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ACL 2007.2: Bjork, M.I.A., Gotan Project, and Ben Lee?

ACL 2007.2: Bjork, M.I.A., Gotan Project, and Ben Lee?

It took about an hour after parking to finally enter the gates of the 2007 Austin City Limits Music Festival on its first day, Friday. Luckily, the weather hasn’t been as brutal as in years past, and it’s actually kind of pleasant most of the time. Jarren and I arrived in time to catch the last half of Crowded House, who were wrapping up their six-week comeback tour in North America. It was the perfect way to ease into the afternoon/evening, which would culminate with an out-of-the-world but down-to-earth performance by Icelandic space oddity, Bjork. She was Friday’s headliner, though it was evident the ACL crowd was more interested in checking out a competing set from Vegas rockers The Killers. Fine by us, we had the chance to enjoy an amazing set by one of pop music’s most enigmatic geniuses, in a comfortable setting.

Moments from now, we shall be on our way to Day 2 of ACL, a day that has been tainted already with the cancellation of headliners The White Stripes. This morning, I was picking up breakfast, and a college-aged kid in front of me (where his ACL wristband) was proclaiming to his friends that he would burn all of his White Stripes CDs in protest. That’s a bit extreme… but it is kind of disappointing. Here are some pictures I took during ACL Day 1:

(Crowded House rocks the AMD Stage on Friday afternoon, as the masses begin to set up camp.)

(Sri Lankan rapper M.I.A. delivered a solid set of dance-heavy hip-hop. The sound was a little uneven for parts of the show, but she made up for it with her charismatic stage presence.)

(Near the end of her set, M.I.A. invited as many audience members as would fit, onto the stage with her. It got a little crazy, but luckily no one was hurt.)

(French tango electronica group The Gotan Project, was a truly memorable surprise during Day 1. They took the stage shortly before sunset and their Latin-influenced lounge sounds were a huge hit with the crowd. This image is blurry, but it was that kind of show.)

(One of Iceland’s greatest exports, Bjork’s show was a collage of lights, costumes, horns, and excitement. The show peaked near the end with a stunning rendition of “Hyperballad” which transitioned from organic symphony to pulsating techno.)

After Bjork, Jarren and I went home to shower and go back out to check out some of the after-hours events. This included the Paste Magazine/OurStage concerts at Maggie Mae’s:

(Jarren and I enjoying the show at Maggie Mae’s on Friday night. Photo by Kayla.)

(Kicking back at their party Friday night, are Tim Regan-Porter and Tim Basham from Paste Magazine.)

(Atlanta buzz band Manchester Orchestra produced a raw and energetic set at Maggie Mae’s.)

(Aussie indie-pop wunderkind Ben Lee was a surprise guest at the Paste party on Friday night. An even bigger surprise because, unlike the other acts playing after-hours shows, Lee isn’t part of the ACL Fest lineup.)

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