A Moment For Music (AMFM) is just a quick break from politics that I hope you will find interesting. Maybe you caught my review of Day One at the ACL Music Festival 2012.
Day Two of the 2012 ACL Music Festival was another great day of music. We got a repreive from the heat with lots of clouds and even a bit of rain. It seemed to be a little more laid back but maybe because Friday's heat was brutal. In case your are wondering, the rain does nothing to slow down the music nor the crowd at ACL. The crowd peaks daily with 75,000 people. There were once again many great bands and the headliners were excellent.
Jack White and Neil Young closed down the day with dueling shows at opposite ends of Zilker Park. I heard none of Jack White since I'd seen him before and wanted to focus on Neil Young and Crazy Horse. The reviews from people who went to Jack White were good though. Many years ago during Mr. Young's 1982 Transformer Man Tour, I walked out on his show. When he started playing music from a remote control for the second half of his show, well, it was too much. Don't get me wrong, I loved electronic music at the time (Kraftwerk compelled me to build my first electronic drumset in 1975) but I didn't want to hear that from Neil Young. Sorry, I digress. At ACL this time, it was all Crazy Horse and exactly what I came to hear. Neil Young only addressed the audience twice. Once to tell us that we had good air and again at the end to thank Austin. As far as I am concerned, Neil Young redeemed himself from my prior experience. When he played Powderfinger, I was taken back to my college days when I sang that song in a cover band. It was a great show, thank you Neil Young and Crazyhorse.
As I mentioned in the review of Day One, I like to focus on the smaller, less known bands. Day Two's highlight acts for me were The Wheeler Brothers, Sonámbulo, Andrew Bird and The Roots.
The Wheeler Brothers are a local Austin band that have a lot of that classic Texas blues and country familiarity but coupled with modern indie. They put on a great show at the smaller Austin Ventures stage. Btw, if you ever want to get some background of the roots of Texas music, listen online to Rod Moag's Country, Swing, and Rockabilly Jamboree Thursday mornings at koop.org or 91.7 locally on the FM dial. I couldn't find a good video posted of The Wheeler Brother's ACL performance but this video is a good snapshot of their musical style. I really enjoyed The Wheeler Brother's set.
Sonámbulo: Orgasmic, audio, visual, Carribean, Latin American, dance explosion. There was lot's of audience interaction, love and energy. These guys are a mix of Cuban, Costa Rican, Columbia and El Salvador performing in the vein of a street circus. They were really a five senses experience. I'm not sure where they tour but they are a real treat.
I found a decent youtube video recorded a couple weeks ago at ACL . It captures a lot of the energy but the sound lacks a bit of the quality I prefer when trying to share music. I was just a few feet forward from stage right for Sonámbulo performing "Chusma Funk". Here's the video:
Andrew Bird is an artist that I was not familiar with but his music was very upbeat and enjoyable. I left the show grateful for his talent and that I had the sense to go. He was trained in the Susuki Method as a violinist and hails from Chicago, Illinois in the Indie rock/folk genre. The song "Give It Away" is a bit about the energy that is given to audiences. I know that energy is what I crave at ACL and Andrew Bird did not disappoint. The video below is the ACL video of "Orpheo Looks Back ". It was awesome.
Jump over the orange swirling feedback for my last submission for Day Two, an edgier band, The Roots.
The Roots, from Philidelphia, Pennsylvania, are another band that I haven't really followed. I typically don't go for rap bands, but that is not a proper characterization of these musicians. They do rap, alot, but they draw from multiple musical styles and by the time they finished their set, the whole crowd collectively was exhausted. They hooked me at the beginning with their tribute to MCA and the Beastie Boys and after that I knew I was staying for the whole set. I actually thought they had run way over their alloted time but it was a mere trick by stopping the last song and restarting it seemingly forever.
Cap'n Kirk is a really great guitarist. He did a little Eddie Van Halen thing towards the end of the show that incorporated lots of the Eddie tricks. The shout out "You really got me!" was a giveaway if anyone was not getting the reference. Here's an older video for demonstration of the Cap'n talents. Believe me, we really appreciate a good guitarist here in Austin.
This is video of the Roots giving some cred to MCA of Beastie Boys...sorry the video isn't great. There's a lot of videos posted on youtube from ACL but nothing that captures the feeling I walked away with after that show.
A final thought from the day: Gotye played a set at nearby Barton Springs stage right after the Roots, and I was left wondering if they weren't a one hit wonder. It really gives meaning to the expression "that's a hard act to follow". I just didn't get any energy from their set even though it's impossible for me to not sing along to "Somebody That I Used To Know". I had high hopes but I just didn't get it from Gotye. I'm sure a lot of people would disagree.
Thus ends my review of Day Two at ACL 2012. I hope you enjoyed it. You guys seen any goods bands lately?