ACL: What Could Possibly Be Worse Than Last Year's Mudbath?
Can't WAIT to go back!
Mark C. Austin
In exactly one week, Rocks Off will be broadcasting live from the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Austin's Zilker Park. This will be our fourth spin around the grounds since 2007, and every year we swear we won't fall in love with a bartender in the media tent. We always do, and she is always dating a dude from Jersey Shore.
This time we are venturing into the ACL wilds to cover the likes of The Strokes, Flaming Lips, Phish, Band of Horses and Gaslight Anthem. There are plenty of others we want to see, and hopefully we can pack it all in. We have a man-crush on The Sword, so that's a given on Friday afternoon.
Each year something funny or bad happens at ACL, making a hilarious tale down the line. In 2007 some porta-potties "accidentally" caught fire and Woodstock '99 flashed through everyone's eyes. Then in 2008, we had to switch to well bourbon in the media tent. We will never forget that. Here are our worst-case scenarios for this year.
And remember, keester that weed. And the pills. And the Adderall. Just give it to us. We'll meet up with you later, we promise.
1. Dust Bowl 2: Overpriced Boogerloo
The first year Rocks Off went to ACL in 2007 on assignment for the Press, we were just in time for one of the dustiest festivals in history. It had not rained that much over the summer, leaving Zilker Park a veritable dust bowl, like your grandparents remember from the Great Depression. For days we were, pardon us, picking dust and dirt out of our nostrils, eyes, and ears. Fun stuff, but at least we got to see Queens of The Stone Age and Arcade Fire, and drink Dr. Pepper with Steve Earle.
2. Don Henley Steals Wayne Coyne's Bubble
"Say Wayne, my name is Don Henley, lead singer of the Eagles. I'm a big fan of the Lips. Very arty. Very en vogue with the kids."
"Yeah! Hey Don! Great to meet you. I love 'Desperado" and especially 'Boys of Summer.' Good jams."
"Cool. So is it cool if I get in your bubble during 'Life In The Fast Lane'? You can play drums for me and everything."
"Sure. It would be an honor, Mr. Henley."
3. Rain, Man.
You could say we were "shit out of luck" during last year's ACL. Rocks Off lost a badass pair of New Balance running shoes last year to the rain and the ensuing "Dillo Dirt" - which was, incidentally, partially made of human feces. This year's forecast doesn't call for rain, but you can't rule out a hippie busting a water main with his van to get his lost hacky sack out of a drainage pipe.
4. Wi-Fi And Cell Phones Lose All Reception
Remember the days before Twitter and Facebook, when you had to recount your festival adventures after you came back? There was no constant play-by-play or live-blogging. The grounds at ACL have always had spotty tech issues in regards to WiFi and cell reception. Part of us hopes this happens and we can't tweet or text anyone and can just float.
But then again, we developed a taste for being Johnny With The Scoop after the Scott Weiland debacle, so it would break our heart to not be able to tell you about Julian Casablancas pissing on the drum riser during "Last Nite."
5. Phish Doses Zilker Food and Water Supply
It's been a while since we squeegeed our Third Eye, and so we are banking on Phish and their corporate hippies to dose the crowd ahead of Friday's closing set. We figure if the chemicals settle in during The Black Keys' 4 p.m.set, Zilker Park should be a marshmallow of half-naked sorority chicks, brain-fried oldsters and free-loving wannabe American Apparel models.
We may even actually watch Vampire Weekend double-fisting some corn dogs.
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