Here are some quick reviews of shows I saw at Austin City Limits.
Shows that were really great:
- John Legend - He's quite a showman. He made a comment about ACL not usually having much R&B, but I think he probably convinced them it was a smart move.
- Kings of Leon - I only caught about the last 20 minutes of their show (I was at the Yeah Yeah Yeahs during most of it) but they were great.
- Mute Math - I wasn't expecting a lot from their show, but they're way high energy. The lead singer finished off the show by playing something that looked like a guitar-shaped theramin.
- Flogging Molly - In the rain. That was something special. They went long, though, which was surprisingly annoying.
- STS9 - Missed half of their show (I was at John Vanderslice and The Scabs), but their electronica is just so fun.
- Ghostland Observatory - I had never heard of them before, but they were recommended (and it was them or Dave Matthews at the end of day 2). Two guys and the most kickass light show I had ever seen. Possibly my favorite act of the weekend.
- Ben Harper and Relentless7 - From what I hear, very different from Ben Harper's solo stuff. Reminded me of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, which leads me to believe their non-live stuff might not be as exciting as the show was.
- Girl Talk - This was the 25,000 person dance party near the end of day 3. An amazing way to end the weekend. A very close second for best act.
Shows that were disappointing:
- The Walkmen - For certain types of music, yelling instead of singing is okay. This wasn't one of them.
- Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Not terrible, I just had never realized how similar all their songs sounded. Wish I had gone to all of Kings of Leon's show instead.
- Mos Def - He came on 20 minutes late, played drums(!) for two great songs, and then bullshitted with the band for ten minutes before doing another song. Decided to bail in favor of John Vanderslice.
- The B-52s - What was I even expecting?
I’ll have photos up as soon as CVS gets their act together and develops them. Maybe tonight.