Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Austin City Limits Day 2

Day 2 was kicked off in the best way by 11th hour roster addition Dr. Dog. Their performance on the biggest stage at the festival (AT&T) may seem like a far cry from the last time we saw them at Good Records, but it wasn't that much of a change. The band is still as tight as ever. I realize now how that proved to me how talented they are. If they played with the same intensity on the foot high stage at Good Records, as they did on the mega-super stage at ACL, they truly are worth the hype. They deserve to headline tours and open for huge bands. They opened for Wilco in Dallas on Friday and Tweedy and Co. made a smart move having them open. They put out so much energy, even though they were the first band on the stage at high-noon in such heat. They play their parts just as tight as any band that they have opened for. Dr. Dog has a long way to go and their ride will be interesting to watch. They started Day 2 off in a wonderful way, which was brought down by having to watch Paolo Nutini and Blue October (the worst band at ACL) in hopes of seeing Arctic Monkeys, and most of all Arcade Fire, front row.
I haven't ever really heard an Arctic Monkeys song all the way through. With some bands, I just don't believe the hype and with AM, I didn't. I still probably wouldn't go out of my way to see the band but I guess the hype was pretty worth it. The band's dancey British style was the perfect way to perk up a sleepy festival crowd after the terrible showing from Blue October.
I bet that not too many people in the crowd had seen Arcade Fire live before, which makes sense. The band hasn't been to Dallas since Trees was open and I can't recall them playing Austin in recent memory. That being said, a crowd that gets into the music is always more exciting. I myself was all aflutter when the band took the stage to play their first ACL set since 2005. Now I'm a big fan of the bands last two albums, but having seen then play material from both, I am now a much bigger fan. Neon Bible's seemingly Orwellian, anti-Bush, and anti-modern life themes became even more evident after hearing the songs live. I can't quite pin down the reason why, but it may be the atmosphere that the show was set in. Austin has the largest concentration of liberal, left-thinking minds in Texas, and an Arcade Fire show probably has a lot of those people all in one place. The performance was full of paradoxes. The music is swelling, yet soothing. The band's lyrics and presence are both blasphemous (which is so refreshing today) and uplifting. The energy that the crowd fed the band gave them their energy, and they gave us ours. The band also wears similar clothing on stage, another Orwellian, 1984-esque component apart from the band's lyrics. Asthetics aside, the band played every song like it was their last. If someone would have caught the performance out of context, they might have checked their watches and glanced at the schedule and wondered why the band was going off so soon. It was hard to believe that the band came out for anencore, but I do believe that we all deserved one, the band included. One more song, The entire crew was sweating out and using every ounce of their energy to give us a good show, and that is why their performance was the best to be had all day. I don't need to see other bands that played on Day 2 to know that.

Arcade Fire's Setlist:
Black Mirror
Keep the Car Running
No Cars Go
Anti-Christ TV Blues
The Well & The Lighthouse
Ocean of Noise
Power Out
Wake Up

Note: All photos taken by myself, Trent Lesikar, and are copyright of The Grizzly Life, 2007.

Dr. Dog

Arctic Monkeys

Arcade Fire

1 comment:

Rubn said...

... I really need to get out of this country.
Greetings from Chile.