Man oh man. This time last week I was exhausted, in love with Gary Clark Jr. and reminiscing about Austin City Limits Music Festival. This week I am tired, still in love with Gary Clark Jr. and blasting his new album Blak and Blu on repeat. More on that later. For now here’s my ACL round up!
1. THE BLACK KEYS: I was determined to have a good experience at this concert because I had a rough time when they played at Coachella 2010. It was definitely a success. I wasn’t all that close, but I just wanted to hear them live and enjoy the music and that I did. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and say the experience wasn’t mind blowing because I wasn’t close and because I had seen them before. Howlin For You.
2. ALABAMA SHAKES: Okay. I was pumped. I was excited. But come the time of this concert, I was underwhelmed. Overall, this band is awesome. I actually love their music and listen to them a couple times a week. The problem is at a concert, slow song after slow song, after teary-eyed emotional song can get a little stand still. I like when bands slow things down, but that’s only after they get me playing the air guitar and make me bust a move, even if the move is a jazzy two-step. One of their more famous songs is: Boys and Girls. I HIGHLY recommend listening to them. I think they are the kind of band I want to see in a small intimate cafe setting where I can stand up and slow dance with my imaginary boyfriend or sit down and sway while I sip my fancy cocktail. Know what I mean? Okay moving on.
3. MICHAEL KIWANUKA: Ok, let me just be clear, my heart just melts for a soulful black man with a guitar. No talk of bangin’ some b*tches while yelling over some crazy beat in the club with lyrics that make your Grandma say bless us Lord Jesus. Just a man and a guitar and a sweet soothing voice that makes you want to snuggle on a couch. World, meet Michael Kiwanuka, Michael, meet the world. I actually discovered this guy on Spotify a while ago, so I was excited to hear that we was coming to ACL. This was a concert Maddy and I decided to enjoy as background noise while we enjoyed our dinner (did I mention Maddy came all the way from Newport to visit me because she’s the best friend ever?!). Anywho, his sound was solid, soulful and sweet as usual. This is another one that I would like to hear in a more intimate setting…like my bedroom. Not like that! What I mean is I would like him to tuck me in while singing me to sleep because I know if that happened, I would go to bed happy every.single.night. A lot of people love Home Again, but I really enjoy Tell Me A Tale.
4. TENNIS: Okay they are not as well known, but this band is plain old feel good music. Like sit under a tree with a picnic with friends while this band plays you happy music with fun tunes. I say that because that is exactly what me, Maddy and Ted did, minus the picnic, while Tennis played us fun music. This wasn’t a band I knew anything about and we went to this concert based solely on the recommendation of one of Maddy’s co-workers. They have great energy live and like I said, they are just plain fun. Oh and I think they’re foreign, which in my opinion makes them extra adorable! Warning, some of the tunes are actually quite dark, but the lead singer’s voice will counsel you through it! It All Feels the Same
5. KIMBRA: Yes. Just yes. Over and over again. First of all her voice is amazing. Second of all, her music perspective is simply fascinating. If you haven’t been listening, you’re missing out. Her concert was my 4th favorite and it would have been 3rd except The Avett Brothers randomly just killed it. Her music is that nice in between where you can study to it if you want, but you can also dance at a club to it. She also collaborates with Foster the People fairly often so ya, that means she’s legit. I think this song is the one most people know: Settle Down. But I also like when she slows it down in Two Way Street
6. THE AVETT BROTHERS: 3rd favorite show, 2nd biggest surprise of the concert. I love The Avett Brothers. Their songs are folky, sweet, calming. These brothers are family men and you can study to their music and feel at peace. BUT THEIR CONCERT IS ROCKIN’! They take the tempo up a notch for many of their songs and have some sweet jam sessions and did I mention their cellist is just plain hysterical and desperately hoping for a back up singer role in the next year or so. That guy knows every word to every song and he sings them while he effing kills it at the cello. There were times where I wanted to dance all night and times where I just wanted to be held. I love concerts where the artists can take you through the full gambit of emotions and this was exactly that. Okay, confession. Remember that time I said I wouldn’t accept a marriage proposal unless the song Question by Old 97s was involved? I lied. Future husband, if you incorporate January Wedding, I’ll forgive you (someone tell Joseph Gordon-Levitt).
7. CHILDISH GAMBINO: Sooooo I don’t usually like rappers’ concerts. Saw Kanye at Coachella in 2010 and thought it was lame. Saw Lupe Fiasco at Outside Lands whatever year that was and thought it was fine. Saw Childish Gambino this year at ACL and thought it was DOPE! Dirty words that make your Grandma cringe and all! Oh man his concert was fun. SO much dancing and jumping, yelling, screaming oh and casually free styling?! I think I loved it because this guy is hilarious on Community and then gets on stage, sheds his acting lifestyle and just raps the hell out of a beat or whatever the proper term for that is. Even better is he was in the airport with Maddy the next morning at like 5:30am waiting in the security line like every other normal person. All of it is good, but here’s some samples: Freaks and Geeks and Heartbeat. I reallllyyy like Heartbeat.
8. GARY CLARK JR.: Man oh man. Hats, bras and panties off to you Gary Clark. That’s from every straight woman and gay man aged 18 to 60. I don’t even know where to start. As far as talent goes, sky is the freaking limit for this guy. He’s so soft spoken (probably cause he was super high at the concert), but my god he has the voice of an angel and the guitar strum of the filthiest guitar player you can ever imagine. He gets totally lost in his music on that stage and he takes you on his crazy journey with you. His music will make you laugh, cry, and dance. His new album Blak and Blu is the only album that I’ve sat down and done nothing else but listen to it from start to finish. Yes that’s right. Today for 78 minutes, I sat in my desk chair and listened to Gary Clark, Jr.’s new album. His sound is so fresh but it’s so nostalgic. He sounds very bluesy but then he gets all rock n’roll on you and then he R&Bs the crap out of you. I just don’t even know what to say about his music. When I listen to it, I am just truly dumbfounded. He was just incredible live. I thought about his concert all week long. I love lots of his songs, but today I was humming If You Love Me Like You Say and When My Train Pulls In, but there’s also Bright Lights, Please Come Home, Numb, Things Are Changin’. Ahh the list goes on. Just listen, OKAY??!!!
Alright, I’m done. Debate time!
p.s. Go see Looper if you’re part of the 1% of the population that hasn’t seen it already!