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Concert Review: Austin City Limits Music Festival 2006 – Day Two

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Austin, Texas, is home to thousands of out-of-towners who are lovers of music as Zilker Park hosts the fifth year of Austin City Limits Music Festival. Three days of music, eight stages, 130 bands and countless fans make for a fun-filled festival and a wonderful weekend. Check out Blogcritics’ coverage of Day One.

Photo of Ben Kweller’s bloody noseAustin City Limits Music Festival has seen its second day start and finish with music, food, arts, and blood for all. Blood? Yep, Ben Kweller found himself with a nosebleed to beat all nosebleeds. Not just a little blood, but it was if a fountain of blood decided to gush form his nose. But some nice woman in the audience threw a tampon on the stage, which Ben Kweller used to plug his nose once he could figure out how to open it. Yes, I saw Ben Kweller stuff a tampon up his nose. Talk about a bonding experience for a large group of people!

Ben Kweller was a trooper though. He could have easily used a double nosebleed as an excuse to leave the stage. Instead, he was fine so long as it wasn’t disgusting anyone else. Again, I don’t mean a little blood. His blood was running down his face and neck. He used two towels to try and stop the bleeding, but it still got on his guitar. He did have to cut his set short, the guy is obviously a major bleeder! If he wasn’t hardcore enough for me before, he certainly is now. It takes a man major balls to request a tampon and then shove it up his nose.

Aimee Mann drew quite the crowd. Her tattooed shoulders, large shades, and guitar were quite the nice retreat in the hustle and bustle of the festival. She sang several of my favorite songs, including “Save Me” which she called the song that “lost an Oscar to Phil Collins and his cartoon monkey love song.”

The main reason I wanted to head to ACL today was to see Iron & Wine. While, I’m not so sure why so many people were standing and cramming their way to the stage, Iron & Wine is how I envision a perfect sunset at a festival. Photo of Iron & Wine’s Sam BeamSitting in the midst of a sea of spread out blankets, I was able to enjoy the music and relax for an hour. While his music is on the mellower end of the spectrum, he did liven things up to be more suitable for a live performance. It didn’t sound like another band though as the songs were all recognizable and just as good as the studio recordings, they were simply more rockin’.

After Iron & Wine, I trekked by Explosions in the Sky on the way to the other end of Zilker Park. I’m not too familiar with them but knew I liked what I have heard in the past. There was a large crowd gathered and everyone was having a good time. I wasn’t able to stay long, but what I did hear made me think I really needed to check out more from Explosions in the Sky, which shouldn’t be hard as they hail from Austin, Texas.

Next I had to catch a Texas favorite, Willie Nelson. Willie is such a staple to the Texas music scene, and that of Austin, that it would almost not be a complete music festival without his presence. The audience was huge and I swear it seemed to go on forever, taking up nearly half of the park. However, I don’t think Willie Nelson’s sound mix was that great, as I couldn’t hear it all too well. After a few songs, I grew frustrated at not being able to hear Willie that I made my way across Zilker Park once again to meet up with a friend at Massive Attack.

I know nothing about Massive Attack except that it was my friend’s “second favorite band” so I figured it had to be good. Now, I know not to totally discount a band based on hating a live performance. I have seen Modest Mouse twice and both shows are tied for the worst concerts ever, yet I still love their recordings. So yes, I will try to borrow a Massive Attack CD before I decide I hate them. However, it sounded like 80s Industrial Rock mixed with Marilyn Manson, but not good versions of either. I’m not entirely sure why, but it sounded like something someone would listen to before toking up and masturbating to that anime comic porn. However, the cameras did a great job of matching the feel of this butt rock, so at least the visual corresponded. My friend did enjoy them, but then he is already a fan.

I took my distaste for Massive Attack as a sign to jump in the Taxi line before everyone else decided to leave. I’m actually glad, as I could clearly hear Willie Nelson while in line. So the wait, while long, was enjoyable due to the good tunes. Appropriately, the last song I heard tonight was “On The Road Again.”

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