We’re alive! But we’re getting old. Now that we’ve finished our post ACL cleanses (pizza anyone?) and fallen asleep a couple of times while watching American Dad reruns on our couches, we’re ready to talk about last weekend’s adventures! Welcome to the ACL recap of 2012:
Here we go in no particular order – ladies first:
My ACL weekend highlights:
1. Gary Clark in the Do512 Lounge. Wow. Hot, sweaty, intense, awesome.
2. Avicii (Friday night). Even if the guy just gets up there and presses play, I dont care. I’m no that into dubstep, but between this show and Bassnectar at Lollapalooza, I’m starting to become a believer. This show was one of the most impressive visual experiences I have ever seen, and in my opinion was the best overall entertainment value of the entire festival. That crazy skull thing blew my mind, and I spent the whole time wondering how the hell it worked, and how he transported that thing around.
3. Die Antwoord. I fink they’re freaky and I like ‘em like that. Just plain weird South African trailer park hip hop. I love that they’re so far out there and doing their thing. I also think I may kind of have a thing for that freaky little devilish tree nymph. And this may be the best video of all times:
Matt didn’t submit a recap so we’re putting up this picture instead. It’s the proper thing to do.
I had the best ACL weekend ever, and I was only at the festival for a total of two and half hours. We started out on Friday by hosting a couple of bands in the lounge, including The Whigs (who were totally bad ass) and Milo Greene. Once that finally died down we hailed a cab down to Zilker Park and caught Thievery Corporation and Avicii. Afterwards, exhausted from a full day of partying, we had a late dinner at Uncle Billy’s before calling it a night.
On Saturday we hosted four more bands in the Do512 Lounge, including the Kopecky Family Band, Geographer, Sour Bridges, and He’s My Brother She’s My Sister (who were the surprise act of the weekend.)
After that, three of the Do512 staff and I started hoofing it to the festival and got caught in a downpour halfway there. Stranded and soaked, we were luckily rescued by a few good samaritans from Wisconsin, who were only in town for the night and happened to be staying at a house nearby. They helped us dry out while giving us lots of booze, conversation and ridiculous business ideas while we crowded under a carport somewhere in South Austin. Once the weather subsided we headed back to the Do512 Lounge for arguably the most amazing night in its existence. Local hip-hop talent Phranchyze kicked off the night backed by a full band, followed by guitar slinger Gary Clark Jr. who came in and rocked the socks off of a sweaty crowd that was standing shoulder to shoulder throughout the building.
The fun lasted until at least five in the morning, when we discovered that one of our new friends from Wisconsin, who we had invited to the session to show thanks for the hospitality, had wandered off and gotten lost on his way home. He was discovered at a hotel shortly before file a missing persons report was to be filed. I woke up with my head in my hands at some point on Sunday afternoon and could only muster enough strength to watch the ACL live stream on Youtube. Then I watched Boardwalk Empire and The Walking Dead before falling into a deep sleep.
Fabulous weekend, it was.
Festival season is like Christmas when you’re 7. You wait you wait you wait, you think of everything you want, you ponder and prepare and set alarms and the whole bit and then it’s over. The main difference is that when you’re a kid after Christmas, you have a lot of new random stuff like Skip It and toy trucks to play with. When you’re in your mid-twenties and it’s post festival work weekend, you feel like you got beat the eff down with a Skip It and got dragged down the road by a truck from Austin to Marfa and then back again.
I’m in “When Skip Its Attack” mode right now but while it’s all fresh, let’s recaparoo.
Friday was spent almost entirely in preparation of the festival but we did manage to sneak in a few lounge sessions here in the office including one with my new best friends (not friends at all – they don’t know I exist) the Whigs. Holy, drummer. These guys were absolutely amazing and totally, totally worth how hot the room got. Knees down, shredding hard, screw everyone else with their guitars. Bookmarked, spotified, bought the T-shirt, done check done.
Peace, love, and unitards. Saturday was a really weird day for me. The early morning consisted of lifting couches and decorating a green room for Gary Clark Jr. Hoookay let’s see what kind of fine cheeses Target has these days and buy a lot of Jameson. Rock ‘n roll.
