ACL 2013 Recap – Saturday (10/5)

Fridays tend to ease you in, Saturdays tend to beat you down. Or at least the odds of self-inflicted wounds go up exponentially. You have a little hangover, perhaps you start the day with a bloody mary, but by the end you are shirtless, missing a flip-flop and wondering why your hand is blue. For me, it was a pretty non-stop run at awesome; I won at Festival.

Click-through for a few notes on the first Saturday. *spoiler alert* The Cure wins in the end.

Parquet Courts – Big stage. Big sound. They blasted through jam after jam, some songs leading directly into the next. Newbs to Parquest Courts didn’t know when to applaud, but I was pleased to have so many people surrounding me at the Bud Light stage so early. Seemed the guys were a little tired, less silly banter than the last time I saw them at SxSW. As expected, “Stoned and Starving” was last and has changed over the year of touring behind the hit’s charm. It was loose, messy and wonderful; two solos dueling for your attention with guitars hit and held in front of amps lovingly. As a friend who had never seen them put it, the band exists to shred.

Junip – The elegant sounds of Jose Gonzalez’s smoky monotone delivery teamed up with the cold front brought sweet relief to all in attendance. “Rope and Summit” worked well in the festival setting, other tracks were slightly drowned out by the “festival experience”. We were all just happy to have a Fall day. Perfect lead into evening and the biergarten nearby let us grab a few quality brews to spend quality time on the hillside between Honda and AMD.

Silversun Pickups – Not a fan of recent albums, but Pikul and Carnavas have legs. I decided to head down the hill to Samsung and see a band that closed my SxSW six years ago with “Lazy Eye”. “Well Thought Out Twinkles” was the winning track. Tight. Brian announced with glee that Nikki was back on stage with the band after delivering twins. I imagine having your bestie back with you feels pretty good.

Wild Cub – I am super-bummed these guys won’t be playing next weekend. Click the link there and download those two jams and play them holding a boombox over your head pointing at the BMI stage, because they were PERFECT. Tight jams that suited the atmosphere around the BMI stage, in the shade, cool breeze and if you weren’t among of the people dancing, you were among people on blankets drinking beer and tapping your toes.

Wilco/Passion Pit – Hung out for a bit of Wilco. I will insist to anyone that “Art of Almost” is the best thing the band has done since Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Sound was solid from our vantage point, which always helps on the fringe. We headed out to make a trek across the park to try to get a little VIP love for The Cure. In doing so, we walked through the dance party for Passion Pit. I have held to my belief that they were not a good live band for quite some time now, and my outlook towards their performance next week has improved. The vocal still seems weak, but it was an energetic crowd that liked to party. That means if you want to have fun at ACL, shoose Pashy pit over Wilco.

The Cure – Thanks goodness I couldn’t get backstage for The Cure. We met friends on the rail by the soundboard for what was a top three festival sets ever. It was so good. Period. If you didn’t like it, either you were meant to see Kings of Leon and ended up on the wrong side of the park or you just don’t like music. “The Forest”, “In Between Days”, “High”, “Disintegration”, “Lovesong”, the songs from the newer albums you really like – SEVEN SONG ENCORE DANCE PARTY! – “Lovecats”, “Caterpillar”, “Close to Me”, “Hotx3!!!” ,”Let’s Go to Bed”, “Why Can’t I Be You”, Boys Don’t Cry” – Shame on you if you didn’t stay!

Housekeeping notes: AMD stage is now the Lady Bird Stage, no ad budget evidently. I’ll be shooting next weekend to get you the fancy photos.

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