Austin City Limits Music Festival, 2007: Day 3 (revised)


23. Sep. 2007, 18:56

Sun 15 Sep – Austin City Limits Music Festival 2007

Wandering into the festival grounds, in fine spirits on Sunday morning, day 3 of the event, my first stop was to catch the last bit of the 11:45 gig by The Little Ones.

They were light, just full of anthems, and fun to watch. I even ended up purchasing, cheap, their EP, "Sing Song."

Then I headed over to catch Ryan Shaw, out of curiosity. I had read he was a soul singer in the mode of Wilson Picket or Otis Redding. But his gig seemed to have a certain artificial "shtick" to it, as if he were trying to be a "representative" of a genre' or something. Also, there was a lot of religious proselytizing mixed in between his songs, in his commentary; exhorting the audience to express agreement. Too bad: I wandered away quickly, thinking that he needed a more in-tune manager.

So, I strolled all the way to the other side of the venue, and got in line for a beverage as it was, by this time, afternoon. Then, as I turned, I heard it: the pulsing of Yo La Tengo playing something I recognized, something I owned and played: it was the song Pass The Hatchet, I Think I'm Goodkind, off of their latest album, "I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass." I heard that pulse calling, that song. Wow. It was great music to walk to, to quickly walk towards this wonderful band and get as close as I could in this already large crowd, but while being centrally located.

I am glad they played so many numbers off of this latest album. My notes:

"Psychedelic, to beautiful, to melodic, relaxing; to rock, to punk, jump FAST - - to space ... ethereal... to 'holy shit!,' to insane."

How's that for working transitions!

Here's the setlist:

* From A Motel 6
* Stockholm Syndrome
* Pass The Hatchet, I Think I'm Good Kind
* Tears Are In Your Eyes
* Beanbag Chair
* Mr. Tough
* The Weakest Part
* Tom Courtenay
* Little Honda
* Watch Out, Ronnie
* The Story Of Yo La Tengo

I was blown away by that set, and it seemed the entire audience was. We turned around to leave, smiling and shaking our heads almost as if in disbelief.

I took a break listening to the trippy jam music of STS9, also known, or formerly known, as Sound Tribe Sector 9.

Then I was off to see Ben Kweller.

I didn't even know who he was until last year's Austin City Limits Festival, when I heard a great deal of "buzz" and so went to see him there. That year, this great festival was a sad event for Mr. Kweller, as he was delayed 10 or 15 minutes of his set by a terrible nose bleed that erupted again on the stage just as he began to perform, ending his set. I actually had four people, near me (among the thousands), faint last year, due to the sight of all that blood. He played some, while unknowingly but literally bleeding on his guitar.

But this year? He was fine, and it was a great set! Ben Kweller is a fine performer and an excellent guitar player and interpreter of songs. He is also a consummate writer of the simple song. He connects well with his audience. He came out, said hello happily declaring, "One year later, everybody! No blood in this nose, at least yet!," and launched into some of what was described as the "bounciest guitar jams" of the Festival. He was exuberant as he moved happily through his set, and so too was his audience. He announced he was going to live in Austin for a couple of weeks to record a new album, and he played a couple of new songs from that, Old Hat and Fight. The former was beautiful, especially perhaps to an old hat like me. :) As he led into that song, he continued his banter, commenting that the sky had gotten overcast, "Good for fishing," he said. He reminded me sometimes, as he sang "You've got to fight, fight, fight...," of Woodie Guthrie.

He really wailed on his guitar during Red Eye and he closed with Penny on the Train Track, but he mixed in quotes from Don't Know Why very effectively! [I don't know why, either.]

Here's the setlist:

* Commerce, TX
* I Need You Back
* I Don't Know Why
* My Apartment
* Old Hat
* Fight
* Thirteen
* In Other Words
* The Rules
* Sundress
* Red Eye
* Penny on the Train Track

Next I caught some of DeVotchKa, but enough to be more than favorably impressed with their diversity. This LOOKED to be an "oompa band" ala Obey Mr. Maggi, complete with a tuba. But they ranged from gypsy electronica to samba! "Burn Down the Village!," they seemed to sing.

Then it was time for Bloc Party, after a bit of a break for me. And what an "uptick" that was! The vocal range! The orchestral sound! It reminded me sometimes of The Clash.

Oh and how they teased us with quotations of songs to come, or not, as they moved through their set, challenging us as had some of the others:

* Song For Clay
* Positive Tension
* Hunting for Witches
* Waiting for the 7.18
* Banquet
* This Modern Love
* The Prayer
* Uniform
* So Here We Are
* Like Eating Glass
* She's Hearing Voices
* Helicopter

It was, literally, so HOT!

A bit of dinner and rehydration, and it was time for . . . My Morning Jacket. Now, I own several of their CD's; and I really, really enjoy them and the mood they create. But their lyrics are hard to decipher on the albums. Last Spring, at another festival, I actually left their performance to see another, great band; because I couldn't understand a word, it seemed.
But this time, I had read a lot of the songs; and I do think they are really fine. And I couldn't have been more pleased with this set at Austin City Limits. The band,sporting a Hawaiian look, was right on; and the trademark, ethereal voice of Jim James was as pure and lifting as anything they've done in the studio. It came through his blond wig, loudly and clearly. It was a fine show, with some singing along, beginning with What a Wonderful Man! The set:

* Mahgeeta
* Wonderful Man
* Off the Record
* Gideon
* Wordless Chorus
* Sooner
* Golden
* Phone Went West
* Lay Low
* One Big Holiday
* Anytime

Bob Dylan was to be next on that stage, in an hour. Having already seen, on other occasions, the bands playing in the interim, I decided to stay and wait for Bob Dylan & His Band. So did thousands and thousands others, and the push to the front was incredible. We found ourselves standing elbow to elbow, virtually hip to hip, with not even room to sit down in a little spot; and we were like that, virtually, for an hour. It got dark. We were nice to each other.

