Thursday, September 14, 2006
Does this make me crazy?
The eve of the ACL Fest is my modern day equivalent of the Night Before Christmas. But instead of visions of sugar plums dancing in my head, it's What Made Milwalkee Famous. Few events are able to combine awesome music, skipping work, god-awful heat, hippie-stink, and sheer exhaustion so effectively as the Austin City Limits Music Fest.
Devotees will recall last time I went to ACL in 2004, I did everyone the immense favor of writting a retroactive web-log, or blog, if you will. This was back when Dear Mr. Supercomputer was just a gleam in this blogger's eyes. I thought it would be fun to revisit some of the highlights, lowlights, and contact highs of that year.
"(1:00 PM) The Killers. I’m not sure who slotted The Killers at one in the afternoon. Still, The Killers make the most of it. They deliver a very energetic performance. They’re an interesting mix of modern rock with 80’s new wave. I bet Steph would love this. …B"
Wow. This should tell you how far the Killers have come since then in terms of popularity. No way do they play a 1:00 set on Friday. The crowd then was still rather sparse. If I had wanted to I could have walked up to the front of the stage. Try that now, and you'll get mauled by about 6000 emo kids. They have grabby hands.
"(8:00) Gomez. The first truly knockout show. While all the kiddies are over at Franz Ferdinand, there’s another modern rock band from Europe playing a kickass show. Starting the set with the ominous “Get Miles” leads beautifully into their more guitar-driven licks. “Silence” sounds great, but “Shot Shot” offers the best festival moments to date. Their energy is ferocious. To think these guys are playing again in a few hours for an ACL after-show is mind-boggling. …A+"
I'm seeing Gomez again this year, but I'm awfully trepedacious. An underwhelming album and a brutal web-cast performance from Bonaroo leave me wary. Maybe I should skip out and let the awesome 2004 show live on unblemished. I am sad I never got to see Franz Ferdinand before they made it prohibitively big.
"(7:00) Monte Montgomery. As Kai trots off to fight amongst middle school girls for a good spot at Dashboard Confessional, Greer and I head over to see Monte Montgomery. I’ve put off seeing him for too long now. This guy makes Eric Johnson look like the Kingston Trio. Monte produces a sound out of an acoustic guitar that still makes me scratch my head. It’s complex, creative, and flawless. …B+"
Really, I just thought it was funny to remember that Kai came down to see Dashboard Confessional (pictured here, apparently Living Life 100%).
"(2:30) The Roots. It’s always great to have that one Rap group at the ACL Festival. Last year it was Spearhead. The Roots offer a welcome change of pace to the onslaught of rock groups. These guys are both lyrically and musically very talented. This is probably the most white people The Roots have ever played for. …B"
This year, it's Gnarls Barkley. I wish I had kept a journal after that Spearhead show. It would have probably been something like this: "MAN! THAT WAS THE BEST SHOW EVER!!!! HOLY CRAP I WAS SO F---ING BLOWN AWAY!!! THAT SHOW WAS THE S---!!! MAN! MAN! MAN! I AM A GOLDEN GOD!!!" By the way, I'm about 80% sure I got a contact high during that set.
"(3:15) I have found the best-kept secret at the ACL Fest: Curra’s Veggie Tamales. Anyone who’s ever been to Curra’s Grill in Austin knows that it has the best tamales around. Well, at ACL they were three for $3! Nowhere else can you get a filling meal for just three bucks. Even the smoothies are $4!"
I just need to remind myself where the cheap food is.
"The Day After - (7:30 AM) That alarm sound is telling me that it’s time to get back to normal, everyday life. What a terrible sound. I wonder how conspicuous I’ll look with my face all beet red since I took Friday off. I don’t even bother grooming this morning. No shave. Untucked polo shirt. The comfortable khakis that I’ve had since High School. I know I’m in for what will seem like the longest week of my life, but it’s easily worth it. I was able to check out a lot of bands that I never would have otherwise. I was able to check out bands that I’ve always wanted to see. I drank a lot of overpriced beer that was well worth it in the heat of the day. I feel miserable. What a glorious miserable."
Yeah that just about sums up the ACL experience of the day after.
At $100 or so, I still feel that ACL Fest is one of the best deals around. Sure, it's more like $150 after all the extra stuff you have to pay for. But year in and year out, the ACL bookers have such a great mix of up-and-comers, mid-level acts, and surefire Hall of Famers. I mean, who the hell were the Killers just two years ago? Now they would charge $50 just to see them by their pretensious little selves.
It's almost like a little vacation from reality just as the school year is starting to get monotonous.
So in order to get excited, I have an inspiration pre-game speech from High School football coach Jim Cantifio who as Every Day Should be a Saturday puts it, is "displaying the signs of a man who has just slipped into tertiary syphilitic madness."
Let's get fired up! Do you have any pride?!!
Do you?! Danny!
Posted by gk at 8:47 PM