So I survived. It was 3 days of music, food, crowds, and heat. All in all, it was another successful festival. Here are my thoughts on the weekends activities:
Friday, Day 1. Traffic sucked. Parking sucked. The ticket line sucked. I wanted to get there by 2:30 or 3; but did not get in until near 5. That caused me miss Joss Stone, who along with Blonde Redhead were two of the acts I wanted to see that day. I did get to see/hear LCD Soundsystem. I ran for food during their set and caught a few songs from MIA. I must say I prefer LCD. The next act was Queens of the Stone Age. Very cool set; I really enjoyed the music but the first sign that the crowds were going to be oppressive starting showing up. I then was able to catch Kaiser Chiefs and then the Killers. Both were great shows. I was very impressed by the Killers in a live festival setting.
Saturday, Day 2. It was my birthday so I got a late start because I was on the phone to family during the morning. I got there in time to see Raul Malo. Well, one song anyway. It was 8000 degrees so I bailed. I just knew I could not handle the heat. The little I heard sounded great, and given some shade I would have listened to more. I wanted to see Augustana, but they were in the same sunny area as Malo so I skipped. I was able to listen to Paolo Nutini which was pretty cool. I then got a chance to hear most of Cold War Kids which sounded very cool. It would have been better if I was closer, but I wanted my shade spot. Blue October was next. This is the third time I have seen them, but I much preferred them at Stubb’s or Zona Rosa. It wasn’t bad, but the club venues are so much better for that kind of band. I then hung around for Arctic Monkeys who sounded great but the crowd was not as pumped I would expect for that set. I heard most of Clap Your Hands from across the park, but the crush of the crowd drowned most of the sound out. The main act for me was Arcade Fire. They were very cool. The band and sound are so eclectic and diverse just made for a great show. I then hit the bar and drank too much for the 2 hours before last call and called it a night. Happy Birthday to me.
Sunday, Day 3. The weather looked much more promising for Sunday, a bit cooler and partial clouds. I got into Zilker soon enough to see Yo La Tengo. They are a really neat band that has been around forever. Unique sound and I heard a bunch of people saying how weird it was (and not in the good way). I think they are weird in the good way 🙂 Ben Kweller was next. He put on a great do-over show from last year where he had to stop 3 songs in because of a nose bleed. Apparently there is still blood on the piano. I headed back to the shade to cool off and saw the last two songs from Robert Earl Keen and then listened to DeVotchKa. No opinion of them, I didn’t catch enough. I then listened to about 1/2 a set of Lucinda Williams. She has not aged well, but is still a great song writer. I then moved down to Bloc Party who was pretty darn cool. I then caught the first 3 songs of Amos Lee. My plan was to catch 3 of his, 3 of Preservation Hall Jazz Band and then 3 of Regina Spektor. No love from the festival gods though, I could not get close to Preservation Hall and Rose Hill Drive drown out my path with their rock. The crowd at Regina Spektor was insane, I could not get close enough to her to hear anything really. I should have stuck with the very cool, very bluesy Amos Lee. I then packed up from my shade and parked it for My Morning Jacket. It is on my short list of best shows this year. I had not heard more than one or two songs before but really dug into the set. The Decemberists were on the opposite stage so I didn’t even have to move to catch them. They were pretty cool, but the crowd was piling in for Bob Dylan blocking most of the set for me. Bob Dylan was next and I stayed for exactly 3 songs. I think I understood 4 words. It was almost painful to listen to. But, I have now seen him live before, well, you can’t.
Whew. That was a lot of typing. I’m done now.