Sunday, October 14, 2007

Big State - Lovett or leave it


Another excursion out into the Wild Red Yonder. It was an adventure! We've never driven to College Station from Austin before and were relying on Google to get us there (not having learned our lesson from last weekend). Bless their little googly hearts, the route indicated was the shortest possible in miles, but was heavy on the back-road usage, and had a couple of non-existent or completely unmarked roads in there. After lots of turning around and doubling back, we made it to the Big State Festival in about 3.5 hours. It being afternoon when we left home, we got there in time to catch the final act of the day, which was Lyle Lovett.

Actually it was a choice between Lynyrd Skynyrd and Lyle... [rant] but the sound on the opposing stage was turned up so loud that we were front rail for Lyle -- right in the front of the stage-right speakers -- and had major sound bleedover. This festival was put together by the same people who do the ACL Festival, and obviously they don't know how NOT to do this, or they don't care. Not only that, the band before Skynyrd was still playing at equal volume when LS started and it was allowed to continue, creating (even from the front rail of the opposite end of the grounds) an ugly cacaphony. I've seen them pull the plug on bands doing that at ACL, and that's what's got to happen. Then figure out how to have more than one band playing intentionally at the same time without ruining one of them, or both. The beer was all corporate, the kind that the USA is infamous for. We DO have some good beer in Texas. Really. [/rant]

Here's a video of Lyle below. It's not his regular "Large Band" but it's a good representation of the swing style of some of his music. It really is a large band, I counted 18 people on stage Saturday including him -- they play horns, piano, cello, bass, acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, fiddle, pedal steel, congas, drums, and there's a gospel-style quartet. Awesome!

We've met Lyle. A couple of years back during South-by he was sitting in with the morning radio concert/party down at the Four Seasons, so there he is sitting on a couch, and there you are sitting nearby, and we're all just watching great bands in a living room setting, drinking coffee and having pastries. The Greencards were playing there one morning, so we went down to see them -- he looked over and me and smiled real big while they were playing! He was enjoying it. And afterward he got up and gave Carol a hug and chatted. He was having a good time. Here's a shot taken at that event, one that used to be on their website... and ahem... while I'm at it, here's my own mug with the man who needs no nametag. Oh yea, and Robert Earl Keen played there that morning too. Oh yea, it only cost $5 and included Continental breakfast. I love SXSW. I surely do.OK, enough reminiscing about 2005...aaaah. Back to Big State Festival. After another 3 hour drive home even after abandoning Google's advice (we seemed unable to be able to even one one correct turn), I don't see any need to go to it next year. I still prefer clubs and intimate settings, good quality listening and performance situations, to the big festivals.

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6 comments:

Nava said...

OK, better admit it: I had no idea he was a singer, and a good one! Only saw him in movies, and he was so incredible in "Short Cuts" as the creepy baker!

So, nice to meet you, Blueberry! That is one neat photo, and I am highly impressed by how well you can balance a vase on your head (sorry, couldn't resist... ;-)

Blueberry said...

Lyle might be better known as the former husband of Julia Roberts. I looked up his filmography. I had no idea it was so long!!

I never noticed that I was balancing that vase.

Nava said...

Never knew that either. I'm not big on star-gossip.

Sorry - my artist's eye is always on duty...

Mando Mama said...

I just love Lyle Lovett, and gosh darn it, according to that photo, he is indeed large like his Large Band.

I sure am sorry you did all that drivin' for a poorly run gig, and you are spoiled with all the venues you have, plus SXSW, which really does sound like perfection. BTW, I LOVED hearing the Greencards finally, they lived up to everything you've said and more.

Blueberry said...

He's not big. He's LARGE. Ha! Couldn't resist (it's the name of his latest record). We got free passes to the Big State, and the corporate beer was free as part of the passes -- so no personal complaints, and he was worth it. Also we got there after the big parking lot grass fire burned 20-30 cars, so we luckily missed that.

Lyle played in Austin on Monday, but the tickets were too pricey, and this high price thing looks like it's going to be a permanent trend. :-(

texmusicman said...

Hahaha, blueberry I feel ya on google's lovely mapping services - they've made me look like a fool too many times hehe. Awesome you got to see Lovette again though =) Have any of yall got to listen to Lonestar 92.5 out here in Texas? I'm internin' with em and they always play at least a few of Lyle's songs every day. New radio station and site, so check em out or their site if you get a chance - www.lonestar925.com