OKSee took it easy Saturday at ACL, as the crowds turned out in their typical
Saturday droves, making it difficult to get close enough to shoot artists on
stage. But that’s not to say there wasn’t much going on, as Zilker Park was
hopping with Sooner football fans anticipating not just their biggest road test
of the season, but the conflict between their school pride and headlining
I chose to join my friend James Corley, the Oklahoma Daily’s sports editor (and roving ACL reporter) in the TV lounge at 7:00 p.m., which turned out to be a great decision because we got to watch OU beat Florida State in an ugly, gritty fashion soundtracked by My Morning Jacket’s badass Kentucky rock ‘n’ roll.
The morning began with an interview Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jr. an excellent electronic indie rock duo from Detroit who record thoughtful pop music over gorgeous, tinkling textures. The dudes were very friendly and endearing in person, and asked a lot about the Flaming Lips, which is always a plus for me. Expect a writeup from that in my post-coverage.
Once finished, I hurried over to the AMD stage to see The Antlers, who played terrific cuts from their excellent sophomore record “Burst Apart." “Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out” held the early morning kids in a daze.
I zipped over to the Google Plus stage immediately after to catch another buzzy Brooklyn band (you’ve really gotta use big festivals to catch acts that don’t tour the Midwest so heavy), Twin Shadow. George Lewis, Jr.’s songs were similarly hypnotic and way, way sexier. Shortly after “I Can’t Wait,” he showed off his sense of good humor, laughing at a Waldo in the crowd. “I found you, man! You gotta leave and go to the next page.”
After another visit to the press tent for sustenance from the ubiquitous, muggy South Texas heat, I got up fairly close for Iron & Wine, who no doubt disappointed a few of their more faithful fans with an all full-band set. “The Creek Drank the Cradle,” this was not, but Sam Beam and company slayed a whole bunch of newer songs in a neo-trad fashion, including “Boy with a Coin,” (which was shifted into more of an uptempo funky number) and the wistful, brand-new “Tree by the River.”
According to a few different sources, Christian Bale was at the front of the crowd for the Iron & Wine show, flanked by a working camera crew who appeared to be filming him and some “cute indie chick,” according to a witness. Curious, and very cool!
From there I wandered around a bit, easily able to hear Aussie dance band Cut Copy’s heavy electronic rhythms and high-pitched singing. Be sure to check the Gazette’s advance of their upcoming Tulsa show in the Sept. 28 issue! “Corner of the Sky” and “Take Me Over” have now returned to my heavy rotation.
Okie rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson told stories at the Austin Ventures stage while Cut Copy thundered from the much larger AMD stage nearby. It was mind-boggling to hear her talk about how nobody was recording “rock ‘n’ roll for girls in 1955, ’56.” From there she tore into her classic “Mean Mean Man,” quickly followed by a brief sermon and the gospel standard “I Saw the Light.”
I spent the rest of the night in the TV lounge, stressing out about the OU-FSU game in a den of obnoxious, beer-spattering Longhorns. It was great being able to hear My Morning Jacket (who are hugely loud anyway) from the comfort of my big screen-viewing seat. “Holdin on to Black Metal” stood out, backed by a brass band. I’m just sad they didn’t play “I Will Sing You Songs,” but other than that, it was a remarkable, headliner-worthy performance, full of heavy metal, hair-whipping, and a caped Yim Yames.
Day 2’s in the books, folks. Currently OKSee's Day 3 plans are to catch Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. at 1:30, then proceed to camp out at the Bud Light stage for a good view off the Airborne Toxic Event, Broken Social Scene, Fleet Foxes, and Arcade Fire in succession. It's gonna be a great day.
For more ACL coverage:
Day 1 photos
Day 1 recap
Day 2 photos
Day 3 photos to come
Day 3 recap to come
Interviews with Reptar & Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. to come