Third time at ACL Live at The Moody Theatre ( http://acl-live.com/ ) and I can say this should be one of the premier places in Austin to go see a live music performance. The vibe of the place is just perfect for any type of music and entertainment. The perfect mix, built for aural pleasure and visual enchantment. The history that the Moody Theatre showcases is just awe inspiring and wonderful, and tonight was just another piece added to that legacy.
So, where to start….at the beginning I suppose.
Nelo ( http://www.nelomusic.com/# ) was a surprise and a perfect way to warm up the crowd for the headliner. Not deterred by the shambling in audience, they threw down a really good set. The music, warm and energetic, and the performance seemed a little tame. I would venture to guess that if you catch these local boys on a stage somewhere around Austin on a less intimidating set, they would probably light it up and be tons of fun. As the openers here in ACL, I don’t think they had the opportunity to let it loose, but DAMN straight they had that feel, as if any minute they would just rip it wide open. Like most every other band I see and experience for the first time, I WANT to see these guys again! Hit up their link and support live, local Austin music.
Although this was Pat Green ( http://www.patgreen.com/ ), touring the nation, a local celebrity sensation. There was just more to it than that. The musicians in the band are all local boys too. This is the real pride and joy of Austin music and the Austin music scene. Someone local makes it big, and takes us along for the ride. Yes the spot onstage is earned and if you are there, you made it, it's yours.
I must admit I didn’t know the music, save for what my girlfriend has played for me on any given Sunday BBQ'ing in the backyard and drinking beer in the front. I know the ubiquitous ‘Wave on Wave’ and love it…dude, good music is good music! It knows no boundaries; there are no genre lines! But, the energy from the crowd and the singing along of every damn song was very fuckin cool.
“It was awesome being as entertained seeing [Pat Green] this time like it was the first time” was Mariza’s feelings as the show started. Part of the excitement of being at a live show is the surprise of hearing one of your favorite songs to a slightly different arrangement. Jumping up out of her seat and dancing happily to ‘Carry On’, my girlfriend Mariza is proof of that previous sentiment. From there on out it was just non-stop celebration in the seats (except for the three douche bags in front of us on their cell phones – see photo above). The folks next to me and behind me were just happily singing along and really proving a night out with Austin music is ALWAYS worth it.
My neighbors have been Pat Green fans since he was playing the colleges, like down in San Marcos at Southwest Texas State, entertaining the youth then and the long in the tooth fans now, LOL. My neighbor Kevin somehow lost his Pat Green faith along the way, but this particular night and performance restored him. With a giant grin he proudly told me how much fun he had, how great the show was, and that he would do it again!
The end of the show is where I lost my voice and was most impressed by the whole performance. Pat Green closed with ‘Wave on Wave’…duh!...and did his introduction of the band. All those local central Texas people on the stage and I screamed and cheered for my friend Slagle. As the song came to a close, Pat Green graciously let the audience take it out as the band members left the stage. Cheers to you Pat, THAT sir, WAS BEAUTIFUL!
My personal side note is that this performance was extra special as one of my friends with whom I have drank beer with and done shots with, Matt Slagle ( http://www.facebook.com/#!/slagleslaaaag ), was on stage. It was a very prideful moment to watch him there, see him there, and feel the rhythm he was providing on bass guitar. I have poked fun at him ( http://livemusicinaustin.blogspot.com/2011/05/and-million-dollar-man-showed-up.html ) and taken some ridiculous pictures of him along the way as well. Seeing him outside after the show was nice after a year absence was vey nice, but a short lived reunion as he was on his way to the next gig in Alabama.
The Dirty Dog ( http://dirtydogbar.com/ ) does have a lot going for it. Great location, huge interior area for shows and crowds, a great stage, sound, lights, and a staff that is pretty damn attentive. Another great time on schedule here. Now, they do have a helluva schedule, so you need to keep up with them on the web and take advantage of all the good times to be had.
Keeping the house moving through the whole night was DJ Villa ( http://www.myspace.com/DJVILLAA ). Providing the mid line entertainment and ambiance while we partied, mingled, and drank. He also did a kick ass job onstage for both Drastik as well as Overlord. It was spectacular and I hope more of the special spur of the moment mixing happens again and again, when you are there to experience it.
Drastik IV ( http://drastikmusic.com/ ) has a lot of energy. Theses kids have the idea, get the audience involved, make it interactive, and everybody will smile and remember you for how much fun they had. Drastik IV has a video on YouTube, 'Elephant in the Room', check it out here ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyp_Cwiihqw ). This would give you a small view of what they are like live...and live they are. With the awsome performance that they put on I will enjoy seeing any of you at another one of their shows with more bands along the same line of that harder edge music. They do have a song they tout as their "6th street anthem" that they should definitely leave for last. What a perfect way to close out the set and get the audience completely going. Go see them and you will know what I mean.
Michael Dillard ( http://michaeldillardmusic.com/ ) was next up. Dillard is always fun to watch because of his intensity on the mic. His music is unquestionably Austin, but his new stuff definitely takes his sound in a different direction. He has the crowd backing and everyone singing along so make sure you make it out to a show, enjoy the new stuff, and grab his debut EP while it is still available and check out his video from the debut disc ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8lB1sOT09g&feature=player_embedded ).
Jess and the Echoes ( http://jechomusic.com/ ) topped off the evening before the showstopper. With her swaying sound and her voice that is tight with the music, it makes you feel like you should be watching her perform outdoors at one of our many festivals with 3,000 other people enjoying the sound also. She definitely brought a crowd with her and you gotta love one of your openers when they help pack the house and keep them interested.
Out on the stage came 'the man of the hour, with Tomahawk power', blowing the shit up once again.
MC Overlord ( http://www.overlordmusic.com/ ) came onstage and schooled us on why he is a 'record breaking 10 time Austin Music Award winner' and Lifetime Achievement award winner. The opportunity to see him now and enjoy a live set is better than ever. With a completely revamped set list and a lot of new music with some different old pieces mixed in, it is a more electrifying show than I have ever seen in the last decade. Now granted, I haven''t had the unabashed joy and laughter of seeing him forget lyrics, but that is what age and Jager will do to you. The audience didn't care, pushed up to the stage singing along, every audience member out there felt like it was their show and we were ALL part of the good times and great music.
This is one of the reasons you always go do live local music, you never now who will show up or what will happen...and at an Overlord show it can be both. So just go do it, support it, and love this city!