I did leave Saturday afternoon with a new life mission though and that was to one day learn how to tap dance drum. What’s that you ask? It consists of one tap dancing…on a drum. It’s also the coolest thing ever. He’s my Brother, She’s my Sister ruled the Lounge with their spunk and smiles and totally made me feel all twirly and colorful inside. It was a weird emotion to have…twirly. Look at what a whimsically sexy, sexy band this is:
I also snuck away briefly to catch my Texas Tech spanking West Virginia. Tap dancing drums and Raiders spanking in football does a solid Saturday make.
I got back to the office and hauled to set up for quite possibly our biggest Lounge show presented by Shiner Beer (reppin hard) yet, Gary Clark Jr. Whaaaat’s up. 11pm and all is well…actually, all is not well…boyfriend here with giant coffee…all is well! Bless that man.
Pictures from GCjr:
No work! Kidnapped my dashing festival companion of choice and wandered into ACL for the first time. Better late than never – which is good considering I’ll likely be late forever. Show em to me now:
Freelance Whales, Policia, Gary Clark Jr. again, Two Door Cinema Club, Lumineers, Childish Gambino
I’m getting old. I feel the aftermath of these weekends now and I never used to before. At least not that I remember. It’s weird. To read about previous years when I was still young and fresh and didn’t need eye cream, check out ACL 2011 and ACL 2010.
I’m going to go buy new bedding as a treat and then I’m going to lay in it. Forever. Fine. Until Fun Fun Fun Fest. Till next m’year.
- Photo credits to Do512, Sweet John, and Nice Dude With Porch
I know, Umphrey’s McGee would be one of my highlights, they don’t call me Jambanda for nothing. But you’re Hellen Keller if you can’t see that these guys rock harder than most. Umphrey’s McGee puts on one of the most high energy shows you’ll come across. And though not the best show I’ve seen them play, it definitely brought back life to me when the herds of pushy drunkards almost sucked it out.
Antibalas put on a KILLER performance and it was one of the few times I noticed the entire crowd smiling, enthusiastic and dancing. They have an original, Latin psychedelic funky sound. Everything I felt was missing from the festival I found in that tent.
Saturday was our busiest day of lounge sessions, and I was pleasantly surprised with everyone we had in here. The lounge made for such a great refuge from the festival clusterfuck. And getting a front row pass to watch ACL bands isn’t bad either. My favorite pleasant surprise? He’s My Brother She’s My Sister.
Gary Clark Jr Saturday Aftershow – I always thank bands for giving our graffiti’d shack a chance, but this time I realized this lounge thing we do isn’t just cool for us, Gary Clark took our lounge as his own personal wrap party for friends and family, plus fancy people of all sorts who wanted a part of it too.
Also, The Avett Brothers were such an attractive band of talented cutiepies. I’m so glad a friend dragged me to the front of that enormous crowd of fans to see their awesome set.
I only made it out to ACL on Saturday, which was fine by me, because Saturday night = Jack White. And he did not disappoint. We staked out a spot an hour early and managed to get pretty close. Well, close as in my 5′ 2” pocket-sized self could actually see. Which is a feat, and made me very happy. The hour wait for the show to start was fun in itself. We made friends around us as people hashed out their previous ACL experiences. I didn’t have any, this was my first, so it was nice hearing what everyone else had to say about it.
Hearing their stories made me feel grateful for being a part of Do512 and having the chance to go to the fest. But yeah, back to Jack White. He played it all, man: The Raconteurs, Dead Weather, The White Stripes and his solo stuff. He played I’m Slowly Turning Into You, which surprised me, and I.lost.my.cool. His lady band goes hard, and it was great to see them vibe and jam.
The rest of the weekend was spent at the Do512 Lounge Sessions where it’s as intimate as it gets, and the sound hurts your ears in that ever-so-satisfying way. Milo Greene surprised me with their talented musicianship and the fact that the whole band could sing. And they sang WELL. Really well.
I think The Whigs made my brain shake.
And Gary Clark Jr. left a goofy grin and wide eyes on my face as I watched him just completely wail on the guitar. Nothing short of amazing. The vibe of the whole show seemed heightened, and it was hot and loud, which if you’re a true live music fan, then that means it was awesome. And it was.
Till next year Austin City, loonigans…we’re outta here.