And then the band came out.

Here's the setlist:

1. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 (Bob on electric guitar)
2. It Ain't Me, Babe (Bob on electric guitar)
3. Watching The River Flow (Bob on electric guitar)
4. Spirit On The Water (Bob on electric keyboard and harp)
5. The Levee's Gonna Break
(Bob on electric keyboard, Donnie on electric mandolin)
6. Tangled Up In Blue (Bob on electric keyboard and harp)
7. Things Have Changed (Bob on electric keyboard)
8. Workingman's Blues #2 (Bob on electric keyboard)
9. Highway 61 Revisited (Bob on electric keyboard)
10. Nettie Moore (Bob on electric keyboard and harp, Donnie on violin)
11. Summer Days (Bob on electric keyboard)
12. Ballad Of A Thin Man (Bob on electric keyboard and harp)
13. Thunder On The Mountain (Bob on electric keyboard)
14. Like A Rolling Stone (Bob on electric keyboard)
15. I Shall Be Released (Bob on electric keyboard and harp)

I am not going to write much about this set. But I will say it was great. And he can still play a mean guitar!

Mr. Dylan did do some of his much older work in a "sing-songy" style reminiscent of some of his tours in the late 70's or 80's; but that was interesting as was his reinterpretation, otherwise, of early works. Closing the set, before the encore, with Summer Days played and sung enthusiastically and faithfully, followed by an almost spooky rendition of Ballad of a Thin Man, was brilliant in the context of the entire festival. Then came the wonderfully long encore. I came away resolved to purchase his latest album, moved by his performance of his more recent works and his heartfelt, and well-conveyed, connection with and exploration of the struggles of life and a life of struggle.

Workingman's Blues #2

Now I'm down on my luck and I'm black and blue
Gonna give you another chance
I'm all alone and I'm expecting you
To lead me off in a cheerful dance
Got a brand new suit and a brand new wife
I can live on rice and beans
Some people never worked a day in their life
Don't know what work even means

Meet me at the bottom, don't lag behind
Bring me my boots and shoes
You can hang back or fight your best on the front line
Sing a little bit of these workingman's blues

Then came the wondrous, long walk home.

I think you might enjoy these, I really do:

Austin City Limits Music Festival 2007: Day 1

Austin City Limits Music Festival, 2007: Day 2 (revised)


  • linge339

    Man...looks like you really had greats days in Austin :)

    24. Sep. 2007, 5:00
  • Le_THieN

    I was surprised to hear a lot of people enjoy Bob Dylan, but I prefer that that be the case anyway. It probably would have improved for me if we'd stayed longer, but I was with a couple of people who were less than excited at the prospect. In any event, I wish the Last.FM developers would get off their asses and start putting some more emphasis into these journals - this trio of entries would have flown completely under my radar if you didn't randomly visit my page a few hours ago. The journal tracker and recommendation isn't even half the beast it used to be. I hope to read more of your exploits in the future.

    24. Sep. 2007, 6:14
  • hickorywind

    Just to echo what others have said, I really enjoyed all three of these journals. Great writing and great pictures.

    25. Sep. 2007, 23:00
  • Trichiliocosm

    enjoyed the reads...they gave me something to do whilst bored at work acting like I was preparing assignments...strange setting behind MMJ, but I'm sure they were as loud and beautiful as long did they go for? Farewell for now. Peace.

    29. Sep. 2007, 14:12
  • emergingsynergy

    BK's audio from ACL is downloadable... Set List: 1. Commerce, TX, 2. I Need You Back, 3. I Don't Know Why, 4. My Apartment, 5. Old Hat (NEW SONG), 6. Fight (O! Another NEW SONG!), 7. Thirteen, 8. In Other Words, 9. The Rules, 10. Sundress, 11. Red Eye, 12. Penny On the Train Track Thanks to ChudleyCannons for the tip!

    30. Sep. 2007, 16:26
  • koemer

    thank you very much for your report. i'm listening to a bootleg of dylans' performance on that evening in austin, texas. so intense... i saw him this february in frankfurt. twas was a great show too. greetings from germany

    5. Okt. 2007, 17:48
  • GianniK

    i was at all of those. it was a great. i missed bob, however. i have heard he didn't liveup to his expectations. but how can you set high expectations for a 50-60 year old? i hope he did well.

    10. Okt. 2007, 21:42
  • weezescorcho

    If anyone, anywhere, was on the same level as Wilson Pickett or Otis Redding...they have my vote. My goodness, being able to see Bob Dylan...for less than $5,000...or whatever his tickets go for nowadays :) I hope to one day go to a festival of this kind...I hope you had a ton of fun!

    20. Okt. 2007, 3:17
  • Trickle_73

    It's been a while for me, but I have never had a bad time in Austin, TX. Very laid back folks and great food and music. Not sure if they played the ACL Festival this year, but you should also check out the band Olospo if you get a chance. They are out of Dallas, but play in Austin on a semi-regular basis. You can catch a live stream of their music online at: Check out Franks and Beans as well as Flapjacks You won't be sorry!!!

    1. Nov. 2007, 3:01
Alle 10 Kommentare anzeigen
Sage etwas. Melde dich bei an oder registriere ein neues Benutzerkonto (es kostet nichts).