestly, he made me feel a little sleepy.  He was a little too mellow for me.  I think I ended up power napping and then walking over to the big stage to catch some Big Boi.  I’ve been a long time Outkast fan, but I’ve always been more partial to André 3000.  I do have to admit that Big Boi totally won me over with his performance.  He was so energetic and connected with his audience.  I had a blast watching him.  Especially when he dug into his Outkast bag of tricks:

I really loved this show!  After he was done I cruised over to see Cold War Kids.  They’re not a mainstream band by any means, but I’ve always liked them for their unique take on music.  I thought for SURE I would love them live.  But I was actually disappointed in their performance.  I think this was too big of a setting for their type of music.  I’m pretty sure I would enjoy them more in a smaller venue.  One day I’ll have to see if that’s actually true.  The next band I was headed to see was Bright Eyes.  I expected a very mellow show, but Conor Oberst really surprised me…in a good way.  There was a lot of energy from both him and his band and they really pumped me up.  I started watching the show sitting on the lawn, but ended it on my feet.  He was great.  His band was great!!  Here’s just a sample of his show, “Lover I Don’t Have To Love“:

After his set, I bounded over to the next stage to catch Santigold.  This girl is so GREAT!  She does her own thing, dresses her own damn way, and is just one of a kind!  I love it!  And I was so psyched to see her live show.  And she came out with the weirdest outfit and the weirdest dancers, but it worked for her.  I had fun with her set and it was obvious she was having a great time too!  Check out “Lights Out”:

I was surprised she didn’t have more people in the audience.  She had a decent turnout, but I was still able to get fairly close to the stage, which was nice.  After she was done, I made my way back over to see Coldplay.  MAN!!  I was so happy that I was finally going to see them perform live.  My only complaint was that their set time was at exactly the same time as Kanye West.  How could ACL do that to me??!!  UGH!!  So I had already decided that I would stay for the first half of Coldplay and then run over to catch the end of Kanye.  You can imagine how torn I was about this.  But I think I made the right decision in starting off with Coldplay and ending with Kanye.  I loved the first half of Coldplay’s show.  And I’m soo happy that I got to hear them play “Yellow”:

That was AMAZING!!  That’s where it all started for me with this band.  I was there from their first album and to hear them play that song made me so very happy.  I still get the chills thinking about it.  As hard as it was to tear myself away from their show, I did it and ran over to catch the last half of Kanye.  And from what I heard, the second half of his show far surpassed the first half.  The only criticism I have of Kanye’s performance was the choppiness of it and his constant need to call himself out as the greatest performer ever with the most hits.  It was sort of awkward.  And he also kept saying that he had time constraints and that’s why he wasn’t singing full songs.  He would start and then suddenly stop, which is why it felt so choppy.  But when he did put his all into a song, it was magical.  I’ve also been a Kanye fan for years and this was my first time seeing him perform live.  It was a very bare-bones show, but he did his thing.  And I liked it!!  Here’s a little medley of “Run This Town/Stronger/All Falls Down”:

I stayed till the bitter end!  I honestly did not want to miss a thing!!  It was a pretty fantastic first day of music.  I couldn’t wait till the next day!!
DAY TWO:  Saturday, September 17, 2011
After a long day of music the day before, I was ready for Day Two.  Once again I was planted by the Barton Springs entrance for my volunteer shift.  Today, the two bands I caught were Federico Aubele and The Belle Brigade.  Federico Aubele was a little familiar to me, but I didn’t really know much about his music.  It was very different.  The best way to describe it is electronic music with a guitar twist.  He was actually pretty cool.  As for The Belle Brigade, I really don’t recall anything about their set.  Today was an overcast day.  And at one point during my volunteer shift, the heavens opened up and it began pouring for all of five minutes.  Luckily I was prepared for this and just popped open my umbrella & continued passing out programs to the entering patrons.  No big deal.  Unfortunately, the rain didn’t end there.  And when it was time for my shift to end and I was headed over to see Iron & Wine, it kinda began drizzling again.  It wasn’t bad though, so I stuck it out.  Iron & Wine was good.  I actually expected more from their set, but it was ok.  Here’s one of their songs that I really like, “Boy With A Coin”:

