ACL 08 Day 2

Day two of the Austin City Limits music festival. Today was a very good day. We didn’t get there as early as expected because I had schoolwork to do. The first show that we planned to see was the Fratellis at 1:30, and it actually worked out because we heard two songs while we were walking in, and several of our friends told us that those were the best two songs of the show. The first full show that we saw was Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and wow. Just wow. The band is tight, and just fun to watch. And Sharon Jones is a great performer. She really knows how to get the crowd into it. We connected with Simoneau for a few minutes, too, which was cool.

While we were watching them I saw a few people carting around trashbags, and learned that if you fill a bag with cans and bottles, you get a free shirt. I decided to go for it, so I went to get a bag. We split up from our group to see Man Man. I was done in about 3 songs. The percussion was great, but the vocals were kind of annoying to me. So we walked over to see CSS. I worked the crowd for cans & bottles while we walked between stages. CSS was good, I really enjoyed them. They wore pretty audacious jumpsuits, and one of the girls had some pretty wild hair, but the music was great, and from what I saw they really gave a great performance.

Right after CSS Robert Earl Keen started, and he was of course great. Liz joined our friends, I walked a bit more, getting cans & bottles from the crowd. I got my t-shirt about half way through the show. I’m glad I did it, and I don’t want to do it again. Keen played most of the songs I knew, though I was hoping for Five Pound Bass or Merry Christmas from the Family, but didn’t hear them. It was still a great performance.

Next up was MGMT and I really enjoyed them, too. We were pretty far from the stage, but could hear them well enough. This was kind of a lull in the afternoon, so our group visited pretty much, but it was still a lot of fun. We decided not to move until Beck, so we stayed put for Jon Fogerty. Man, that dude still has it. I had very low expectations for that performance, but he was great. Lots of energy, and a good mix of old and new. Plus, the whole crowd got into it when he played classic CCR tunes. It was a very fun show.

After Fogerty we walked across the park to the AT&T stage, to be in a good position for Beck, and we heard Iron & Wine playing. I own Our Endless Numbered Days and love it, but he didn’t sound very good live. I assume this is because we were too far from the stage.

And then… Beck came out. He opened with Loser and the crowd loved it. Plus, he was freaking loud. Awesome. He played songs from every CD that he’s done, which I enjoyed. And, he mixed it up on a few songs, too. The songs from Guero were Black Tambourine, I Think I’m in Love, Nausea, and most of them were done as a rap with a beat track. From Sea Change he played The Golden Age and Lost Cause, those were played with just him and his guitar. All of the others were full band. Hands down, Beck has been my favorite performance so far this year.

The dirt wasn’t as bad as on day 1, but its still bad enough that you know its there. Oh, and an update on the chair check, they stayed open until 10pm, so people could actually use it. Brilliant.

I have to agree with Simoneau, who said that this year is more awesome than in the past. Though I can’t understand why he’d choose Robert Plant and Allison Krouse over Beck. For day three I’m looking forward to Silversun Pickups, Raconteurs, Band of Horses and, of course, Foo Fighters. Rock On!