Live From The Austin City Limits Festival, Day 3
Updated Monday afternoon to reflect Eagles manager Irving Azoff's statement about Don Henley's medical condition.
Craig Hlavaty: News coming out of the media tent: Don Henley of the Eagles had a stent put in to help his heart this past week. He will be singing and possibly playing guitar, but not exerting himself on drums. This could very well be the last Eagles show for a while - if ever, knowing his temperament. (Monday afternoon, Rocks Off received a statement from Eagles manager Irving Azoff that, despite what we heard firsthand from one of the band's crew, Henley had his knee and not his heart worked on.)
Marco Torres Trombone Shorty
This is what you call the home stretch, as the last daily stragglers come in the gates, the bands are setting up for their closing slots, and Mr. Wayne Coyne is getting his sugar-free Red Bull and chicken dinner from Salt Lick. True story: We saw him in his gray suit getting some bird and Bull feet away from us. We weren't about to take a picture. He's royalty.
We ventured off to the Clear 4G stage and tent to see a bit of Trombone Shorty, and met up with some Dallas people who follow Rocks Off. Shorty was laying down his Nawlins jams, with a ridiculous amount of energy we wish we had at this point in the weekend. We found a whole new group of people hiding out under the tent, changing our mental crowd count to three million.
We walked out to hear Yeasayer doing "Ambling Alp" on the AMD stage. Lots of jumping and flailing around to soundtrack our walk back to the media tent. We will be dialing up the album on Rdio.com on the way home.
Brittanie Shey: Sunday afternoon was beset by problems. but at least they were minor problems. Gayngs had to cancel their set on the ZYNC Card stage, so Lance Herbstrong took their place. We were at the BMI stage (also known as the best, most intimate stage) for MyNameIsJohnMichael, who were also having problems, and by 3 p.m. (20 minutes late) still had not started.
Brittanie Shey MyNameIsJohnMichael
The stage is right by the VIP area, and eventually all the ACL-goers sitting in the shady comfort of a large nearby tree were made to move so a truck could drag a new generator through the VIP fence and to the backstage area. By the time the band finally started, 30 minutes late, they were visibly peeved.
While we were waiting, Devendra Banhart & the Grogs were playing a larger stage behind us. We'd previously written the guy off... his guru-esque backstory left a bad taste in our mouth. But from afar, he sounded something like metaphysical-era Stones, and you know that can't be bad.
Once JohnMichael finally played, we got into their horns and keys, and the fact that the guitarist also played a trash can and a big bass drum, reminiscent of a NOLA-style brass band - the group is from New Orleans.
Marco Torres The Morning Benders
But by then we were late for The Morning Benders, whose album The Big Echo perfectly described their sound. A friend told us it was a show not to be missed, but the thing about ACL is that you can tell some of these bands would be better at night. Morning Benders are shoegazy and gangly and multi-layered.
They reminded us a bit of the intensity of Sunny Day Real Estate, but at 3 p.m. they weren't really getting us moving.
Craig Hlavaty: This seems to be the first year we have been at ACL where nothing monstrous has happened. No fires, mud, dust or mass crowd violence. We have to say, it's nice to not deal with the latter at a live show. How many fights were at The National on Friday night? Anyone set a garbage can on fire?
But it's been an easygoing weekend overall. This year's crowd seems to be bigger than the previous years. Friday night's Phish and The Strokes double shot brought in vast amounts of erstwhile hipsters and hippies who otherwise might not have been at Zilker. The Phish-head population left a hole in the crowd after Friday night. The Black Keys' following was incredibly surprising, and not bad at all for a two-piece blues band from Akron. The duo's new Brothers LP has finally pushed them into the mainstream.
Youth is playing a big role in the crowd here too this year. The older folks are setting up camps under trees and putting down chair cities, while the younger guys and girls are running wild and half-dressed through the crowd double-fisting beers. A lot of skin this time around. But no one is fighting or brawling over scuffed feelings like in the Bayou City. Blame all the weed here. We first whiffed it before noon on Friday.
Today will close out with Band of Horses, The National, Norah Jones, The Flaming Lips and the headlining band The Eagles. The only one of those looking to be a spectacle of festival-level proportions is the Lips. Anyone who was at Summer Fest in June will agree with that. No telling if there will be a mass exodus for The Eagles, or if people will stay in reverence.