After they were done, I rushed over to see Fitz & The Tantrums.  Having been so impressed with them at SXSW, I was itching to see them perform again.  Unfortunately, the buzz was officially out about them now and the area around the stage was PACKED!!  I couldn’t get as close as I wanted to which meant that I didn’t have nearly the live experience I had at the Day Stage at SXSW.  That made me very sad because you just can’t buy the kind of energy these artists give off during a live performance.  I missed having that connection with them again at this show.  Not to take anything away from their performance because they were still as awesome as they were at SXSW, but I just didn’t have the same experience being so far removed from the action.  But here’s a snippet of what they do, “Moneygrabber”:

Gotta love this band!!  The next artist I was super-excited about seeing was Cee Lo Green.  OMG, he had recently blown up around the world with his song “Fuck You”.  I have been a long time Cee Lo fan and was expecting a lot from his live show.  The first thing to go wrong was the sound.  For some reason, the sound at this stage SUCKED!!  And that not only disappointed me during Cee Lo’s show, but it worried me because this would be the same stage Stevie Wonder would perform on later in the evening.  And this sound issue didn’t just affect the audience, but it obviously affected Cee Lo’s performance.  He mentioned a couple of times that he needed the sound fixed, but nothing was resolved during his show.  I was so disappointed!!  Here’s Cee Lo doing “Crazy” from his band Gnarls Barkley:

It’s evident in this video that the sound was not right even from such a close vantage point.  And since I wasn’t close to the stage at all, it was even worse.  Such is life…I had two choices to struggle with after I saw Cee Lo.   Chromeo or TV on The Radio?  Once again, I was torn.  And I didn’t want to split the sets because the stages were too far from each other.  *Sigh*  I finally decided on TV On The Radio.  And I absolutely made the right choice.  Not only did they blow me away, but they ended up being my absolute favorite band to see that whole weekend.  Yup!  They killed it!!  They were awesome.  Thinking I don’t have enough superlatives to describe how they moved me.  I already was a fan before seeing them live.  They are an incredible, technically advanced, and experimental band.  I wasn’t sure they could capture their sound live, but they did more than just capture it, they MURDERED it!!  This song, “Wolf Like Me”, was the song that not only made the audience crazy but got me jumping up and down like a wild woman:

I’m usually pretty calm at shows, especially when I’m by myself, but these guys made me let go without even thinking about it.  They ROCKED!  They were the best build-up to seeing Stevie Wonder, my next and last artist of the day.  I bounced over to that stage, feeling great after being bathed in such incredible music.  I was in the best mood and beyond excited for Mr. Wonder.  While we were waiting for him to go on, I actually saw TV On The Radio’s touring drummer in the audience.  I took that opportunity to tap him and tell him I had just seen them play & how incredible I thought they were!  Like REALLY incredible.  He sincerely thanked me.  It was a really nice moment for me.  Once Stevie got started, the audience went wild.  Unfortunately, there were some very rude and very vocal people standing near me.  They were talking such smack about Stevie’s political beliefs that it got annoying and quite uncomfortable.  If his political beliefs bothered them so much, why were they even there??!!  UGH!!  Finally, they left and the rest of us in the vicinity collectively breathed a sigh of relief.  We were all happy that the negativity they had carried with them was now gone.  NOW we could enjoy the show.  And that we did!  Stevie pulled out most of his classics.  I mean, he really sang everything a Stevie Wonder fan would want to hear.  And he sounded great!  Check out the final song in his set, “As”:

