My pathetic excuse for the tardiness of this post is that I FINALLY said goodbye to my hometown of Louisville (but NOT Louisville Basketball) and moved to an undisclosed location, adjacent to a large body of water, deep within ACC territory. Still, varying, yet annoying shades of blue everywhere I go.
But, right before my Louisville-Sayonara, I flocked to one of our nation’s music-meccas, Austin, Texas back in October 2014. Yep, over 75,000 people and myself, every day, crammed our way into every muddy, beer-laden, smoked-out crevice where it was necessary to see your artist of choice. And then you got random, so-called journalists like myself, approximately 200 of us, looking for something to drink, interview and write about. Astonishing, right?
No f**king Willie, though. Maybe next time…
At least Performer Magazine’s October 2014 edition got my review out in a timely manner...
(FOR THE RECORD: I have no f**king clue why the photographer shot exactly the opposite of what I intended to see and write about. Oh yeah, because it wasn’t one of my preferred photographers…)
ICYMI: Highlights From Austin City Limits Music Festival 2014
“The stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas.” So it goes according to the age-old song lyric, once written by June Hershey back in the 1940’s. As for weekend two of the Austin City Limits music festival, the saying was more figurative, than literal, as overcast and rain hindered the view of the big Texan sky, keeping most of the focus on the stars that graced one of eight stages at the sold out, mud-haven, mammoth-sized music festival that drew roughly 75,000 people each day. Stars or no stars, not even Outkast’s Big Boi could resist the urge of getting their large crowd from chanting Hershey’s old time sing-a-long, during a mid-set break. He started it, and the audience finished it with true Texan pride. Of course, just about anything a musician chants through a microphone – requiring some sort of audience response – is met with thunderous applause and raucous reception. Kind of like when Eminem, during his own set, un-shockingly asked his endless sea of fans, “How many of you out there are fucked up?”Followed by; “How many of you out there are fucked in the head?” Followed by “How many of you are both fucked up and fucked in the head?”Would you believe that literally everyone in attendance responded louder and louder as the questioning progressed? Of course. This is Eminem we’re talking about. Nonetheless, give Slim Shady the credit for drawing the biggest crowd and giving the biggest, most aww-inspiring performance of anyone at the festival, hands-down. Pearl Jam was easily a not-so-distant second in terms of performance and crowd size, with frontman Eddie Vedder also regularly dialoguing with his audience in somewhat of a more rationale and humbled demeanor, but still, nonetheless, glorifying and encouraging the festival-goers choice intoxicant. His own being a bottle of wine. Outkast, Pearl Jam and Eminem, all with career’s stemming from the 90’s, and having an arsenal of songs to draw from, raced through extensive hit-laden set lists that were nearly two hours each. Beck, Jimmy Cliff, The Replacements and Lorde all, too, had blazing sets worth recognizing. Although ACL seems to be known for its plethora of sounds and styles from artists of varying levels of clout and success, it is, from the perspective of this first-time virgin eye, a festival that caters to the big stars. Deep in the heart of Texas. photos by Ralph Arvesen