To say my ship came in for ACL weekend is..well really just a metaphor that has nothing to do with ACL. What it does tell you is that I got severely lucky in the realm of “free wristband” thanks to my wonderful wife’s connections and superb baby-care skills. I didn’t buy myself a wristband prior since I had decided to go to Lollapalooza instead. As much as I had tried to convince myself I did not want to go to ACL, I could not convince my heart that there weren’t bands there I truly wanted to see, even if I was sharing the experience with 100,000 other people.
So on Friday, I hightailed it down to the fest in the early afternoon in time to catch the Mountain Goats set.
I’ve been a lackluster Mountain Goats fan to say the least. I have a high appreciation for John Darnelle’s ability to write engaging stories about incredibly creepy things (like wanting to kill his wife) but that only translates to a very specific type of mood and copious amounts of whiskey. His most well known song to date has been This Year which he hit mid set with vigor. The crowd perked up and Darnelle reciprocated, providing bits of banter between songs and revving up his on stage antics.
I headed over to catch the Girls set which I was rather psyched for. Though I’m not a large proponent of the dreamy, beach pop, Girls caught me with Lust for Life and Hellhole Rat Race. Unfortunately they’re audio was abysmal low. I stuck around for a couple of songs but gave up after I just couldn’t take it anymore.
Lucky for me, Miike Snow was not experiencing anywhere near the same audio issues. I walked up and slid into the side of the crowd right at the start of Animal which the crowd went wild for. I slid further in as the Miike Snow crowd cleared out to setup a front right spot up against the fence for Beach House. From my vantage point I could hear the Black Keys set and got to witness a slightly drunk dude sit in this tiny chair for 30 minutes before crushing it to pieces.
It’s been only recently that I’ve finally gotten tuned in to Beach House so I was psyched to see them up close and personal since I missed out on their sold out Spring show. Beach House did not disappoint, giving a slowly rising performance. What they lacked in audience banter they made up in pure layers of sound. Victoria Legrand sems to be moving towards a mix between Patti Smith & Karen O on stage antics between her black button down, longish hair and waving arms. I for one am all for active front women, the crazier the better. I left the show wishing I could swim into Beach’s sound.
All in all, an easy approach to ACL Day 1. Added bonus, I picked up a new hat!
More on Day 2 and the Mayer Hawthorne after show as soon…