I was thrilled that I had the opportunity to see such an iconic artist.  He’s a legend and I felt very lucky to see him perform.  Not a bad way to cap off another incredible day of music!!
DAY THREE:  Sunday, September 18, 2011
I made it to the last day of the festival!!  YAY!!  No sunburned lip, no issues whatsoever.  I was content.  I was also ending my volunteering responsibilities in a different station…the water refill station.  Basically, we refilled patrons’ water bottles.  I know, it sounds easy.  But it was one of the most difficult and exhausting jobs I’d done so far.  I was dehydrated and in pain by the end of my shift, not to mention EXHAUSTED!!  Man! There were definitely some fun/funny moments in those four hours; I was working with some very entertaining characters, but time seemed to move very slowly.  Some of the music I heard during my shift was by Yellow Ostrich, The Hand and The Heart, & The Vaccines.  I didn’t really care for Yellow Ostrich.  The Hand and the Heart were ok, not really my thing & I don’t remember the Vaccines very well.  I wish I could’ve paid more attention to the music, but this water refill station was super active so I was a little…a lot distracted.  When I finished at 3 I walked over to catch the last half of The Airborne Toxic Event.  One of my friends had highly recommended them, so I was interested in checking them out.  I guess they were good.  I can’t say I became a fan that day, but they were ok.  I stayed on to see Broken Social Scene and that’s when I kind of fell apart.  They were mellower than I expected so I ended up sitting down, then lying down, then putting my jacket over my face and dozing.  Yes, I dozed during Broken Social Scene.  I’ve heard they put on a great live show too.  I guess I was just that tired.  I woke up before they were done, but I had already determined that I wasn’t gonna make it for Arcade Fire.  As much as I wanted to see them, I was just spent.  The weekend, while incredible, had kicked my ass!!  I was ready to call it a day.  And I did.  My only regret was that I missed Fleet Foxes and Arcade Fire.

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.

10/2-10/4/09…Austin City Limits Music Festival @ Zilker Park

Austin City Limits Music Festival 2009

Austin City Limits Music Festival 2009

This would be my first ACL experience just over a year after I had moved to Austin.  I wasn’t prepared nor knowledgeable enough to plan for this festival when I first moved to Austin in August 2008.  But upon suggestion from a friendly stranger I met at Threadgill’s, I got my shite together and made it happen for 2009.  I registered to be a volunteer at the festival and because of the four-hour shift that I offered up each day, I was able to have free access to every day of music.  I was in HEAVEN!!  Because I registered late, I didn’t pick up the most ideal shifts everyday.  But I was just happy to have the chance to see some of the bands that I did.  Let’s break it down…

DAY ONE:  October 2, 2009
I did my first day’s shift from 11-3.  I was a greeter, passing out free programs to patrons as they walked through the gates.  This was so much fun.  Although the sun was BRUTAL!!  Time passed very slowly.  But when it was time to go, I hit it.  I had a very clear band agenda.  First stop, Dr. Dog.  I had discovered this band while still living in NYC.  They’re not very well-known, but I really appreciate their musical sensibility.  I enjoyed their set, but I could tell that they’re a better band in a smaller setting. Here’s a taste of  “Hang On”:

After this show, I cruised over to another stage to catch a very different act, Raphael Saadiq.  I was super excited to see him.  Yet, I was even more impressed when he hit the stage in a fly suit.  Ooo, he looked so slick.  And those dance moves…yeah, he’s got it.  There was actually room to move around in this crowd.  So many people missed out on such a great show.  He was one of my favorite performers all weekend.  He played his solo stuff, Lucy Pearl stuff, & he even threw in some Tony! Toni! Toné!  ” Let’s Take A Walk” shows him jamming after he had stripped down from his full suit.

