Sunday, September 25, 2005

ACL Day Three, the Bittersweet Conclusion

If I shouldn't have been blogging this morning, I definitely shouldn't be writing this up right now because not only do I have to finish up my stupid CS 310 homework but also I now have to get up in the morning and ship out a summer school book because someone bought it today and they chose "expedited shipping." I know you're not shedding any tears for me yet, but I also have at least one quiz tomorrow, the Natural Sciences Career Expo (which I have to run to/fro classes), and the Round-Up, which I can't back out of because I'm helping to run it! Was it worth it all for a music festival though? Let's find out, class...

I guess it's obvious that I wouldn't be writing this if I wasn't pretty happy with how today turned out. I went to a different church in the morning and it was like one of the best masses I've ever been to. And after our normally long trip to ACL, which took an hour from their house on 14th near I-35 (mostly because of the trek from City Hall), I rushed to Rilo Kiley while they split off for the Doves as I was seduced by the tune of "I, Never." Bethany's mom had the great idea of running to Academy and getting folding chairs (they ran out of UT ones, so I had to settle for the American flag), and so I propped out my chair, busted out my water and fan (manually powered, that is) and umbrella, and enjoyed the show. Click to enlargeIt was wicked hot out there (at least 100 degrees, but it felt like more), but after that long walk the sit was nice and hearing Rilo Kiley after waiting so many months was heavenly. They put on a really good show and they tried to connect to the audience by talking in between songs and sharing personal anecdotes, which I really like. They played 90% of the songs of theirs that I knew and a few I didn't, and it all sounded totally awesome. I wished that I was in the front, but I was so unbelievably hot and tired that I didn't want to risk the trip. Droves of people started flocking to the stage anyway (SBC) so it wouldn't have helped much by then. At that point I thought that it was the best show I had seen so far. But...

We met up and headed to the AMD stage to take in The Bravery. Much like The Frames, they were a true sleeper hit of the show. I didn't know much of their music and yet I was totally struck by how cool they ended up being. In fact, I ended up getting "An Honest Mistake" stuck in my head for the rest of the day, which is pretty cool considering how much other music I heard. Click to enlarge an Arcade Fire singerAfterwards, we headed back to Cingular for The Arcade Fire and tried to hide under the shade of a tree but it didn't help us much because the sun moved as such to screw us over. Hence, we had to all rely on my umbrella, but the people around us didn't make it much cooler. To top it off, some idiots decided to stand up amidst all the people sitting down around them and block our otherwise immaculate view of the stage and the huge monitor. We didn't move until halfway through the show, but it didn't affect my opinion of the band much. Their diversity of music made them sound really cool and indie,and I think they have the makings of something real big so it was a pretty big thing to me to get to see them live. Their album is called Funeral (I think it was because they had a lot of deaths in families in the year preceding the release) so go check it out because it's awesome. My favorite song off of it is "Rebellion". I had to read for a while, but I wouldn't have if I didn't absolutely have to.

Then we went to AMD for The Decemberists (I know, a lot of 'The's), and it was much better than I had expected. I really love them, but I also love Keane and their concert was less than I was expected so I set my sights low for this show also. However, they ended up liking to interact with the audience a good bit and even got them to make sounds imitating being eaten by a whale! Afterwards, we spent too long getting water and food so we only caught half of Franz Ferdinand back at the SBC, but they still played a couple of my favorites. What was really neat is that they monitor added a black and white filter so it looked like the whole thing was a live music video. They did pretty well, but I don't think they trumped the earlier bands of the day. At least the sun had finally set though and gave all our sweat glands some relief.

Coldplay was up at 8:30 PM so I wanted to get up real close, but Bethany's mom protested on account of the huge dust cloud that had overtaken Zilker and the difficulty of getting out (which was hard regardless). I ended up ceding because the dust was a little crazy, but we did come prepared with bandanas at least. They started on time with "Square One", which I thought was a superb opener. I'm not going to through all the songs, but the whole concert was out of this world and hands down the best I've ever seen. Their interaction with the crowd was beyond anyone else we had seen and Chris Martin even jumped in the crowd once during "In My Place" since he was "still not close enough." Plus, he added some custom verses for us featuring SXSW, ACL, and gratitude for us having waiting in the heat all day to see them. Much like Franz, the whole show seemed like a music video with seizure-inducing lights, a colorful backdrop of lights, and filters on the monitor (one of which simulated them as being animated and got really great angles of Will). I was thrilled that he actually played "Til Kingdom Come", but the crowd was too lazy to join in like they should've so he did a great Johnny Cash cover. He even gave lots of props to The Arcade Fire for putting them out of a job. I love it when the big guys support the newcomers. The show ended a little shy of 10:00 PM, but the experience was so exhilarating, even from where we were (probably in the middle row of the whole crowd) that I wasn't too bothered. I'm going to see them again one day and sit in the very front; I recommend you do the same. For the curious, their set also included "Yellow", "White Shadows", "Everything's Not Lost", "Clocks", "The Scientist", "God Put A Smile Upon Your Face", "Speed of Sound", "Talk", and "Fix You".

Click to enlarge

We surveyed the damage afterwards to find dirt all over us and our stuff (my hair was even pretty brown). It was all in my ears and my nose (which is only producing black stuff) and I even got brown on my towel following my shower. Was it worth all the sweating and dirt and walking? Most definitely. It cost probably around $150 for everything (including food and ticket), but it was truly an experience to be amidst 60,000 fans (or so I'm told, and I'm sure it's not too far off) and just enjoy for a weekend. Sure, it screwed me over in the other aspects of my life, but we all have to take risks some times and don't ever forget that. Oh, and ALWAYS save your posts before hitting "Publish".

1 comment:

Connie said...

yay it sounds like you had a blast and you just gave me the name of some songs to dl soo more props to yoU =]