We had the kind of passes that allowed us into artist backstage area as well as limited stage-side seating. These are wonderful to have because you can recharge your psychic batteries (as well as your *literal* batteries) in a place that’s not a marching throng of sweaty humanity. They also have free (for tips) beverages, snack food, somewhat air-conditioned restrooms with flush toilets and actual soap+water. These things make a LOT of difference, and we are grateful to our friends for this gift.
I like to see my favorites, but also really like the opportunity to see someone I've never seen, and in some cases I might not have even heard of them. Just walking by the back of the crowd doesn't count, gotta stay for at least a song.
Ha Ha Tonka (3 songs, front)
Good indie band from Missouri. Yes, that's right. Our old stomping grounds.
Delta Spirit (whole set, stageside)
Have been wanting to see this band for awhile. Don't have any of their music but plan on changing that. It was great to be able to watch them from the stage.While we were there, we noticed below us that one of the cameramen below us (we are on a kind of railed catwalk) is totally obsessed with this gorgeous blonde and keeps filming her instead of the band. Well... these things happen. More about her soon...
Cave Singers (2 songs, tent stageside)
Have seen this great band before, but got there too late to get a good viewing spot, and the side seating had obstructed views PLUS bad sound, so we moved on.
Ray LaMontagne (2-3 songs, side rail)
Everybody has heard Ray's music. It's been used in television shows and I think) commercials. Very soulful, great voice.
Bright Eyes (whole set, stageside)
Had never seen this band before. An exciting and intense show. Here’s a zoom-in of center stage.Lead singer Conor Oberst about to crowd surf. I love this one because of the facial expressions in the crowd!
While standing in line, the woman ahead of us mention that the “Tree of Life” guy was making a movie here, so that explained the previous 'groupie-ogling cameraman'. The woman being filmed on the stage for Delta Spirit was Haley Bennett, and during Bright Eyes, the movie crew came striding down the center aisle of the crowd and proceeded to enter the stage from the (audience) left. Here is one of my shots, and we didn’t figure out who the actor was from that distance... and, in fact, did not until Monday...... which is probably a good thing because I probably would have melted on the spot. Here is someone’s video of them as they were preparing for the stage approach:
We missed all but one song by Gary Clark Jr. for that bit of excitement, but he is a hot local gee-tar player so we hope to catch him soon in Austin somewhere.
We didn’t make the most of the headliners at the festival, mainly because the only way to get close to the stage is to “camp out” there for many, many hours during the day. I have done that plenty of times, but not this time. Stageside viewing was not available for Coldplay, so we watched about half of it from way back on the lawn in a throng of people. Other than the in-person laser light show, I think I would just as soon watch on Palladia or ACL-TV if I can’t get close to the stage. Anyway… Day 1 was a blast, and a tiny bit of rain fell, which made us all ecstatic.
Here’s a collection of links about this still super-secret Terrence Malick film starring Christian Bale that was filmed at ACL-fest.
Superhero Hype <---- check out these great photos!
The guy (on twitter) who got the candid video
(I did not care for Tree of Life, but will have to see this one - just because...)