Sunday, September 17, 2006

ACL Fest update: Days 1 & 2

It's been pretty tame for an ACL Fest. But all that may change tonight, there are thunderstorms (some possibly severe) headed this way.

Day 1: I went with Ms. Pix. We took the shuttle to the park, pretty crowded and crazy but we made it. The heat was not as oppressive as last year, but punishing nonetheless.

We parked our butts in the shade near the gospel tent and sat there until after dark. Heard the Subdudes and Del Castillo. We were near the fence and on the other side of that fence was the street where the bands were unloading. We decided to blaze one up and about that time a van carrying Oliver Mtukudzi and the Black Spirits pulled up and the band got out. A few minutes later one of the band members came to the fence and told us that he'd been on the road for 3 weeks without the Blessed Herb, so we turned him on to a joint. After a while, he showed up on our side of the fence and we spent a pleasant half hour or so talking to him about his native Zimbabwe. When the show started we were jazzed to know that our gift to him helped him to, as he put it, "channel his ancestors."

After that we heard Van Morrison, which would have been a real treat, except I spent most of the set wandering through the crowd with two orders of fish tacos, looking for Pixels. We didn't get reconnected until after the show. Then there was the ordeal of getting home, the very worst part about ACL Fest. But we were ultimately successful.

Day 2: Pix opted out of this day, but I'd paid my money, so wanted to at least make a showing. I rode the bus down there about 4:00. Caught the following bands: Los Lobos, the Racounteurs (Jack White needs to stick to performing with his sister) South Austin Jug Band, Kings of Leon, Iron and Wine, Willie Nelson. Also caught bits of Aimee Mann and Explosions in the Sky while walking to other shows.

Here's my assessment so far:

Best band I'd never heard of: Iron and Wine
Biggest disappointment: The Raconteurs
Best music from someone I hadn't planned to hear: Willie
Best dancing: Oliver Mtukudzi and the Black Spirits


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