Hot Damn. I need a drink.
I took three teenage girls to the Austin City Limits Festival. The original plan involved having another mom with me, but it didn’t go down that way. So I went, I saw, and I survived ACL.
I had a Sunday pass, but the girls had three day wristbands. My daughter and her friends are close to 18, and veterans of two years of Summer Fest in Houston, so I didn’t have to hold their hands. I just needed to be around to be sure that when they walked into the hotel suite at 11 pm each night that everything was okay.
One thing I’d say about the music. I’m lucky to have a hip kid. Alt Rock rocks, and without my daughter, I doubt I’d know any of these groups. So many of the bands — Cold War Kids, Young the Giant, Mumford and Sons, Saint Motel, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats — I really like. When Catherine rolled out the ACL weekend proposal several months ago, I thought — yes, I’m good with this plan.
As many of my readers know, I grew up in New Orleans. That means the Jazz and Heritage Festival is part of me, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been to a music festival. I was pleasantly surprised with Austin City Limits.
ACL was very well organized, and the space for the festival in Zilker Park was amply big to hold the number of people attending. Bathrooms at music festivals are always a downer, but there were plenty of them, lines were fast — and the ones I used flushed! And they were clean. It’s the little things.
ACL wristbands could be activated with a credit card so that attendees simply swiped the wristband to pay for food, drinks, and festival merchandise; this was a very effective system, and made lines go quickly. The food was great!! Catherine had been raving about it from their first two days at the festival, so by the time I went on Sunday, I was ready. My sister, who lives in Austin, brought a good friend of hers and joined me on Sunday afternoon. We enjoyed Kimchi fries and spicy chicken tacos from Chi’lantro. Oh, so good!
I knew I wasn’t up for all day at the festival, so the band I chose to see was Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats. Man! The first time I heard his song S.O.B. I could feel the R&B, rock and even some gospel. Infectious rhythm. And as I listened to the band’s other music, I liked them even better.
I’m not the only one who thinks this guy has got something. NPR’s Jason Heller reviewed Rateliff’s television debut on the Tonight Show last year. Here are links to their music videos: S.O.B. (warning, language), I Need Never Get Old, and Wasting Time. And for good measure, Rateliff’s second performance on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
There was good music. It was a hot afternoon. I had a fine time.
And later, a couple of of these Manhattans from Fixe in Austin sure hit the spot.
And a closing pic of Young the Giant from my fabulous daughter, Catherine.
Thank you for visiting!
I’m writing and traveling full-time now, and if you like my work, please subscribe to my blog via email.
I’m happy you’re here! — for other articles on life and travel, browse the home page: