ACL Fest!


Friday October 12, 2012

‘Are you Brian Wise?’ asked the voice next to me at the Austin Ventures Stage as M.Ward got under way. I looked around and there was Daniel, one of the listeners to Off The Record. 75,000 people and he is standing next to me. What are the odds of that? (Okay, I guess they are 74,999 to one but it is still a long shot).

We both survived the first day of ACL. It was only 31C but the humidity made it seem a lot warmer and the sun shone brightly for most of the afternoon. Not as bad as my first ACL when it was 38C, 40C and and 42C on consecutive days!

I realise that it is almost impossible to travel, go to festivals and gigs, do interviews and produce a weekly three-hour radio show and keep up with a blog! I will try to update it. I have done more than 20 interviews since I have been away and one more tonight after midnight at the Continental – perhaps.

So here I am in Austin for ACL Fest. Late night last night seeing the Band Of Heathens and doing the radio show. Had to get up early this morning to finish it and got to the festival at around 1.00pm.

Today I saw First Aid Kit who drew a large crowd and were impressive. Everyone loved the dedication to Gram and Emmylou.Then I caught The Relatives, who I have seen before and just love. They are from Houston, have had their career resurrected in recent years – and are not really relatives at all (I think). Think Temptations psychedelic soul era. Great.

My attempt to get close to the Alabama Shakes was thwarted by a huge crowd that had me viewing from the side. They got a massive response. Then Patterson Hood on the smaller BMI stage was again excellent.

As Daniel noted as we had a beer prior to the Black Keys coming on, why aren’t the Alabama Shakes at Bluesfest. And Patterson Hood. And Gary Clark Jr for that matter. Or Son Volt and Luther Dickinson’s The Wandering (we both saw them at Hardly Strictly)…..and there is a a whole range of other acts who might be on the second rung but would make the Bluesfest bill really exciting. We both agreed that Gary Clark Jr should be at Bluesfest not the Big Day Out (although I have to say that his new album is a surprise and hardly the full one blues album I was expecting).

The Black Keys were witnessed from a distance because of the massive crowd. How big are they now? Then it is back to the hotel for a much needed shower and as soon as I finish this sentence I am off to the Continental to see Chuck Prophet in the midnight slot (usually taken by Alejandro Escovedo).

Brian Wise

Brian Wise was the Editor of Addicted To Noise‘s Australian site from 1997 – 2002. The site won two ONYA Awards as Best Online Music Magazine in 1999 & 2000. He has also been Editor since its reincarnation in 2013. He also presents the weekly music interview program Off The Record on 102.7 Triple R-FM ( in Melbourne. It is networked to 45+ stations across Australia on the Community Radio Network and is a four-time winner of the Best Music Program Award from the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia. In 2012, it was nominated as a finalist in the Excellence in Music Programming category. Brian was also the Founding Editor & Publisher of Rhythms Magazine and is now its Senior Contributing Editor.

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