Sunday, September 28, 2008

Jose Gonzalez, Man Man and Okkervil River rock Emos

So today is the official final day of the Austin City Limits Fesitival. Don't forget if you're headed down to Zilker I've planned your day for you. But, let's focus on last night's shows.

My Jose Gonzalez ticket said the doors at Emo's Inside would open at 10p, so like any wise concert go--er I arrived around 11:00 or 11:15. Generally shows at Emo's last until 2am so if you want to catch the headliner you can show up around 12:15 or 12:30. But was this the case last night? Oh no, of course not. When I walked in Jose Gonzalez was already playing and had been playing for quite some time. The show was sold-out but the crowd wasn't very dense, so I suspect a lot of people made the same mistake I did. I only got to hear about half dozen songs before Gonzalez left the stage, but I got to hear enough to decide that Emo's was the wrong venue for this performer. Jose Gonzalez has such a quiet, intimate aesthetic that it was hard to pay attention with all the socializing, drunken hipsters talking over his guitar picking.

More review after the jump...

After Gonzalez left the stage I made my way out into the courtyard and towards Emo's Outside stage. I assumed that I wouldn't be able to get into the outdoor stage area since there was a seperate show, with a seperate ticket price. But I managed to work my way out there into to catch Man Man making their way on stage. I hadn't heard any music by Man Man but I had heard a lot of hype. The band certainly lived up to the hype. Dressed in all white, with very short shorts, lots of props and even some white war paint. This 6-piece sound like a hardcore band that traded their guitars for synthesizers. Their stage presence was intense, and the crowd was loving it, jumping and shouting along with the music. The worst part of the set was that it ended after only about 40 minutes but alas Man Man were not headlining.

No, the headlining slot at Emo's Outside went to local heroes Okkervil River who brought all the drama and bravado that one would expect from a homecoming show. The crowd for Okkervil was full of fans who knew every lyric to every song. With the songs from Black Sheep Boy recieving the biggest response. A personal highlight for me in the set was Okkervil's cover of the Beach Boys, Sloop John B.

In a note totally unrelated to music, there were a few Bill Murray sighting last night. He was actually spotted at Emo's, then later at the Parish. Band of Horse played a sold-out show at the Parish last night.

Check out the line-up for tonight's after parties:

The Black Keys w/ The Black Angels & Jessica Lea Mayfield at Stubb’s BBQ
Doors at 7 p.m., Show at 7:30 p.m.

Conor Oberst, Jenny Lewis and M. Ward at La Zona Rosa
Doors at 9 p.m., Show at 10 p.m.

Papalactic Aftablasta at the Parish
Featuring Galactic’s Stanton Moore and Rob Mecurio, Papa Mali, Ivan and Cyril Neville.

Man Man - Van Helsing Boombox video via YouTube

Man Man - Engrish Bwudd video via YouTube