Friday, September 26, 2008

ACL, Day One

Today's ACL viewing started - for us - at 11:45. Bright and early for ACL, but totally worth it since we wanted to catch Dan Dyer. The day consisted of Dan Dyer, Asleep at the Wheel, Vampire Weekend, Jamie Liddell, M. Ward, Gogol Bordello, Jenny Lewis, David Byrne, Alejandro Escovedo, Mars Volta, and the presidential debate. You can follow along at the ACL Web site, by the way, if you're interested in seeing what the choices were for each day. Feel free to argue with me, too, and tell me I was an idiot for seeing so-and-so and not this guy. Quick thoughts on today's artists (as I'm beat, and a little pink): Dan Dyer: Copped a spot in the shade, and a nice breeze was wending through. I was already familiar with Dyer, having been a fan since his Breedlove days, but it was nice to see him live again. Great, great set, but kinda sparsely attended given the early hour. Asleep at the Wheel: Nice, dependable set from Ray Benson with plenty of emphasis on Bob Wills. Cutey patootey pint-sized Ruby Jane was sitting in as an additional fiddle player, and stole the show. Elizabeth McQueen is preggers, and gleefully told the crowd, "This is baby's first ACL." Vampire Weekend: Spotty set, but had a sort of 80s band feel. Jamie Liddell: Bluesy, soul set. Caught part of it, and am mulling over another CD purchase. Gogol Bordello: Jammy set, with a punk feel. Jenny Lewis: Best set I saw all day. She had the crowd going, and even though she was late starting, the set made me glad I had just been to the Waterloo Records tent to pick up her CD (as well as Dan Dyer's). Best songs? "Jack Killed Mom" and "See Fernando." Also interesting? It's this and this Jenny Lewis. David Byrne: A mix of solo stuff and Talking Heads stuff, in case someone didn't remember who he was. Solid, good set you'd expect from someone who has been doing the music thing for as long as Byrne. Alejandro Escovedo: Also a solid set, full of his standards, as well as some new stuff. Had pretty much the entire crowd on its feet. The Mars Volta: I'll be honest - we only caught bits and snatches of this band, but I liked what I heard. I'll probably may more attention to them later on the video recaps at the ACL Web site. The reason I missed part of Mars Volta? The presidential debates. It was kind of an awesome sight - walking into a tent with three TVs, all tuned to the debates, and the crowd in rapt attention to the debates - ignoring both the music and nearby booze to follow the debates. At one point, a man started shouting about McCain, something something something bullshit, something something... People started shouting him down, and after a few seconds, a police officer told him to shush. Which he did. (M-pyre live-blogged the debate, btw. You should check it out.) Tomorrow, the plans are to see the Old 97s, Jose Gonzalez, Drive-by Truckers, Robert Earl Keen, MGMT, John Fogerty and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Any others on the list you'd recommend?