Austin Part 2

Saturday we were up pretty early, but not planning to go to ACL until later, and not in a mood to do much as it was raining, so we hung around the room. In the early afternoon we went to Annie’s for lunch. We both had the tomato and brie soup to start, then Jill had the chicken schnitzel and I had the Italiano (served hot from the pizza oven), both hit the spot. Then we walked down to the shuttle to ACL and rode over. The rain had stopped while we ate lunch, but started again as we entered the festival. I made a beeline to Grizzly Bear, as I’d enjoyed some of their tunes, but it didn’t translate as well live, so I went over to catch the rest of The Airborne Toxic Event, much better live experience. Jill had gone shopping and we met up to see Flogging Molly next. Of course it started raining harder, but we sat down in our little cushions and used the umbrella to cover our legs. We didn’t get too wet that way, but were ready to leave by the end. We caught a little of Bon Iver, but the rain was getting heavier and we left the fest.

We walked down Barton Springs as the rain intensified, ending up at Uncle Billy’s. I’d read they just won a gold medal for their Hell In Keller beer, so we thought we’d give it a try. Unfortunately they were out, but it was all good because that gave us an excuse to try their sampler platter of beers – the wit and smoky porter (using the BBQ smoker to smoke the grains) were really tasty. Plus we watched LSU finish beating up Georgia. When we left the rain had stopped, but that was the only good news (that, and seeing the best smart car paint job ever).

Private Lee

Private Lee, I presume?

We’d decided to get a really healthy dinner and walked to a place that served vegan food, but their gate was locked – they apparently decided to close for the ACL weekend. So we headed back to Barton Springs and found the Kebabalicious stand. I had the beef & lamb kebab while Jill had the chicken, both perfect. We headed back to the festival, where of course it started to rain again.

It didn’t matter, I just wanted to go see The Decemberists. And I was glad I did, I really like their new rock opera CD and I was hoping to hear a lot of it since they’ve playing the entire thing on their tour. I was shocked that they had the balls to play the whole thing – and psyched, it was quite a show, the highlight of my day (and have no doubt I was singing along to “The Wanting Comes in Waves”). After that the Dave Matthews Band started out a little too predictable (I totally called “Don’t Drink the Water” as opener), and a few too many new songs, but it was pretty good towards the end – too bad we were leaving about then, took a cab directly back to the hotel.

Sunday I wanted to try one of the brunches, and settled on Lamberts Downtown Barbecue. I ate way too much, but it was wonderful: Eggs Benedict, French Toast with strawberry butter, and some of their brisket and ribs (good, but not great). We did a bit of shopping and headed back to the hotel for a while.

In the afternoon, we headed to the festival. We were ready for a second day of rain, but it never came. Instead we were greeted by fields of mud. We squished our way over to see Brett Dennen, he was great and summoned the sun (too bad it was too late to help matters), then bought some food and went to see some of the Arctic Monkeys. They weren’t bad, but we were already growing weary of the scene, so we carried out my cunning plan of bringing food and iced tea/lemonade over to some park benches where we could eat in peace and no mud. Other than what we brought with us – it was then I noticed one of the straps on my right sandal had snapped (but enough remained to retain structural integrity).

Brett Dennen

After relaxing for over an hour, we headed back in to see Ben Harper for a bit, then headed to the other end to see the second half of The Dead Weather (featuring Jack White). We were in perfect position to finally see Michael Franti & Spearhead put on a very entertaining show, then turn around again and see Pearl Jam blow the roof off the place, even though we left about an hour in (we could hear it for a while down the road to the buses).

Franti after sunset

We weren’t ready to call it a night, as we were hungry and thirsty. Next stop was another Ginger Man (after we visited one in NYC this year). They were a little low on food, so we had the The Beer Companion (assorted cheeses, Genoa salami, fresh olives, seasonal fruit and Carr’s water crackers) along side our Octoberfest brews, then we stopped by the La Casa del Fuego taco truck for some tacos to bring back to the hotel (Jill liked her chicken one, I wasn’t too impressed with my pork).