The ACL Bottom 5
Yeah we’re going there ACL. For all the numerous good things that happen during our little festival, there are always a few things people tend to complain about (whiners). We’re keeping this list just a bit short because I think most agree that the positives of the weekend always outweigh the negatives. Things not included on this list are complaints we have every year like: $8 Lonestars, $6 hamburgers that taste like dirt, long bathroom lines, and the like. Those are things we all hate but won’t be changing anytime soon. No, with this list, we hope the good people at C3 hear our cries and makes this festival the one everybody talks about. So without further ado….. The Austin Town Hall Top 5 worst moments at ACL after the jump.
1. The Dust
Okay, so some of you are saying: “Hey, wait a minute, you said you were only listing things that are unique to this year and don’t happen every year.” To that statement we say, do you remember the dust from hell being like this last year or even the year before that? I do not. The last time I remember it being this bad was way back in 2005 when Coldplay headlined. That year a hurricane had just hit the coast and it was 107 outside so show producers get a pass. Not this year my friends. Many people who’ve never even dreamed of smoking a cigarette somehow developed a 25 year veteran smokers cough after the dust storm. We did find an article on News 8 Austin saying the problem is soon to be fixed through complete re-sodding of the park. Was that really so hard?
2. Beck’s No Encore Set
Dear Beck, you are a headliner at ACL Festival getting paid more money for one show than I can even imagine, and you don’t come out for an encore? How is that even possible? Most festival goers said your set was pretty good, not great by any means, but good enough to make us dance at least. We understand that maybe C3 higher ups suggested that it was time to stop, but damnit you are a rock star and you can do whatever you want! If producers tell you that time is up, say screw you I’m Beck and run back out on that stage and give us what we want. We like you Beck, don’t make us turn on you. Sincerely, your fans at Austin Town Hall and numerous other disgruntled festival goers.
3. The Black Keys Sound
I’ve seen The Black Keys before and have always enjoyed their lives shows for the intensity and pure energy brought by only two members. That being said, this was one of those bands I was most excited about seeing during ACL and I feel like most everyone felt a bit let down by it. The sound, for a large majority of the set, reminded me of a subwoofer built into the back of a lowrider. All you could hear was the vibrating sound of bass turned up entirely too loud and distorted beyond belief. I know The Black Keys usually go for a pretty dirty sound, but I highly doubt that image was the goal for the night. A couple songs like “Stack Shot Billy” did sound a lot better with a different guitar being used, but once those songs were over, back came that subwoofer sound. Mr. Aurbach either needs to find a new guitar or promptly fire his sound man. If this was your first time seeing the band, don’t let it ruin your impression of them.
I really liked the Foo Fighters back in 1998 when they were still riding the high of their best album The Colour and the Shape, but I’m not really a fan of recent stuff. Regardless of my personal taste, is it really so hard for you to wait maybe 5 minutes Mr. Grohl so Band of Horses can finish their set? Some of you may not like Band of Horses, and I understand that, but just because Dave Grohl was in Nirvana doesn’t mean he should interupt one of the best bands of the weekend. Maybe it’s not his fault you say? Maybe show producers said we were running late and they had to get their butts out their and play? If that’s the case, C3 bosses need to make sure things like this don’t happen.
Okay okay, I know this DOES happen ever year but am I the only one that thought it was particularly tough this year? I will give a hand to C3 for at least trying to book bands at the same time who have fairly different sounds and create different atmospheres for the audiene. Still, The Black Keys v. Iron & Wine? MGMT v. Spiritualized? Band of Horses v. Tegan & Sara? Those three alone are enough to drive a man insane. On Friday night I found myself standing in the middle of Zilker park unsure of my decision to see Manu Chao. My brain says: “Man, I love Manu Chao but Mars Volta is bound to blow me away. What do I do!?!?!” I finally opted for Manu Chao, which was amazing, but I’m still kicking myself for not seeing Mars Volta. Same goes for missing Tegan & Sara, Spiritualized, and Iron & Wine (especially after The Black Keys sound issues) because who knows when I’ll get the chance to see those bands again? I know it’ll happen again next year, but this year really made me want to be in two places at once.
That pretty much wraps up our coverage for this years ACL save a couple more interviews next week. What did we miss? What really drove you insane last weekend? Or were you one of the few with no complaints? Sound off in the comments!
Again, the great pictures come courtesy of Eric Uhlir. Do yourself a favor and head on over to his Flickr page to check out the rest of the goodness. It’s worth it.