After enjoying this energy-packed show, I ran over to catch just a bit of Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3.  I only got to see a few of his quirky songs before I had to run away for Thievery Corporation.  Robyn Hitchcock just made me laugh.  He’s a true original.  I got to Thievery Corporation just in time.  I was curious to see how they would pull off this type of music live.  But, I really shouldn’t have been worried, because they were really incredible.  They had a stage full of musicians and a couple of different vocalists rotated front-man duties.  And of course, the two main guys were up on stage working their magic.  And they were the perfect lead-in to the next band I saw.  On a side note, later that evening after the festival ended, I had taken the shuttle back to downtown Austin.  As I was walking to find a cab to take me back to my car, I ran into one of the percussionists from Thievery outside Lanai.  I walked up to him & told him I recognized him from the show and said how much I liked their performance.  He just smiled at me (he seemed kind of surprised) and thanked me.  And that was that.  Anyway, back to ACL.  The next band that I chose to see specifically was Los Amigos Invisibles.  They’re a super-fun band from Venezuela that I had been into for the past few years.  Man, I’m so glad I went to this show.  This was literally the BEST time I had all weekend.  These guys had the audience jumping up and down, dancing and singing from the first song.  I was swept away and was dancing right along with everyone.  This is the kind of band that you would fall in love with at a live performance even if you weren’t familiar with their music.  It was tremendous!  See for yourself…

After they were done, I moseyed on over to the main stage for some Kings Of Leon.  I wanted to catch at least the beginning of their set.  I was hoping they would entertain me more than when I had first seen them in NYC back in ’03.  But alas, after experiencing such a high-energy show from Los Amigos Invisibles, KOL once again disappointed me.  I don’t know what it is about their live shows.  They just don’t seem to emit the right kind of energy for me.  Here’s their set list for that night:

  1. Crawl
  2. Charmer
  3. Be Somebody
  4. Taper Jean Girl
  5. Molly’s Chambers
  6. Fans
  7. Revelry
  8. Milk
  9. I Want You
  10. Four Kicks
  11. The Bucket
  12. Sex on Fire
  13. Notion
  14. Manhattan
  15. On Call
  16. Cold Desert
  17. Knocked Up
  18. Use Somebody
  19. Black Thumbnail
  20. Slow Night, So Long
(with Eddie Vedder)

And dammit if I’m just now finding out that I missed their duet with Eddie Vedder.  MAN, that sucks!!  Oh well.  After I heard “Molly’s Chambers”, I booked on over to catch, at least, the end of Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs.  Here’s a clip Of KOL:

I really wished I had just gone to see them.  I think I would’ve enjoyed them more.  I missed pretty much all of Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs set.  I was able to catch their last two songs, which included “Maps”:

That’s one of my favorite songs by them, so that made me happy.  Here’s what their full set list looked like:

  1. Runaway
  2. Dull Life
  3. Honeybear
  4. Pin
  5. Gold Lion
  6. Zero
  7. Miles Away
  8. Skeletons
  9. Soft Shock
  10. Cheated Hearts
  11. Maps
  12. Heads Will Roll
  13. Date with the Night

Once that song finished, I started walking out of the festival.  The good thing was the line for the shuttle moved right alongside the stage the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs were on, so I could finish listening to their last two songs.  Overall, Day One proved to be very impressive.  It was a fabulous day of fun & music.  I couldn’t wait for Day Two.

DAY TWO:  October 3, 2009
My second day of ACL turned out to be a bit of a dud.  The good news was that I worked my volunteer shift from 11-3 again.  So I was happy to be off early to see some shows.  The bad news was that it had started raining today.  And the rain continued when it was time for me to go see some music.  I was completely exhausted from such a long and adrenaline-filled day before.  So by the time I walked over to see Grizzly Bear I was ready to sit down.  But because of the rain, I couldn’t really do that.  So I miserably stuck out the rest of their set when all I really wanted to do was go take a nap.  I couldn’t even really enjoy them.    After they were done, I begrudgingly walked over to check out Citizen Cope.  I thought they had the potential to wake me up.  But no, after a couple of songs and the ongoing rain, I finally threw in the towel.  Yes, I know, I’m lame.  But I couldn’t hack it.  I bailed.  I went home and ended up watching the documentary about the metal group, Anvil.  And ya know what?  I really enjoyed it.  AND, I got to sleep in the next day because I had a later volunteer shift.

