Austin City Limits Festival 2008
As usual, this year's Austin City Limits Festival was a laid back affair, made even more pleasant than normal by the relatively balmy weather -- we were blessed with a nice steady breeze, and even a few occasional clouds this year -- but I spent most of the fest running around trying to see as much as possible. Here are some highlights:
In addition to being the nicest dudes, Fleet Foxes' harmonies were every bit as heavenly as advertised, and their "bailout humor" banter was great. Spiritualized sounded amazing from afar, with "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space" acting as an absolutely perfect score for the setting sun. David Byrne was one of my (and everyone else's) most anticipated sets of the fest, and he didn't let us down. The Talking Heads stuff was brilliant, as expected, and despite me being embarrassingly unfamiliar with the majority of his solo material and his new collaboration with Eno, Byrne's set was one of the most thoroughly engaging things I saw all weekend.
The best set of the fest: Erykah Badu. Dallas' own Ms. Badu finally rolled onstage fashionably late, almost 15 minutes after her scheduled set time, to the sounds of Weezy's "A Milli" (specifically the line, "Where is Erykah Badu at?," obvs). She broke out most of her old classics, gave her new friends in MMJ a shout out, and delivered an unbelievably soulful, chillingly powerful version of "The Healer," cementing the song as one of my favorites of the year. Sidenote: also saw Beck and some of the cast from Friday Night Lights -- Lyla Garrity, holler -- checking out Badu's set from backstage.
Some other assorted observations: Beck opened his set with "Loser," Jenny Lewis sounded good but was unfortunately relegated to a tent, Jamie Lidell should be more famous than he is, teenage girls really love Vampire Weekend, Hot Chip probably could/should have headlined on Friday, and the amazing Sharon Jones is now 3-for-3 at fests I've attended this summer. Lowlights: I ran out of film before Sunday, and I regrettably never ran into Bill Murray. That's about it. Here are some photos; make sure to check our friend Chad Wadsworth's still-expanding ACL set for more.
j. tillman + robin pecknold // fleet foxes
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View more photos from ACL Fest '08 AFTER THE JUMP...
jamie lidell & the hot chips
the strange boys
landry + smash
beck x 2
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