9/22/2003

Sorry for being incommunicado for a couple days. I had a good time at the ACL Music festival this weekend, despite the non-stop drizzle. I headed out Saturday morning (too bad, many of my favorites played Friday) and got there in time for Los Lobos and an all-star Johnny Cash Tribute. After a bite to eat, I then got down with Robert Randolph and the Family Band. This guy is amazing - one of the most rockin' pedal steel players ever, with a super positive attitude. He even covered a couple Hendrix tunes (and pulled them off mightily). I saw some of the North Mississippi All-Stars and Bright Eyes, and then caught a full set of Josh Ritter (with Nickel Creek pouring in between (or sometimes during) his songs). The rest of the evening's entertainment was great as well - Michael Franti and String Cheese in particular.

Sunday I had some breakfast at Little Joe's (alas, too early for vegetarian Frito Pie) and then hoofed it back to see some of the Shins (pretty good) and then my favorite show of the weekend, Soulive. Next I managed to pick up Lucinda's show (of course) and followed it with some Polyphonic Spree and Yo La Tengo. They did some beautiful stuff, and also they obviously don't give a flying fig what their audience thinks of them (which is, honestly, kind of refreshing). Last but not least I caught up with Ween and they totally rocked.

I have to say that this was one of the best organized music festivals I have ever been to. The food was good, there were never terrible lines at the bathrooms, you could hear almost every band really well, there were plenty of official folks around to help out - just well done on the whole. Looking forward to next year.

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