Saturday, October 9, 2010

ACL '10

This post won't be very funny; it'll mostly tell you about our great time at ACL. Our group is a small one: my wife, my sister-in-law and me. We are somewhat seasoned festival goers at this point, but we learn something new every time. We learned long ago that personal toilet paper is key because for some reason they end up all wet in the port-o-potties. Who knew that drunken college kids couldn't keep toilet paper clean? We also learned long ago that they won't give you Advil at the medical tent, so we bring that. I learned that a festival like this requires A LOT of walking. There isn't a close drop off, so attendees must walk several miles down the road to get there. I'd prefer to wear flip-flops but tennies are the only way. Yesterday, I learned that I need another guy to go with me. Don't get me wrong, I obviously love my wife and am extremely close to my SIL, but it's like, come on. They talk about girl stuff like make-up and stickers and ponies or whatever. Mental note for next year: bring a guy.

Here is a quick run down of our first day. First off, we are staying with my sister and brother-in-law, which is awesome because hotel rates are through the roof during this event. We woke up around 9:00 am and started our packing. Since my wife and I came from out of town, we had our stuff already mostly packed. After we did this, we set off for the type of food that makes the most sense for an all day, outside affair: Mexican food. We got back and everyone had tummy aches. Nice. As far as I know, no one had any issues though. My brother-in-law dropped us all off a close to the entrance as possible -- still about 3 miles away. My BIL doesn't go because he has really bad allergies and Zilker part ends up being a dust field after 80,000 people kick the grass around. We made our walk and it was pleasant enough. The weather in Austin is low 70's in the morning and mid 80's in the afternoon. Not bad for Texas in October -- in fact, unseasonably cool.

We made it in and I bought some t-shirts. I mean, how would anyone know that I went if I didn't have a t-shirt that says so? We bought some beers and laid our blanket out at a spot near the stage where Blues Traveler was playing. I'm not a huge Blues Traveler fan but John Popper is pretty awesome at the lost art of harmonica playing. He didn't disappoint. They played their hits and a few covers (Radiohead's "Creep" and Sublime's "What I Got"). Here is the picture of the stage. As you can tell, we were pretty far back.

We just hung out at that stage for the next show: The Black Keys. They are a two-man band that plays blues heavy rock. We moved up quite a bit to where we could actually see the performers. It got super crowded up there. Normally, this isn't too big of a concern but none of us are big fans of this band. I wondered why we were subjecting ourselves to this for a band no one wanted to see. Needless to say, this was probably the low point of the day.

Our next show was Slightly Stoopid -- they're a ska-ish type band that my SIL likes. We sat near the back for this so we'd be able to get out easily for Ryan Bingham (the main person we wanted to see that day). This show was pretty good, but I didn't know any of their songs.

We left Slightly Stoopid early to get a good spot for Ryan Bingham. He is a Texas country singer with a gravelly voice. I don't like country at all but this guy is awesome (Note: if you saw the movie Crazy Heart, the song "The Weary Kind" is his song). We were successful and got a spot right in the middle and  pretty close up. His show was the best of the day. He ended it with "Bread and Water" and it was awesome.

The last show we saw was The Strokes. They were great, too. They played hit after hit. I guess that's the beauty as a fan of the band having not released an album in 10 years -- no sucky new songs. We left this a little early so we could get a cab home. Quite a few more beers were consumed after that first one. Did I forget to mention that? In the cab line, people were being allowed to cut in line because they wet themselves. Interesting. This creates a whole series of problems; mainly, the idea that someone will be getting in that cab after them. I'm sure our cab was clean. Our African driver seemed to be of the meticulous sort I assumed.

We got home at 9:50 and went to bed at 10:30. Does that mean I'm getting old?

Oh yeah, we ran into this famous Austinite homeless person named Leslie. He usually gets like 3% of the mayoral vote. You can't tell in the picture but he's a semi-cross dresser. He's wearing a skirt and a bra. Here is our picture with him.

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