ACL Music Fest - Part One

Music  |  Features
It was a crazy weekend in Austin. It's not enough that thousands descended upon the city for the Austin City Limits Music Festival. But because the powers-that-be cancelled the Texas-Arkansas football game a few weeks ago (in fear of Hurricane Ike) the game was rescheduled for Saturday, the second night of the fest. There are a LOT of people in town! But no worries. Great music makes everything else great...

Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello

The first artist I saw on Friday was the extremely talented Jamie Lidell on the Dell stage. I started out backstage but when he began "Another Day", the most infectious song of the summer, I had to circle around to the front and move with everyone else. For a British white boy this kid's got the kind of soul that would have done Stax Records proud. Then I ran over to the AT&T stage to catch the beginning of the Gypsy rockers Gogol Bordello. I'm not sure if it's Ukrainian, Russian or Bohemian style dancing but frontman Eugene Hutz had everyone jumping. 

Bobby Bare, Jr.

ACL Fest has been known for some brutally hot weather. But they lucked out this weekend. Maybe a bit warm in the afternoons but nothing to really break a sweat about. Dust is still a problem I noticed as I left Gogol. But washing it down with a cold draft beer while listening to Bobby Bare, Jr. at the BMI stage helped a lot. What a killer band! 

I caught a bit of David Byrne. A really small bit because I was way in the back behind the crowd. But when he played "Once in a Lifetime" the band sounded as good as when I saw Talking Heads some 20-odd years ago. Same as it ever was...

I was heading over to the BMI stage again when I had to stop for a second at the Austin Ventures stage to hear Austin's own Alejandro Escovedo doing "Castanets". But, figuring I'll always have chances to hear Alejandro I continued on my quest to hear Ryan Bingham, another one of those "new" breed of Texas troubadours the press likes to keep talking about. Sometimes the hype isn't deserved. But Bingham is good. Very good, with a band to match. I only got to hear the last couple songs so I've got to locate this guy's next gig ASAP.

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