ACL Fest 2009 - Day Two

Music  |  Features
Sam Roberts

The rain began around late morning and lasted all day. My small umbrella came in handy. Again, we had a lot of musicians coming by to do short video interviews plus photo shoots with photographer Jeff Fasano. It's been a cool way to quickly meet a lot of artists. Brett Dennen came by. Jeez, he's tall (and a heck of a lot thinner). He'll be on David Letterman Friday, Oct 9th. I told him he should start off his appearance by announcing that he did NOT sleep with Letterman. He just gave me a strange look. By late afternoon media and musicians alike were crowding into our tent to keep dry.

Ten-year-old guitar phenom Quinn Sullivan stopped in. I got a chance to catch his performance at the Austin Kiddie Limits stage. There were a lot of slack jaws from the small crowd as he blew us away with his blues licks and soulful voice.

Blame it on being intoxicated by the beautiful weather Friday but I forgot to mention two of my favorites from Day One:
Avett Brothers--I read that the bros' album was the bestseller this week at Austin's Waterloo Records. Watching them for the first time I can see why. Tight, weaving harmonies. "I And Love And You": Simple. Beautiful. Simply beautiful.
Reckless Kelly--I've seen them so many times over the years, but I never tire of their music. And the crowd was way into it. Makes me think of beer and blood and guitars. 

Photos taken by Jason McElweenie at ACL 2009

A few more shows from Day Two:
Sam Roberts Band--It's been a few years since Sam and his band played ACL. Although these Canadians haven't conquered America the way they did their homeland, I think their stage performance is actually better than ever. Which is saying a lot because I loved their show in 2006. 
!!!--I thought after going through that crap with Prince's name no one would put us through that again. No such luck. (Everyone calls them "chk chk chk".) They put on a hot, high energy show with some better-than-average dance band music. Frontman Nic Offer was singing at the rain from his dry stage so he jumped down into the audience, joined them in their wetness and grabbed someone's umbrella while paraphrasing David Byrne yelling "You may find yourself with a purple umbrella. You may ask yourself, this isn't my fucking umbrella, goddammit!" and proceeded to dance with umbrella in hand.
The Soul Stirrers--They live up to their names. Love these guys. Rock and Roll Hall of Famers that have been doing gospel up right for seventy years with the same spirit, just different names.
The Airborne Toxic Event--There's much more to this band than their single "Sometime Around Midnight"--a fullness that keeps your attention. When the keyboardist would switch to the viola the mood would shift into another gear.
Citizen Cope--This guy has so many fans that it was hardly noticeable when hundreds of them left because of the sudden onslaught of heavy rain. Me included. But I did get to barely hear him from the shelter of our tent as he closed with my favorite "Sun's Gonna Rise".
The Zac Brown Band--I missed them but I told my daughter I'd write that she loved their show. Like, a lot.
Mos Def--Really great news for him that's he's a pretty damn good actor. Really.

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