I have a pair of muddy shoes going in the garbage, my feet hurt, and my car is muddy too. ACL 2012: Check.
My top five acts I wanted to check out were (in order):
Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Lee Fields and The Expressions
The Afghan Whigs
The above was written before I remembered that Iggy & The Stooges were also playing! Dearest Lee Fields, move down exactly one notch. Now I will briefly recap my thoughts and whether or not they lived up to my expectations from the bottom of the list up. (My expectations are out of this world, especially in the same month that George Strait reveals he is going on a two-year-long FAREWELL TOUR. So sad… What’s this post about again?) Right.
#6. Esperanza Spalding – shame on ACL for making her play at 3:15. Shame on me for not being able to make it somewhere before 3:15 in the afternoon.
#5. The Afghan Whigs – Well. Greg Dulli looks good. They sound good. I felt like every other song was great. What do I mean? Well they’d play something from What Jail Is Like and then Bo Diddley, Frank Ocean and Prince covers. I’ve always known the covers are part of their set, but Frank Ocean? That was bizarre. All in all, I give the show a shiny B+. It would have been an A-, but due to no fault of their own, the 15 year olds waiting for the dub-step show really put a damper on things.
#4. The Weeknd. He canceled. I guess I will have to wait’ til next time to get my sensual bad boy R&B fix.
#3. Lee Fields and The Expressions – Phew! Love this man. Lee Fields performance was about 5 minutes out when torrential rain started to pour down (again) upon the festival. Since his stage was under a giant tent, it naturally became very popular. I heard several folks say “I’m glad we came in here” or “wow!” as he ripped through ballads and soul stompers from his new record “Faithful Man” and 2009’s “My World.” The backing band was great, and – hey ladies – not too hard on the eyes either. I hope this man finally gets the recognition he deserves. Lee Fields for President.
#2. Iggy & The Stooges – Iggy Pop is an insane and glorious front man. This isn’t the first time I have seen The Stooges, who apparently “COME FROM HELL!” according to Mr. Pop, and hopefully it will not be my last. While hearing people like Bassnectar telling an entire crowd to “GO NUTS!” and it results in an impressive amount of people waving their hands in the air (like they – no.) and the actual earth beneath you shaking, you have to give it up for Iggy Pop who, at age 65 will still say “F—K IT! Bum rush this sh–! Bum rush the stage! Let’s party!” and he actually means it. About twenty to thirty folks took him at his word and bum rushed the stage to dance with The Stooges. That is a damn good story for your little punk rock children. Now, with all of this Iggy praise, let’s not forget that Mike Watt is and always will be the muted-yet-best part of The Stooges. Carry on.
#1. Neil Young and Crazy Horse – I wasn’t around in the 70s, I was a baby in the 80s and in the 90s…We won’t talk about the 90s. The point is I never thought I’d get to see Neil Young and Crazy Horse. Not once. Neil Young doing solo folk stuff, maybe. Never Crazy Horse. I feel as though I was trapped inside of some sort of crazy feedback laden happy bubble for two hours. My guitarist friends would have been pleased at the absolute rippage brought forth by NY & CH. I think the first song lasted about 20 minutes, and in two hours only 12 songs were played, if that gives you any idea of what I mean by rippage. My heart belongs to this set. Thank you, Crazy Horse – for making my ACL 2012 a memorable one.
No thanks to The Weeknd, for not allowing me to judge his capabilities live.
– Submitted by Jen Quinonez, Audio Engineer