Saturday, October 03, 2009

ACL - Preshow event and Day One

[Photos - all days]
Friday was a lot of fun - probably the best entire ACL day we've had for years. First of all, the temperature was cool - only got up to around 85° - what a world of difference from being 15-20° hotter. Wow.

Got up really early and was at Threadgill's for the HAAM benefit by 7:00AM, where we saw Low Anthem, The Greencards, Sara Watkins with David Garza, Todd Snider and more. Admission was $5 for the charity and included a coffee and breakfast taco.
Very, very nice!

Miles and Miles of Zilker
Rode the city bus to ACL (not the free shuttle) which worked out great. I had forgotten about the "no food" prohibition and fixed a peanut butter sandwich. The security guy looked in our pack, pointed at it and declared "SANDWICH," so we exited the line and snuck off nearby to try and hide it deep in the pack. Went through the line again, where security asked MrB to pull some stuff out of his pack. First thing he pulled out (accidentally) was the damned sandwich, so it got tossed in the trash can, still in its ziploc bag... grrrrr... I hate to throw away food when it could at least feed a grackle, or even a homeless person.

Well, as it turned out, we didn't need sandwiches or even the water we brought, because we were soon to find out that our Guest Passes included access to backstage and hospitality! Believe me, this is the way to go if at all possible! Here's a stageview shot of Sara Watkins, her brother Sean Watkins (both ex-Nickel Creek) and John Paul Jones (ex-Led Zeppelin). JPJ is on mandolin.

A couple of the stages (and the main backstage area) offered beer, other beverages, snacks, swag, shade, tables and chairs, TV (for football or Guitar Hero). Several offered stageside viewing, which is a very cool way to watch a band. After Sara, we went over to one of the main stages to watch The Avett Brothers (pronounced with a long A). I didn't know much about them, but they are catching fire right now. They put on an excellent show and we really enjoyed it. Not sure how I would characterize their music, pretty spread out over genres.

After Avett Bros we milled around, went backstage for a tasty beverage. Chatted a few minutes with fiddler-singer-songwriters Sara Watkins and Eamon McLoughlin (Greencards)... his band is my client and the ones who got us in, along with their management (who also happen to be the people who put on the festival). The Greencards put on a great show right around sundown, which we watched from the front of the stage. [I will have a slideshow up from the whole festival. Watch this post, or the one following.] After The Greencards, we dashed backstage for some quick goodbyes (we will not see them again until sometime next year), and went over to finish up the day with Reckless Kelly, a damn good roots rock band from Austin, Texas.

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