September 18, 2006

2006 ACL Music Fest Memories


Had a fantastic time at ACL Fest this year.
As you see by the above photo, I met Matthew McConaughey for a moment after a great set by a new-to-me artist named Mishka ( good times.

OK.. day by day..

Friday: For the early day I parked at the Post Office (I wasn't supposed to... since it was still open.. but hey... I'm a customer sometimes!) and I got there before the gates opened...I took the shuttle (I think I was on the 3rd bus) which was surprisingly easy to do. I wasn't a big fan of moving the shuttle from where it was last year...I think there was much more apparent parking closer to UT... but hey.. it wasn't too bad.

I took my picture with a mascot squirrel... no clue what it represented.. but it was a mascot and I needed a photo with it...

Now... I'm a fan of the smaller stages and the "less hyped" bands. So... you won't see my taking on and on about MUSE or The Raconteurs or Ween. I didn't stay for Massive Attack or rush to see I can't comment on those shows... I will comment on what I did see though...
Musical highlights for Friday:
- Seeing Autumn sing with Joy Davis (and learning that Joy Davis is Patrice Pike's sister) on the BMI Stage.
- Terri Hendrix playing a fantastic set on the Austin Ventures stage.
- Catching Matthew McConaughey introduce Mishka and catching his set... then meeting Matthew as well as Mix 94.7's Sandy and his girlfriend Trisha. (BMI Stage)
- I really enjoyed David Ford (click photo below for Web site) who, if I remember correctly. introduced himself as "another whiny Englishman" (AT&T Blue Room Stage)
- Wolf Parade was a pretty interesting band.
David Ford
David Ford Plays the AT&T Blue Room Stage on Friday

After Nickel Creek I actually left and picked up my wife to come back for Van Morrison. It was a bit of a pain to get back... finding parking in downtown Austin was a pain... I finally pain $7 to park in the garage across from Antone's... and we got to the busses at about 8:30.... only to find out the busses stopped "delivering to ACL" at 8:00p.m. which was actually nowhere in print... we decided not to be the ones who yelled and cursed and stomped off (there were a few..more on that later) and we actually got on a bus and went...

- Van Morrison was freaking amazing. Worth every inconvenience... We actually waited longer in line to get back to the parking garage than the performance...but it was damn well worth it. My wife and I were happy campers.

After securing the little girl with my parents for the day...after lunch at Central Market (you need to eat here if you've not before...) the wife and I headed out to ACL. We ended up paying $10 to enter the same lot as Friday night... We got there just in time for Ian McLagan and the Bump Band (3:30ish).

Musical Highlights for Saturday:
- Ian McLagan is great. I've caught him at his free happy hour gig at Lucky Lounge before and it's a good time. This was no different... my wife said it was probably her favorite performance of the day. (Washington Mutual stage)
- TV on the Radio was great. I'd never heard of them, and probably wouldn't have picked up the CD to play it if I saw it (I'm usually not one for bands who's names have more than 2 words or are phrases or sentances.)
- To see Los Lobos at 4:30 in the afternoon was phenominal...
- South Austin Jug Band (click photo below for Web site) at the BMI Stage was really good too. I hadn't seen them live for about 2 years. Better than I remembered.

South Austin Jug Band
South Austin Jug Band pose for a quick photo just before playing the BMI Stage

After SAJB we headed out... I actually went to Los Lobos at Antone's on Saturday night. I dropped my wife off at home, took a shower and took my dad with me to Antone's. We parked at a lot I know people it was free... but about a 8 block walk to Antone's. So... after seeing Los Lobos at ACL.. I saw them at Antones again. Amazing both times. I swear Los Lobos is probably my favorite band still producing original material.

The parents were leaving, so we went to lunch and when we came home my wife wasn't feeling too well... so I grabbed up my 2 1/2 year old and headed to ACL. Yeah!
Sadly, we made it there about 20 minutes after The Biscuit Brothers finished their set (they are one of my daughter's favorites) and actually they were knocking down the entire Kiddie Limits that she had so much fun at last year. My fault for not getting to the grounds until after 4:00.... Oh well.. better planning next time. The stage manager of Kiddie limits was really nice and actually played with my little girl for a little while... so she had some fun...and found a beach ball.

Musical Highlights from Sunday:
- Walking across the lawn explaining to my daughter that "That's the lady from Rockstar Supernova" on the Austin Ventures stage during Patrice Pike's set.
-Buckwheat Zydeco on the Washington Mutual stage was great. Only the second time I've seen them.
- My daughter danced for three straight Son Volt songs... AWESOME.
- White Ghost Shivers is a really interesting band... in a good way. They played the BMI Stage...
- New Monsoon was damn good as well... (BMI Stage)
- As we were leaving Ben Harper was playing the AMD Stage... As we grooved towards the bus I explained to my daughter that the man on stage was the guy she almost tripped two hours earlier... We were back in the Media area (water and snacks rock!) and Ben Harper walked through and said hello to G-Love (who was being interviewed)... well my little one decided to walk behind them to go around just as Ben was turning to walk away... I wished I'd asked for a photo.. but it was a pretty priceless memory.

Ben Harper and G. Love
Garrett "G. Love" Dutton and Ben Harper during a backstage interview

Some things I didn't like about ACL...and none of it is the organizers fault:
- Some people are asses. Most of these people are over 40 and think they have ownership of the world. They have a precious little bit of real estate that they are standing on.... and they are ready to unleash their "I'm superior to you" rant on anyone who *gasp* may want to get by. There are no assigned seats... and it's much easier to move for a moment and let someone by then tell them off.

- People who complain as a past time. Think about it.. I heard over and over "They should have done better at the busses" Allright..l I think they did as well as can be expected. If you stay until the end of a night of music and you're relying on a shuttle to take you home... you're going to wait... a LONG TIME. Get over it. Friday night was John Mayer and Van Morrison. If you wanted to see them all the way through... you saw them with about 30,000 others. Shuttles take about 40 at a time. suck it up. They did a great job at moving folks from one place to another.

- People who don't understand cell-phone ettiquite. So... there's this girl who is probably going to go to Vegas for new years but maybe not because Melissa is a flake... but she still might go... and oh.. by the way one of her friends was just going into surgery..and her parents are in San Diego but are thinking of going to Vegas for the weekend. Oh... and she told work that she needed the day off because she bought plane tickets and they wanted her to work on Friday but she said she couldn't because the tickets were unrefundable... but she was actually just going to ACL...

How do I know this? BECAUSE SHE TALKED LOUDLY ON THE PHONE the whole frigging shuttle to the fest... the whole bus knows now. dammit. Using a cell phone in an enclosed area with others is just like picking your nose in your car... IT'S NOT PRIVATE.

Hope you had a good ACL. Click the photo below to see ALL of my ACL photos

ACL Fest

Who is this squirrel?


Robbie said...

Nice round up. I thought everything about the fest this year was excellent...especially compared to last year.

Out of'd you score a Media Pass? Did you use your blog as your "media"? Or do you also work for a more traditional media outlet?

SeanclaesDOTcom said...

I write for a few print magazines and am a freelance writer. I got the media passes through INsite Magazine. The October issue will have a half or full page of ACL Photos.

If you'd like to contribute to INsite, shoot me an e-mail at

We're always looking for new talent that has good ideas!