Monday, October 5, 2009
ACL and Bourbon Street...
Austin City Limits (or ACL, as everyone calls it) is big. Bigger than Coachella big. 130 bands in 3 days big. It's also not cheap.. which is why it's awesome that Filter got us in for free. Luckily, after a day of "I hate life" Texas humidity, the first day of ACL was absolutely gorgeous. The music gods were truly smiling down on the 70,000+ in attendance, and they were treated to one hell of a first day. Many of the first bands that played right after the festival opened at noon I had never heard of, but some LSU girls suggested we check out this band Blitzen Trapper from Portland (horrible name, good band) and we were not disappointed. Sort of a Grateful Dead/hippie band kinda feel. After doing some major music marketing we caught the entire set of my favorite French band (other French bands?) Phoenix. These guys totally killed it. Sounded great live and a fun band to dance around to for an hour. After getting a couple Heineken keg cans in us and passing out in the grass during John Legend I had the honor of seeing Them Dirty Vultures, which features Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters/Nirvana) on drums, John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) on bass and Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) on vocals/guitar. Any band with members of Zep and Nirvana has got to be awesome, right? Well they were. Straight up in-your-face rock 'n roll. And watching Dave Grohl on drums is mind-blowing. Possibly even better than seeing him on vocals with Foo. Loved it... I then FINALLY got to catch the Yeah Yeah Yeahs live for the first time, opting to watch them over Kings of Leon (the other headliner of the night) and certainly had no regrets about it. Karen O is an untamed beast on-stage. She just goes balls out. It was a pleasure watching her put on a show. No girl rocks harder than KO.
An all around awesome day, only tainted by the fact that I got my wallet pick-pocketed at a club in Austin that night. I'm still pissed, but things things happen in life and you make due... Anyway, despite the fact we had 3 day passes we had to move on to New Orleans, meaning I had to miss bands like Grizzly Bear, Bon Iver, Arctic Monkeys, Dead Weather and Pear Jam... but, hey, we were going to NEW ORLEANS for chrissakes!
Our time in the Big Easy was much too short, but we made sure to do it right. Bourbon Street was a circus as it always is: mobs of drunken people of all ages falling over themselves in the closed-down street. Jazz, clubs, noise, bars, beads, bad smells, chaos, booze, strip clubs, debauchery... that is Bourbon Street at night. Tom and I hit up a jazz bar where a live band was playing and each threw back a $16 'Hurricane', then headed to a more traditional 'younger crowd' type of club with girls dancing on platforms and the whole bit. Definitely preferred the jazz bar. In essence we made the most of the few hours we had to drink up New Orleans before heading to Atlanta yesterday morning, but there's a chance I may head back for VooDoo festival (another HUGE one) at the end of the month *fingers crossed*
The drive across the Dirty South from New Orleans to Atlanta to Louisville has been long and, well, looooong... I'll write about it next time around. I'm beat.