DAY THREE:  October 4, 2009
So I  really meant to get to the festival earlier than I did.  But when I got up, it was STILL raining.  UGH!!  So I waited till a little bit later in the afternoon and I got there just in time for the sun to come out and to see Arctic Monkeys.  The worst part of walking on to the festival grounds today was all the disgusting mud.  I literally sank into it as I walked around.  NASTY!!  I am so happy I caught the Arctic Monkeys’ set.  I wasn’t sure they would be great live, but they really impressed me.  I completely enjoyed their performance.  Here’s a look at their set list:

  1. Dance Little Liar
  2. Brianstorm
  3. Crying Lightning
  4. The View From the Afternoon
  5. Cornerstone
  6. This House Is a Circus
  7. Still Take You Home
  8. I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
  9. Pretty Visitors
  10. Do Me a Favour
  11. Dangerous Animals
  12. Red Right Hand
(Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds cover)
  13. Fluorescent Adolescent
  14. If You Were There, Beware

And here’s a snippet of their fourth song of the day “The View From The Afternoon”:

After they were done with their rockin’ set, I walked over to see Passion Pit.  I have to admit, I expected way more from this band.  After about three songs, their whiny front man started to annoy me.  I decided I had to move on.  So I trudged through the mud to check out one of the smaller stages. I ended up catching a bit of Rebirth Brass Band.  It was a nice little break in the day.  But there was one more band I was DYING to see before I had to start my volunteer shift at 6pm and that was The Dead Weather.  I could not wait to see Jack White’s new band!!  The sad part is that I started my volunteer shift not long after they started playing, so I only got to see a few songs.  But seeing Jack White on drums and Allison Mosshart rocking out HARD for just a few songs gave me a taste of their raw & dirty rock.  I loved every moment I spent with them.  Here’s their full set list:

  1. 60 Feet Tall
  2. Hang You From The Heavens
  3. Jawbreaker
  4. You Just Can’t Win
(Them cover)
  5. So Far From Your Weapon
  6. Rocking Horse
  7. No Horse
  8. Forever My Queen
(Pentagram cover)
  9. New Pony
(Bob Dylan cover)
  10. I Cut Like A Buffalo
  11. Treat Me Like Your Mother
  12. Will There Be Enough Water?

Their second song “Hang You From The Heavens” was the song that really drew me in and made me want to stay forever:

If only I didn’t have to go to work.  I was so tempted to blow off my shift, but I didn’t want to screw up my future chances to volunteer.  TORN…but I ended up being responsible and leaving shortly after the third song.    You really can’t blame me for wanting to stay. Luckily my volunteer shift put me right next to the stage where Girl Talk was about to perform.  WOW!!  This dude blew me away.  The way he puts songs together is truly a party and a half.  He stirs the audience into a wild frenzy.  And I completely understand how & why it happens.  With every new song that comes into his mash-ups, comes the recognition, then the excitement, and then the mania.  People were frothing at the mouth for more.  I’m not kidding!!  I really wish I could’ve been in the audience enjoying this set from start to finish, but I had to work.  BOOOO!!  At least, I caught a bit of this joyful scene from the sidelines.  I’m grateful for at least that.  What a great way to say goodbye to the sun and hello to the night, Girl Talk Style:

The final band of the evening was Pearl Jam.  They had the park to themselves by the time they went on.  Unfortunately for me, the stage they performed on was clear across the park from where I was volunteering.  So not only could I not see them, but I could barely hear them.  I was so sad.  But what could I do??  I know they put on a great show.  Ben Harper joined them on a few songs, which made me even sadder.  To have seen them play one more time would have capped off my first ACL experience with a bang.  But instead my night ended with a lot of mud.  I actually had to drive home in my socks because there was no way I was entering my car with all the mud that had accumulated on my shoes.  YUCK!!  At least I learned that I wanted all my volunteer shifts to be early for next year’s festival.  And that’s life.  You live and you learn.