ACL 08 Day 3

The Wristband
Image by lenwood via Flickr

So, I gotta start by saying that this year’s ACL festival has taken it up to a new level. It was our fifth year in a row to attend (fourth year together), and Liz and I both had a blast. If you live in Austin and you like music, then you need to be here.

Once again the day started later than planned, partly because I had stuff to do, and partly because we wanted to pace ourselves to be there for the entire Foo Fighters show. By Saturday night the dust was getting to me, and I knew that being there all day Sunday would drive me nuts. We intended for the afternoon to start with the Stars, but we bumped it back to Silversun Pickups. We heard Stars as we were walking in and they sounded good, I was bummed that we missed them.

Silversun Pickups were great. I was afraid that the guy was going to sound like a girl, because I think he does on their radio tracks, but they sounded awesome. The lead guitarist got a few nice solos in, too. That guy can rock. I didn’t pay as much attention to the last few songs because we bumped into some old friends. It was pretty fun to catch up with them, even if only for a moment.

We then walked to the other side of Zilker to get a good position for the Raconteurs. We heard Okkerville River playing, which was a bonus. They were also great, and it looked like they had a fun interaction going with the crowd, too. I’m interested in hearing more of them.

Then, oh-my-freaking-gosh The Raconteurs came out. LOUD. Like, Dinosaur Jr loud. Holy cow was it fun. Jack White told the crowd a couple of times that he was suffering from a slipped disc. Before he told us I hadn’t noticed anything. After I realized that Brendan was singing a few of his parts, and the band was picking up some of his guitar parts. Wow. I never would have noticed if White hadn’t said something. I have a new respect for this band. I’ve liked them since I heard the first track, now I like them more. Plus, they freaking rocked. They did a 12 minute version of Top Yourself, leading right into Broken Boy Soldier.

Everyone in my group loved the show. A few of them even said it was the best performance of ACL 2008. I couldn’t agree with them at the time, we hadn’t seen Foo Fighters yet. I was thinking Dave Grohl is a rock legend, he’s gotta have something good in store for us.

We walked back across the park, and listened to Band of Horses while staking out a good spot. While walking we ran into one of Joe’s college buddies, so we visited for a few minutes. Band of Horses sounded great. If they hadn’t played just before Foo Fighters I probably would have moved closer so I could hear them better. I want to hear more.

Foo Fighters started 4 minutes early. The totally trumped Band of Horses, and they started loud, too. I don’t know if Band of Horses went long or not, but either way, once the Foo Fighters started there was no point in continuing. I’ve said it so many times this weekend that I’m almost getting tired of saying myself, but Foo Fighters were awesome. Dave Grohl was funny, they played songs from each of their releases, some were full band and some were just Dave and a guitar, everything they played sounded great, there were a few awesome solos, and on and on. They had a long, pregnant pause in the middle of Everlong, long enough that I was like, you can’t just not play the rest of the song. Even the encore was great, they came back out and played for twenty minutes, going well past the 10pm cutoff. I screamed a lot during this show, as did everyone else in the crowd, which I’m sure is one reason why I sound awful right now.