I returned Sunday morning from the store and packed up my two liters of water, sunscreen, a camera, extra batteries, bands schedule, notepad, two pens, some cash for food and drinks, then threw on my running shoes and headed out to try and land a prime spot under the Mopac bridge at Lady Bird Lake. Lady Luck was on my side as I bounced my truck into one of the last spots in the dirt across from the pedestrian bridge.
A short ten-minute walk was no problem. I actually found myself walking faster than usual due to the anticipation of the day's music I was about to experience. I went alone to ACL this year and was looking forward to meeting up with friends if they decided to make it out for their third day, but I wasn't holding my breath. It was going to be a hot one and three straight days at ACL can take it's toll on the human body.
I didn't mind going alone and I actually preferred it that way so I could roam around and see as many bands as possible. As much fun as it would be to have my wife along, she is not a "festival girl" and I am definitely a "festival guy." The port-o-potties at a festival rank up there with tubing down the river for her. She doesn't care much for bodies of water that she can't see the bottom of and is also not a big fan of hovering above a toilet seat that has been urinated on by countless drunk concert goers. I can't say I blame her and told her the trick is to go into one that another woman just came out of since they wiped the seat when they got in. I found out later in the day that this theory did not hold water when I went in a port-o-potty after a woman came out and apparently urinated all over the seat like a drunken frat boy. Nice.
Upon arriving at 11:30 am and entering through the gate at ACL, I stopped and looked around in all directions to take in the view of Zilker Park and the small crowd forming at the BMI stage where Jennifer Niceley was playing. And let me tell you, Jennifer really does play nicely. Her bluesy voice caught my attention so I parked myself under the watchful eye of the blazing sun to listen to her performance of "Blind Woman" while cracking open the seal on my first liter of Ozarka water.
After that song I headed down to check out the AT&T Digital Oasis to see how cold it was in there and to post a blog entry. It was extremely comfortable in there with dozens of laptop computers setup and some flat panel TV's. An oasis to say the least. I'm glad I went when I did because two hours later there was a line to get in. I thought it was cool, but not cool enough to wait in line for. AT&T should have sprung for at least five of those oases to handle the sweaty throngs of people wanting to feel what air conditioning felt like in a park.
On the way back up the hill in Zilker Park I stopped by and caught a few songs from The Little Ones and Amy Cook before catching the last of Nicole Atkins & the Sea. All three were pleasing the early arriving crowds that were already fanning themselves with Heineken fans and orange AT&T personal motorized fans. I picked up one of those, too, and it proved to be a worthy item to have.
When Nicole Atkins was done I took off in the other direction again to catch some of Ryan Shaw on the AT&T stage, that was blue unlike the AT&T Blue Room stage that Nicole Atkins was playing on. It was orange. I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering why that was, but I scratched my head in disbelief and headed in the direction of a vibrant show put on by Ryan Shaw.
To be continued...
Next post: The Jones Family Singers, people watching, free snacks, The National, Robert Earl Keen, Kara Grainger, and more photos!