Austin City Limits Festival Live Blog: Day One

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1.10: The Weeping Elvis live blog brought to you by your men on the ground CLEM and HUEY

1.20pm: The music begins with Austin folk favorites First Aid Kit

2.02pm: The attendance at ACL is a reported 75,000!!!….another sold out ACL!

2.20pm: It’s early still but Delta Spirit is kickin’ it on the main stage!

3.10pm: A KILLER set from the wailing voice of LP…chic has pipes!!!…c’mon you know her…it’s that wailing voice from the Citibank commercial where the chic is climbing the rock…”somebody left the gate open…”?…yeah that’s her.

3.30pm: ACL is certainly one of the best festival setups there is…easy to get to every stage and the beautiful Zilker Park is an awesome “venue”…with the Austin skyline as a backdrop it doesn’t get much better.

3.50pm: TOTALLY diggin’ the cool sounds of Esperanza Spaulding…yeah that’s right, the bass playin’, jazz singin’ chick that beat out “The Biebs” for the Best New Artist Grammy.

4.05pm: What an interesting thing it is to see a sign language interpreter show the crowd what a jazz bass solo sounds like…you work interpreter girl!

5.33pm: C’mon Brittany!!!!…Alabama Shakes absolutely CRUSHING IT right now!!!!…DAMN can this girl sing!!!

6.00pm: I have decided lawn chairs are officially a bad idea at a rock concert!!!

6.30pm: Who the hell is this band totally rockin the big stage right now…whoa it’s WEEZER?????…who knew

6.35pm:  Across the park, Atlanta’s Black Lips are delivering their brand of lo-fi garage fuzz-infused power pop punk to a delighted group of discerning hipsters. If Lanny Kaye’s 1972 Nuggets collection had a lost track,, it would be “Bad Kids,” which the band tastefully dedicated to the late Jay Reatard, which the crowd chanted along like joyous cult members.

7.15pm: Patterson Hood is delivering a stripped-down  set of his solo materials, with a cello and keyboard as accompaniment. Typically dark, haunting and gothic, Hood’s voice sounds like the high-pitched Sound of the South. The demographics at the BMI stage for this set skew distinctly older, which is one of the great things about ACL– the age range really variess from act to act, which is terrific. A LOT of people brought their small children, which is nice to see.

8pm:  A quick Korean pork taco (no, that’s not a metaphor) and a  Stella and I’m recharged (which is more than I can say for my iPhone, whose battery is fading faster than the crowd at the AMD stage as Weezer finishes that stage’s final set of the night).

8:15pm:  ACL is terrific for stage hopping (and stage-diving!). In one 30 minute spread, I caught the rasta, funk, bossanova stylings of D.C.’s Thievery Corporation, M.Ward’s dark country blues set through overdriven amps (complete with a cover of my favorite Buddy Holly song, “Rave On”), and an inspired cover of Talking Heads’ “Making Flippy Floppy” by Umphrey’s McGee.

9pm:  Off to the Bud Light staage, armed with another Stella, to see the Black Keys. This is by far the largest crowd I’ve ever seen assembled for any band at any festival. It appears to be three football fields deep. Adding to the size of the crowd is an annoying amount of camping chairs and blankets. People — here’s a hint — if you don’t want your blanket stepped on, don’t bring one. Also, this is a rock festival, not the summer jazz stage. Stand up and rock out, so you can get your lawn chairs and your little stoner picnic out of my way.

9:15pm: Is it just me, or are the Black Keys phoning it in? Maybe they’ve played one too many festivals over the past five years. Hell, by Weeping Elvis’ count, they’ve played EVERY festival over the past five years! The performance notwithstanding, the songs are anthemic and still rock, and this is still one of the biggest rock bands on the planet. An off night for the Black Keys is like pizza — even mediocre pizza is damn delicious!

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Clem emerged from the underbelly of NashVegas where he began his love of ALL things musical. College found him in the commercial music program at the University of Miami where he actually learned what the hell he was doing. New York was next and whether he “made it there” is still up for debate. From playing in the honky-tonks of Nashville and the dance clubs of Miami to Broadway and theatrical stages around the country, to Carnegie Hall (while practicing one day somebody told him how to get there) and the recording studios of New York and L.A., Clem’s variety of musical experience has transcended the boundaries of genre. He owns a production company, lectures on music in colleges across the country and is on the visiting faculty of Elon Univ. He has a port-o-johns named after him at Bonnaroo, Coachella and Lollapalooza.