Thursday, February 27, 2020

October 2019 - Austin City Limits Festival!

ACL Festival!

I kinda thought my music festival days were over (I last did Coachella in 2009), but I'd heard that Austin City Limits Festival is a little more chill (not so many flower crowns and boho Instagram outfits and celebrities), and the lineup was pretty killer this year, PLUS Meghan and Kevin are still living there, so I knew we had to go for it.

I bought festival tickets at the end of May and looked forward to it for ages. The big draws for me were Tame Impala, James Blake, Thom Yorke, Robyn, The Cure, and Kacey Musgraves. Totally worth the ticket price. We flew in late Thursday night and woke up Friday to rain and very cold weather! I'd heard the weekend before had been 80+ degrees, and here I was looking at high 40s in the rain. We didn't bring coats, so we ran to Walmart to grab some warm gear since we would be outside literally all day.

First Friday stop - seeing our Utah gals, the Aces! I really do think they're rad. Shame I've never seen them play any local shows at home.

Trying to stay warm under a tree. They food vendors are pretty solid, and there were lots of spots to sit and take a rest, cause concert-ing all day is tough.

I guess next time we'll know to bring funny things on poles.

There's Jack White and the Raconteurs. I wish I could get into him more.

Time for Thom! I feel really lucky we got to see Radiohead + Thom solo twice in about a year.

Then on to Tame Impala - the Friday night highlight.

Saturday morning we met up with some of Anthony's family. His teenage sister lives near Houston with her dad, so they drove over to Austin and we had breakfast together. Food was pretty good here, if you're near the Austin airport.

Then we decided we had a couple more hours to hang out before getting back to the music, so we drove with them out to Schulenberg, where Anthony spent several childhood summers.

We went out to their family property, where they have a bunch of jeeps and toys to ride around in.

Alright, back to the big city and the music. There's Gary Clark, Jr. I think we had just missed Brittany Howard, which I'm kinda sad about.

We ventured over to a smaller side stage and stumbled upon Natalia LaFourcade. She is a gem! We both loved her set.

Then it was time for James Blake. Swoon. I'd only see him once before, and it was so incredible. It's like his music takes on a new form when it's performed live. I just think he's a genius.

I wish I could see him all the time.

Then we popped over to see Childish Gambino.

Didn't stay with him too long, because The Cure was playing at the other main stage. And they're amazing. I remember them headlining Sunday night of the last Coachella I attended. I needed to leave and make the drive back to Phoenix, so I was leaving the venue while The Cure was playing, and I just couldn't leave. They were mesmerizing. I had to stop and listen. And I'm happy I got to see them again. Legends.

Sunday - the final day of the concert marathon, and Meghan & Kevin joined us.

Rosalia's got some cool sounds going on. And I'm always cheering on the Spaniards.

Here's some of the crowd. I thought this was fun.

Time for Kacey Musgraves! So stoked to see her. Her latest album was one of my favorites of 2018. I might have shed a couple tears during her set.

Then it was the Lizzo madness. She really took off this year, but somehow ACL had her playing on a secondary stage that simply could not contain the crowds. I heard the first weekend was a total mess. The second weekend they did broadcast her video on the main stage, but it was still madness. I should not have gone anywhere near it. We fought crowds to get out and away, and nearly got stuck. Close to panic attack with nowhere to go. People everywhere.

Anthony and I managed to get out of these and over to a smaller stage to see LANY. I dig their pop.

Robyn closed it out! I'd also only see her once before, and she was opening. She's so so rad.

I saw a tiny bit of Mumford and Sons after Robyn, but eh. They're alright. What a festival.

Monday morning, time to leave. We caught an Uber to find breakfast, and ended up with an Iraqi driver. Anthony got to practice his Arabic during the 20-minute ride. We hit up Kerbey Lane near UT campus. I jumped on the seasonal gingerbread pancakes, but I found them a little dry. The chilaquiles were pretty good though.

Then we took a bus to the airport! How novel. It left from right near the UT campus and was an easy smooth ride to the airport. 2 bucks!

Thanks, Austin. You were great as usual.

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