Last weekend we trekked to Austin for the eighth annual Austin City Limits Music Festival. It was my second visit to the gargantuan “music party” (as my friends like to call it) that features 130 bands on eight stages. Though it’s impossible to recount every colorful highlight, a few come to mind.
1. Hearing Phoenix lead singer Thomas Mars say we were the largest crowd he’d ever performed in front of before playing “Too Young.” I loved that song when I first heard it in Lost In Translation, and it sounded perfect live.
2. Mudboy Slim. He achieved more enlightenment through mud yoga postures than all other 64,999 festival goers combined.
3. The guy with the Ohio State Buckeyes branded lawn chair. I should have acknowledged you, buddy. O-H!
4. Seeing John Legend cover “Remember The Time.” That was the only Michael Jackson song I heard during the entire festival, and his horn section and backup singers were amazing.
5. The guy in front of me at Pearl Jam who, when forced to hear about the awesomeness of Journey from the guy next to him who was dribbling beer on his Rush t-shirt, replied “Dude, Journey sucks ass.”
6. Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O’s leather jacket with “KO” on the back. And her electric pink spiderweb face mask. And her yellow fishnets. I don’t know anyone else who could pull any of this off.
7. The lady wearing cowboy-boot-shaped rainboots. I should have gotten a picture of those.
8. The decision to leave B52s and slog through the entire park for Clutch. I have the utmost respect for any band that formed the year I was born, but sometimes you just want to thrash your head around and feel your insides form devil horns.
9. Deflecting Dave Matthews. I have not now, nor during any point in history, understood the appeal of DMB. Thankfully some merciful soul scheduled electro-funktasma Ghostland Observatory at the same time, and I didn’t have to bury myself in escape mud.
10. Cleverly describing Ghostland Observatory frontman Aaron Behrens as the Native American Axl Rose. Because no one else has ever thought that.