Austin City Limits Fest: Stay Tuned!
Night shows planned:
John Dee Graham at Continental Club
Them Crooked Vultures at Stubb's
(hopefully) Devotchka at La Zona Rosa
I'm a 38-year-old gal, living in the Washington, DC area, who loves going to concerts of all kinds. My blog tracks most shows I attend. Hope you enjoy, and feel free to comment!
It’s been six years since Living Colour’s last tour. They are back with a new disc, The Chair in the Doorway, and opened the tour on September 1 at the Birchmere. The nearly two-hour set showcased the stellar musicianship of these four
Drummer Will Calhoun* had told me, “Bring earplugs, girl. It’s gonna be loud.” And he was right. But it was good loud. Living Colour’s sound fuses hard rock and metal, with funk, punk, and a bit of hip hop, ably led by Cory Glover’s talented vocals.
When they first hit the music scene in 1983, there was nothing quite like it. They were the first African American hard rock band and inspired the sound of other similar bands to come. The quartet burst into the public eye in 1988 with their radio hit, “Cult of Personality.” And they’re still touring and making new music. Of the songs they played from their new release, which wasn’t out yet at the time of this show, they complement their earlier sound well, with hard-driving beats and insightful lyrics.
*ClubD wishes to thank drummer Will Calhoun for putting her & ClubDave on the list for this show. We met barely two weeks earlier when he arrived in
Recommended beverage: Starr Hill Wheat
(by far the best beer option there)
This year, a few distinct features set Virgin Mobile Fest apart from ones in recent years. First, it was free, absent even of those dreaded service fees, apparently a gift to us from the Virgin and Ticketbastard folks for years of loyalty. And, it took place at Merriweather Post Pavilion in
This was the first Virgin Fest that cooperated with my schedule, and so I spent the late afternoon and evening there. As with any free, and surprisingly well organized, event, the place was mobbed, though any potential troublemakers were already passed out on the lawn, no doubt from a Miller Lite/nicotine overdose. There were two stages: the main pavilion stage, snaked by two massive and unmoving lines on either end of people hoping to get into the pavilion, and a west stage, set up on the site of what’s usually a parking lot. Plus a dance tent seemed to be hopping, but noise levels exceeded what's acceptable for my old ears so I steered clear.
The bands I primarily came to see both performed at the west stage, but I did lounge on the lawn a bit too to catch a couple of main stage acts. Arrived just in time for Australian rockers Jet. Don’t let their preppy, clean-cut appearances deceive you. These guys rock hard. If you close your eyes, in your mind they'd have long hair and massive tattoos. The blokes alluded to their last appearance there, opening for Oasis a couple years ago. Sounded fantastic and their new stuff sounds equally intriguing.
Weezer was a ton of fun too. There’s something special about geeky guys rocking out with all their hearts, and doing it well. Their set showcased their ever-changing styles: from mellow to hard, pop to indie. The crowd sang loud and lovingly to such radio hits as “
One act I sampled for the first time was The Bravery. The music was solid rock, and the lead vocalist sounded uncannily like the Cure’s Robert Smith. It was a fantastic sound and I will keep an eye on those guys. Then, Blink-182 proved to me, in less than a minute, why I just don’t like them. Grossly off-key vocals, however, seemed to excite some folks there. But off I roamed to the west stage.
The highlight, as I just knew it would be, was the
The catch to the “Free Fest” was charitable giving. Donations were encouraged toward a group that works to combat youth homelessness. Folks left with their ears ringing from good music, and a satisfied feeling that their presence helped the larger community.