Wednesday, September 28, 2005

ACL Music Festival: Mission accomplished

Where and how can I start? Let's just say that last Sunday I had one of those adventures that will stay with my for the rest of my life. Yes, my dear sinners, I finally went to a music Festival (remember, I live in Numbtown where nothing ever happens) and better yet, I saw perform one of my favorite bands, Coldplay.

I apologize cause I shall NOT be brief. There are plenty things to say, so you better grab your some popcorn and a soda.
The adventure began on Saturday at 22:00 hrs. Me and my best buddy, Zdex, took a bus to Austin TX, where the Austin City Limits Festival was taking place that weekend. We would arrive on Sunday, on the last day of the Festival (hey, we had to work Friday and Saturday, one day is better than nothing).
So, we arrived to Austin in the middle of nowhere. Our bloody bus left us at 6 am in a parking lot God knows where, so, after a good night sleep in a bus there was nothing much to do but to walk towards our destiny.
Anyway, let's fast forward. At 11 am we finally got in. Zilker Park, a big big place, with eight stages, one market, thirty- one food stands, four trees, 65 thousand people, 108 degrees and LOTS of dust.
Okay, I have to say this again: 108 degrees (42 Celsius). This was officially the hottest day EVER in Austin's history. And Ms. Mysterious was there. Yeah, baby.

The weather didn't stop us, no sir! But it maybe slowed us a little. Instead of watching a complete gig, we decided to go from one stage to the other listening over three songs on each, keeping our strength for the grand finale at 8:30 pm. (One small comment: It was amazing how all the concerts started and ended on time. Great organization guys!)

So, we heard some great bands, some of them which I knew and others that were a complete discovery for me. Among the greatest presentations were The Decemberists (HUGE audience), Ambulance Ltd, Kaiser Chiefs, M83, Rilo Kiley, Grady, Kelley Hunt, Tristan Prettyman, Oliver Future, The new amsterdams.
Now that I think about it I feel like I didn't use my time wisely. There were so many bands I couldn't see, such as The Arcade Fire, which I heard it was one of the best shows that day. DAMN! Music Festivals are tricky. I definitely need more practice. When's the next one? I need another one! Rock on!

I know you probably have better things to do besides reading this blog, so let me finish. Franz Ferdinand was playing at 6:30 pm, on the same stage where Coldplay was playing 2 hours later. It was imperative that I got there early, before the rest of the crowd. If I didn't get a good spot for Franz Ferdinand I would be all the way back on the Coldplay. And Ms. Mysterious WANTED to be really close to the stage.
After stepping and bumping into people I finally got a nice spot. I wanted a better one but I didn't want to be killed in the process by some angry fanatic for stealing his spot.
Franz Ferdinand concert started. It was one hour with great performances, full of energy. There were a lot of new songs (same formula as their last album, catchy tunes that will sure be a hit when they reach the radio), plus the songs we all love like This Fire and Take me out. Maan, I jumped and jumped with those songs. Ms. Mysterious was warming up for what was yet to come.
Franz Ferdinand show ended and there was still one hour left to go for Coldplay. I was able to move a little bit more to the front, closer to the stage. Then that was it. It was impossible to move. We were all together like sardines on a can. We were sweating, we could barely breathe and my (warm) water supply was running out. People were restless. Most of us have been under the sun for the last ten hours. We were all tired, hungry, thirsty and heat stroked. For a moment I thought patience would run out and we would all kill each other.
Fifty seven minutes went by. The sun finally had left, and the moon came in return. We were all counting the minutes till 8:30. Minus two. Minus one. The lights went out. We all started screaming. A big screen showed a clock, counting the seconds... We heard Chris Martin's unique voice...
You're in control, is there anywhere you wanna go? You're in control, is there anything you wanna know?

....Lights went on. COLDPLAY was playing.
My heart started to beat faster, I couldn't stop singing and jumping and screaming. I could not believe I was THERE. Watching and hearing one of the best bands of the last decade. Let's face it sinners, this are the guys that will prevail and endure time making great music. This is this decade's U2. I know! Some of you might consider it a blasphemy, but let's face it. Let's listen to the songs, to the lyrics. Admit how do you feel when you hear them. Their songs bring you hope, fill you with energy and make you believe again in music. That's why Coldplay is so important. They're reaching into the depths of our souls.

What can I say? These guys are gods. Maybe their music is not complicated, or they're not virtuosos on their instruments. We're not talking of complicated drum beats, Will Champion is not Dream Theater's Portnoy. Jonny Buckland is not Jimmy Page. Guy Berryman is not Tony Levin. Chris Martin's high notes and falsetto sometimes are impossible to sing. But still, everyone was singing. Everyone was jumping. We had goose bumps. Even tears came to our faces when we heard songs like Fix you or Everything's not lost.
This guys can make you FEEL again. And that's what music's about.

Their performance was superb. Songs like Square one, Speed of sound, Clocks, Yellow (where they dropped big yellow balloons all over the audience), White shadows, Talk, The scientist, and Politik were loved by the audience. One great moment was when all the band gather together in what would it be the acoustic part of the show. Chris Martin started playing on his guitar the chords for "Till kingdom come" and when it was the time to start singing, he just had to admit that he had forgotten completely the words. Yes, in front of 65 thousand people, he added. We all laughed of course, and Will had to remind him how the song started... Steal my heart and hold my tongue. I feel my time, my time has come.
They continued with a song in honor to Johnny Cash, which I have to admit I have no idea which was it. Of course, everyone in Texas knew it, and they were happy as hell.
Anyway, as always, all good things must come to an end. And what an ending!
...Lights will light you home
and ignite your bones
and I'll try to FIX YOU. ..

They left the stage, and left behind thousands that couldn't stop applauding and screaming. This was the end of a beautiful day, an excellent night and an amazing and hearstopping performance.
For me, the adventure ended there. My mission was over. One side effect though. I've become and addict. I need more Coldplay. I need more concerts. I need more Music Festivals. Oh yes, Ms. Mysterious has found a new meaning in life. ROCK ON, SINNERS!!!!! Posted by Picasa