Dead Weather, Arctic Monkeys, Passion Pit and More Rescue a Muddy Day at Austin City Limits

October 5th, 2009 by J. Edward Keyes and Zac Crain Leave a reply »

With fat dark clouds lurking overhead, there was a sense at the beginning of Day Three of the Austin City Limits Festival that, if it rains again, we’re all doomed. It didn’t rain. But we were all doomed. By mid-afternoon, when the clouds had cleared for good the festival grounds metastasized into a fetid swamp, with a layer of mud on top of the mud, and a layer of lost or abandoned flip-flops on top of that.

And yet, somehow, we survived, muddier, of course, but no worse for the wear. Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears had plenty to do with that. The first set of the afternoon found Lewis, an R&B showman of the old school, blending grizzled blues riffs with Motown horn blasts for a set that at its best recalled Otis Redding or the old Stax Revues.

Experience Austin City Limits in our best live photos.

The B-52s‘ Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson emerged in matching teal dresses, which clashed nicely with Pierson’s supernaturally orange hair. They stuck to a series of low-impact sock-hop dance moves, looking like twin Martian queens out of some old ’50s sci-fi movie. Fred Schneider mostly kept behind the microphone—he delivered his lines sternly, like an angry schoolmaster barking directions. Keith Strickland’s riffs (many of them obviously by late original guitarist Ricky Wilson) are still nasty, and on the best numbers—like “Mesopotamia”—they’re still the weirdest band around. Best line: Schneider introduced a totally fine version of “Love Shack” by saying, “And this is a song I learned at karaoke.” (Watch footage of the B’s and Heartless Bastards below.)

The B-52s might be the weirdest, but apart from Them Crooked Vultures, Clutch was the heaviest band on the entire bill at this year’s festival. Singer Neil Fa...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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