This is my first post here as a marathon runner and I’m glad to be here! I’ll start off with a brief (maybe) review of ACL. While this year’s lineup didn’t boast as great of a lineup as last year’s, the weekend was still a success. I’ll do a top 10 list with a description of each.
10. Fleet Foxes – The reason these folks are so far high on my list is because I only saw about 20 minutes of their set due to arriving late at Zilker Park. Had I seen their whole set, I’m confident it would be lower on my list.
9. Tegan and Sara – These girls rock. They just do. Even though I was sitting off to the side, exhausted from the Raconteurs, I still thoroughly enjoyed this show. The played a legit cover of “Umbrella” by Rhianna, which was awesome. “Walking With a Ghost” was great, and was of course a crowd favorite.
8. Vampire Weekend – These dudes were good at ACL, but not as good as they were at Bonnaroo. Could have been the time of day, who knows. They played a new song that I really loved, but I can’t remember the name of it. I do remember Joey stating that he thought the song was pretty good until he heard the title, so it must’ve been something about Cape Cod or such.
7. Gillian Welch – Wow. Surprise great show of the weekend for me. I went in expecting nothing, and left having discovered a wonderfully talented bluegrass/country/folk singer. She also had Dave Rawlings play with her, who was great too. Dave Rawlings apparently is a producer for Old Crow Medicine Show and has been involved with Bright Eyes and Ryan Adams albums (thanks wiki). Gillian had Alison Krauss come out and sing an a capella song which I’m sure gave the entire crowd chills. It was beautiful.
6. MGMT – There’s not much to say except that MGMT brought it. Hard. It was hot as balls but they carried on quite well. During “Kids”, the rest of the band minus the drummer whose name I do not know, left the stage and Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser jumped around ecstatically. Towards the end of the song, when the guitar player had come back on stage, VanWyngarden used what looked like a giant red crystal to make badass noises on the guitar. That’s the only way I can describe that. It was neat. And Andrew VanWyngarden is mighty sexy.
5. Raconteurs – I thought these dudes would be lower on my list, possibly number one, but alas they were not. They put on one awesome show, but Jack White had a “misplaced disk” and his voice was not quite up to par. They also didn’t play “Salute Your Solution” or “Carolina Drama”, which was a pretty big disappointment. Nevertheless, the show was awesome and I had such a great time, but it is not comparable to the Bonnaroo show in June.
4. CSS – Yes! Why were they so good!? I mean, they were so good. Everyone around me was having pure fun. Watching lovefoxxx make her hand into a claw while saying “I’ll be rude” was one of the highlights of the fest. Another highlight was when she crowd surfed over us and I got the privilege of touching her!
3. David Byrne – This show is almost indescribable, but I will try. First off, everyone on stage was wearing all white. Byrne had three backup singers, and a group of backup dancers. One of the backup dancers jumped over David Byrne during one of the songs. It was great to hear “Once In a Lifetime” and the song was stuck in my head for the rest of the day, giving me constant reminders of what an awesome show it was. How nice. Here’s the setlist, courtesy of aclfestival.com:
One Fine Day
Help Me Somebody
Houses in Motion
Cross-eyed & Painless
Life is Long
Once in a Lifetime
Life During Wartime
I Feel My Stuff
The Great Curve
2. Yonder Mountain String Band – I’ve discovered that I absolutely lose my mind during Yonder shows. This one was no different. They came on a little late, and I was really eager for them to start so that was a little frustrating, but I’m sure not their fault. Once they started, it was a nonstop dance party for about the next hour. They closed with “Boatman”, which I was so so excited to hear.
1. Gogol Bordello – Pouring red wine on people and throwing red buckets around the stage has become a normalcy for these guys (and girls). Their show was full of so much energy and I never wanted it to end. “Start Wearing Purple” and “Wonderlust King” stand out in my mind, although every song they played was great. It would’ve been nice to hear “Alcohol” but I honestly have no complaints about this show except that I wish I was soaked in red wine by the end of it. But hey, you win some, you lose some.
This is my little review of ACL 2008. Great weekend with great friends with great bands. Love, hizzo.