Today on Blogcritics
Home » Music » Reviews music » Concert Reviews » Concert Review: 2006 Austin City Limits Festival – Day One

Concert Review: 2006 Austin City Limits Festival – Day One

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

Those people who are into music but usually overlook the Austin City Limits Festival in Austin, Texas are missing a well-run, immensely efficient, and musically inspiring event. Beginning in the summer of 2002, the event has been a catalyst for showcasing both indie bands and well known acts in an atmosphere that is as friendly as the city it resides in. The food court is a who's who of Austin restaurants and with that fresh local food comes a good value as well. The following is a recap of day one of the 2006 ACL Festival.

After attending last year’s event, which was chock full of more popular bands and featured a heavier British fare, I was interested to see how this year’s festival would compare.

The weather cooperated with an early morning shower followed by a mild 96-degree sun-laden day. The grounds at Zilker Park actually showed signs of greenery, compared to last year, which was reminiscent of the migration of Okies during the height of the dust bowl.

We checked out Ted Leo and the Pharmacists for the first act, and they impressed with a high-energy set that delved into swatches of mod, power pop, and Clash-like reggae. Ted’s on-stage banter reflected his dry Jersey wit and he ended his set with a microphone-banging blood trail on his forehead.

Wolf Parade was next, and the Montreal-based band lived up to most of the hype surrounding them, pushing through a set that featured rousing rockers, synth pulsing rhythms, and a Nick Cave look- and sound-alike on vocals/guitar. Unfortunately for the members of the band, the lead keyboard player seems to have a bit of a Billy Corgan problem, directing the sound guy and his fellow players through a litany of seemingly useless tweaks (“I need more Jupiter?”). Furthermore, the knob twiddler who produces the “ambience” for the Wolf Parade needs to take his Moog machine and boxes of wires a little less seriously.

Gnarls Barkley, an act which has grown hugely popular due to its catchy summer hit “Crazy,” pulled many of the festival attedees to their stage and they provided a fun, funky mix. Dressed as scientists, Gnarls began their set with a small clip of “She Blinded Me with Science”, which for those of us whose days of cool resided between 1984 and 1990, brought shivers to the spine if not color to the hair. Ce-Lo’s vocals were crisp and powerful throughout the show and their backing live band (featuring the aptly named string section, “The G String”) solidly replicated the computer generated beats made by head chemist Danger Mouse on their debut CD St Elsewhere. Ce-Lo’s blue onstage banter added to the excellent aura of funk that surrounded the stage.

The apex of day one was the Tragically Hip (although I am somewhat biased being Canadian and a huge fan – this is my church). The crowd was up for the band that has provided many of its fans a soundtrack to live by. Gord Downie, the lead singer, was up to his usual stream of consciousness rantings and band-leaderesque, gangly dance moves (if you can call them that). A strong set that mixed a couple of new songs from the band's forthcoming album as well as Hip standards provided for a large campfire sing-along.

Chimpanjesus says:

  • Knob Twiddlers Local 101 needs to revoke the Wolf Parade's membership.
  • Laugh at the scary festival-goer with the Vikings mask; do not curse him.
  • Follow Ce-Lo's words of wisdom, like "show us your t***ies."
  • Guster needs to turn into a Led Zeppelin cover band, lest they drown in their own mid-tempo boring hellfire.
  • John Mayer is the devil.
  • Let's go Expos!
  • Karma is present — the one who leads Nickelback is now a guitar tech for the Tragically Hip.

About Chimpanjesus

  • http://www.djradiohead.com DJRadiohead

    John Mayer is the devil but you could not be more wrong about Guster.

  • Skillet

    Ditto DJR, Guster’s set was fantastic, and they keep on getting better.

  • Chimpanjesus

    “They keep on getting better”. They have been around for 15 years. Enough said.

  • http://None Melissa

    Canadians shouldn’t be allowed to critique music.

  • chimpanjesus

    Somewhere along the Canadian shield, a maple tree is crying syrup over your slander. Or maybe, it’s the strains of Guster.

  • http://www.djradiohead.com DJRadiohead

    They have been around for 15 years. Enough said.

    Inanity at its finest. Way to say nothing.

  • chimpanjesus

    Fantastic volley, my good man . Guster would be proud.

  • http://www.djradiohead.com DJRadiohead

    I’d say it’s on the level of “enough said.” What, exactly, was your point? That a band that has been around 15 years shouldn’t still be getting better? Are you trying to suggest they aren’t getting better?

    To your original line about them becoming a Led Zep covers band- where do you even get that? Midtempo boring hellfire? Guster is one of the fun, high energy concerts of the year and their songs are have much more range than “midtempo.” They write great melodies and utilize harmony in wonderful ways.

    This entire “discussion” is the result of a string of snarky non sequitirs. You were probably just trying to be hip and clever and didn’t think anyone would actually challenge your silliness. I can understand if you’re embarrassed and looking for a way out. What better way to do that by simply telling everyone else they didn’t say anything? I’ve used that one myself when I got painted in to a corner, too.

  • chimpanjesus

    Shazam! I am going to call my old buddy from Mass, Adam Gardner, and let him know how fervent a fan base they have. Great Job!

  • http://www.djradiohead.com DJRadiohead

    Run and do that- but they kind of already know.

    I have been writing about them and their great new album all summer long (here are just two examples because our software won’t allow all the URLs in one comment to reduce spamming: this was about their album, and this was about and a few of my favorite of their songs) and they seem to have stumbled onto it here on the site (see comments section to see what I mean).

    I find it interesting you still haven’t actually made an attempt to bolster, defend, or expound upon that baseless slam.

  • chimpanjesus

    I am an enigma.