Austin City Limits 2012

It was super last minute, but thanks to some interesting/lucky circumstances, Jason and I got to go to the Austin City Limits music festival at Zilker Park completely for free!  I was given two three-day wristbands to the festival by an appreciative guest staying at the hotel.  Because it was so last minute, and we weren't planning to go, both of us were scheduled to work over the weekend which was a bit of a bummer only because I had to wake up early for work each day and Jason wasn't able to go Friday night.  However, we still had a great time and got to see some amazing shows.

Seeing Jack White play with his all-female band was probably the highlight for me because (1) it's the closest I'll ever come to seeing The White Stripes live because, let's face it, they're never getting back together (thanks, Meg) and (2) I've been a huge fan of mostly everything Jack White has ever done, he's entertaining to watch and he's one of the greatest guitarists of our generation.  He opened with one of my personal favorites, "The Hardest Button To Button" and closed with the timeless "Seven Nation Army" which was a sure-fire crowd favorite.  I got to see him back in 2010 with The Dead Weather at Coachella, but this was better because he played a few songs from each of his musical collaborations.

Another highlight would be seeing Ryan Gosling about ten feet away from me (!!!!) as he was exiting the Austin Ventures stage during The Black Lips' set.  He and Rooney Mara are in town continuing filming for Austin director Terrence Malick's new movie.

Friday night I went to the festival by my lonesome and got a bite to eat and a beer before finding a spot for the Alabama Shakes.  Sadly, I could not hear Ms. Brittany Howard too well because of all the chatty Kathys surrounding me, but I stayed for the majority of the set before heading over to see The Black Lips.  I had been wanting to see this foursome for quite a while by this point, and they definitely didn't disappoint. They played one of my faves, "Not A Problem", which they referred to as "a golden favorite."  I was up front for their show because it wasn't too crowded, which I was relieved to find because it was a zoo of bodies pretty much everywhere else in the park at all times.  After that, I got some Amy's Mint Chip ice cream and made my way back over to the Barton Springs stage for the musical delight to my ears that was M83.  Their light/laser effects were pleasing to eyes as well - a perfect ending to the night.

Saturday night Jason went with me and we got to catch the very end of Band of Skulls before going over to the Bud Light stage to catch The Roots and then to AMD for Jack White.  Unfortunately, Jack White played at the same time as Neil Young and Crazy Horse so we had to make a pretty tough decision.  We went with Jack White, but got to catch a couple of Neil's songs as we were exiting the festival grounds.

Sunday night was the last night and we had the pleasure of seeing The Civil Wars (who have stayed at my hotel before), Die Antwoord (for the second time), Iggy Pop & the Stooges (which was amazinggggg!  He opened with "Raw Power" and "Search and Destroy"), Crystal Castles (headache) and then about the first five songs from the Red Hot Chili Peppers because the sound was super bad.  It wasn't necessarily their sound; they just weren't loud enough.  Apparently ACL experienced the same problem last year during Stevie Wonder's set.  Pretty silly.

It was an exhausting, yet fun-filled weekend, and I'm so happy and honored that we were given the spontaneous opportunity to go.

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