I finally FINALLY crossed “See an ACL taping” off my Austin bucket list.
Okay, okay. It wasn’t exactly a taping, but it was a sold out show at the ACL Moody Theater where they do film concerts by acclaimed artists like Arcade Fire, Fleet Foxes and, in this case, Wilco (who had taped the same set list at the venue the night before). And it wasn’t exactly at the same location where legendary artists like Johnny Cash, The Allman Brothers Band and David Byrne (I’m excluding hundreds of others here) recorded ACL shows in the past*, but it was nevertheless a pretty remarkable experience.
For starters, Wilco is a band I’ve loved since Brian Jackson first burned one of their songs for me on a CD in the 10th grade. I’ve continued to love and appreciate them as I’ve gotten older, so getting the chance** to see them up close and personal at an intimate venue in my very own city was a pretty incredible experience. They deliver a show that’s as tranquil as it is toe tapping and as psychedelic as it is down-to-earth. They love their fans, love their music and love to play together–which makes for a pretty incredible concert, if you ask me (and you do, because you are reading my blog at this moment).
As hinted earlier, the venue does its part to add to the “oh my gosh, I can’t believe what I’m seeing” experience. The layout, lighting, and acoustics are mind-blowing. The location is in the middle of the hippest Austin action. And even though the new venue is less than a year old, you can’t help but feel like you might be witnessing history.
Check out photos of other live tapings at The Moody Theater below by Mark Collins.
*For the unfamiliar, the studio where public broadcasting station KLRU films the wildly popular Austin City Limits performances, after which the festival is named, relocated from the UT campus to a new theater at the W hotel downtown.
**By “chance” I mean an incredibly generous friend offered me her extra ticket, what a gal. Thanks a ton!