Tag Archives: ACL Festival 2014

ACL II: The Do-Over


Going to a music festival is the ultimate act of insanity. One of your favorite artists will be there – the one you’ve never seen live – so you do it once again expecting a different result from what you will inevitably get.

You have your backpack stocked with a poncho, lightweight hoodie, flare gun, caution tape, and none of the prohibited items whatsoever. And as quick as you can say Uber, pour a roadie, and put on your boots, you buzz off to join in the infestation of an unsuspecting city park.

You’re part of the swarm. Or a disease. People are a disease that’s spreading all around you, while you hold a beer in one hand and a Torchy’s taco in the other. But it’s okay because you’re going to see Beck. You’re going to see Beck! That’s why you’re in a better mood than you have been in months, and you’ve got to make your way through the crowd and worship at the feet of your favorite headliner.

The throng pulses toward the big black altar, and Beck or Eddie Vedder or Andre 3000 will impart holy sacrament to the masses. Everyone must get to the big black altar. And there is no getting to it.

Unless you’re the type who likes to self-induce claustrophobia, attempting to get a good look at the artist you came to see is futile. And just when you resign yourself to way over stage left by the porto potties, at least one of your friends has vanished and texting is delayed, at best, because the city park is now a city.

Worse than that is when, after years of anticipation, the show is underwhelming. Or maybe it’s just that you’re distracted because you don’t know how you’ll find your friends again and get home. And there you are in a crowd by yourself. The least they could do is stick with you since you gave them the passes. It is your birthday after all, and one is the loneliest number. People suck, and you’re surrounded by drunk, gyrating assholes you don’t even know.

And then your favorite song swells, and the crowd roars. You are lost in the music and lights, and how you get home doesn’t matter. It will work out. You are connected. Is this…happiness?

Music makes everything better, and for better or worse, festivals present a chance to experience and celebrate it. Festivals connect us as the assholes we truly are. You have to have the bitter to appreciate the sweet, and on a deeper level, festivals are a practice in how to be in the moment, if nothing else.

That’s one of the great things about ACL – you get a chance to do it all over again the very next weekend, so you don’t have to wait a year to do it better. No separating from your group. Your phone will be fully charged. You will admit that a little EDM is pretty fun. And for the love of Beck and all that is holy, you will get it right this time.

2014 ACL Fest Late Night Shows – Tickets On Sale


Official 2014 ACL Festival Late Night Shows

Tickets on sale – Friday, Aug. 22nd, 10 a.m. CDT

Available from C3 Concerts

The official 2014 ACL Festival late night shows have been announced, and tickets go on sale Friday, August 22, at 10 a.m. CDT. Catch some of your favorite ACL artists in intimate settings, after-hours. Beck is performing at Stubb’s Outdoors on Oct. 2nd, and you can keep the party going with The Head and the Heart, Spanish Gold, CHVRCHES, Skrillex, Spoon, and others. Check out the official ACL Festival late night schedule for more details.

Photo by Ashley Garmon,  Courtesy of ACL Music Festival
Photo by Ashley Garmon,
Courtesy of ACL Music Festival

The Long Awaited Return of Pearl Jam to Memphis

Photo courtesy of Beaver Productions

Memphis finally gets a shot to see Pearl Jam for the first time in over a decade on Tuesday, October 14 at FedEx Forum.

Fans were given a taste in 2012 when Eddie Vedder stopped in and played at The Orpheum. Mostly performing songs from his solo album Ukulele Songs, the audience saw a more subdued side of this artist. I, for one, felt as though I had been whisked away to a crackling campfire by a bubbling stream, probably because there was actually a fake campfire on stage. Did anyone bring s’mores?  Along with songs from his solo album, Eddie mixed in a few Pearl Jam favorites and several covers including his version of The Beatles classic, “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away.”

For the second set, he invited opener Glen Hansard to join him for a few songs, including a beautifully executed version of Hansard’s Oscar winning “Falling Slowly” from the movie Once. Eddie rounded out the evening with Ozzie Nelson’s “Dream a Little Dream of Me.” He took us on a journey into one of his dreams, and my heart breaks for anyone who did not get to share the experience.

The tour gets rolling in Cincinnati, OH on October 1. They will also be headlining BOTH weekends of the Austin City Limits Music Festival (October 3-5 and October 10-12). If the current European Tour is any indication of what’s to come, expect to hear all your favorite tunes from the 90’s to the latest album Lightning Bolt, with a few surprises. If Eddie is willing to cover “Let it Go” at the request of his five-year-old daughter in Milan, there’s no limit to what can happen.

I know Memphis is starving for a great rock show, and not just any great rock show, THIS ONE! I have heard countless tales of survival from fellow Memphians who have braved snow storms and torrential downpours to catch this band over the last 10 years in other cities. Our chance is finally here and since the buzz has become almost tangible with a few months to go, I have no doubt we will show Pearl Jam all the love they deserve for not forgetting about us. Tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster.