We are skipping ACL this year. This is shocking to our friends & family, as Scott's love of live music & music festivals & my willingness to go along with him are kinda legendary. Between Utopia Fest & Hardly Strictly, we figured we'd have our fill of festivals. But, with ACL starting tomorrow & the weather forecasting 78 degrees on Saturday (!) I am starting to wish we were at least making it out for one day. I love being a part of such an Austin cultural experience.
The Cure & Depeche Mode are an indelible part of my preteen & teen years. I almost wore out my pink Sony boombox listening to Boys Don't Cry. I've possibly never felt cooler than showing up for school in 8th grade in my Depeche Mode concert t, after seeing them play at Arco Arena. In honor of ACL weekend, I am reflecting on a few of the highlights in my seven years at the festival.
2006-We are new to Austin & of course ACL is on the top of our to-do list. It's was hot. We met up with some friends from California & headed first to see Ben Kweller & witnessed first hand the bloody nose/tampon incident which is now total ACL legend. I ate my first Mighty Cone. And when I was done, I made Scott buy me another. An auspicious start.
2007-This one is really hazy. Ethan was 5 weeks old. Scott somehow talked me into attending one day. We probably saw Spoon & Lucinda Williams & Steve Earle. But maybe not.
2008-This was the year we figured out how restorative a swim in Barton Springs can be. Vampire Weekend was so fantastically fun. A-Punk was just starting to get play on KGSR, so I was so jazzed about seeing them live. I loved every single song & the album became my running mix through the winter & spring. John Fogerty was great & the Creedence songs totally took me back to some lovely childhood memories. Other musical highlights: Alejandro Escovedo, Blues Traveler, Drive by Truckers, M.Ward & Gogol Bordello.
2009-The famous mud pit one. Y'know what? We weren't there! I didn't think we'd skipped a year, until I started writing this post. I remember now that Hardly Strictly was the same weekend & Scott had to make a Sophie's Choice. And chose correctly, I would say. That 'dillo dirt situation was pretty nasty.
2010-Of course The Strokes were awesome. JJ Gray & Mofro was a fun surprise. Also, Band of Heathens & Charlie Mars. This one is a little hazy too. I'm pretty sure there was a Mighty Cone, Sweet Leaf Mint & Honey tea & Lonestars. I really think I've only ever had Lonestars at ACL.
2011-No memories of this one. Did I send Scott without me? If I was there, it was just for one day. It was probably hot.
2012-No one talks about this one being muddy. And I'm sure it wasn't muddy like 2009 was muddy. But, it rained while we were watching the sublime Micheal Kiwanuka & I spent the rest of Saturday feeling like the muddiest person out there. My flip flops managed to kick mud up the back of my (cute) dress & (new, cute) backpack. Alabama Shakes ran out of time before playing their big hit, "Hold On." The crowd was incredulous. Musical highlights include: The Civil Wars (they have really great chemistry. I thought they were married. And they are, but to other people. A little awkward.) The Roots were so fun (even though their set was in the middle of my mud-induced low self esteem.) We'd seen the Avett Brothers play several times in cozier venues, so I wasn't expecting to be blown away, but I was. Gary Clark Jr!!!
If you are headed to ACL this weekend (or next) have a lovely time. Enjoy the cooler temperatures & think of those that came before you in the hotter, dustier years. Save some room in your schedule for new discoveries. And totally get a Mighty Cone.