Austin City Limits: Day 2

It took a while to get this written so I'll try not to leave out any details...

The second day of the festival was marked mostly by rain and mud. We underestimated how exhausted we would be after the first day so we slept in a bit and didn't make getting to the festival a huge priority.

The only bands we really had intention on seeing this day were The Head and the Heart, Avett Brothers, and Broken Bells. The headliners that night were Eminem and Lana Del Rey...two acts that, in hindsight, I would have loved to see. But being that The Head and the Heart wasn't set to start until a little after 4:00, we had plenty of time to waste.

After laying around most of the morning, we finally took our shuttle downtown and started the long walk to Zilker Park. I'm not sure which was worse, walking nearly 2 miles in high-90 temperatures or walking through mud puddles.

Around the halfway point, we stopped at a BBQ joint called Terry Black's Barbecue. The last time I was in Austin I had meant to sample some local BBQ and failed so we wanted to try someplace, and this was convenient. While eating, I looked up some top BBQ places online and this particular establishment fell somewhere in the mid-twenties on the list. Kind of surprising really as the food was terrific and the pit master was a really cool guy -- giving me an extra piece of turkey for free. Keep the fat guys happy and they'll come back I suppose.

Ironically, I would sample Salt Lick BBQ just two days later and, while tasty, it didn't compare to Terry Black's in my opinion.

On to the show... The Head and the Heart were really good. They played pretty much all of the songs on their debut album. They aren't a flashy band but they are consistently good.

Tricia wasn't thrilled to see Avett Brother or Broken Bells but I was pretty pumped, so I made us stand in front of the stage for Avett Brothers for nearly an hour before they came on. It was hot, humid, and kind of crowded so this hour felt like it took forever for a band Tricia was only moderately willing to tolerate.

The show that The Avett Brothers put on was...probably the best thing we witnessed the entire weekend. I had never seen them live and was blown away at the energy and brilliance of their playing. To hear them play Head Full of Doubt live in Austin was worth the price of admission. You can't hear it by watching the video of their show, but the audience was singing along with every song, and knew every word. After they played Head Full of Doubt, Tricia turns around and states, "I take back everything I said". 

Twice during their show I got chills.

The assumption was that we'd get bored of the Avett Brothers show (I mean, their albums are much slower and quieter) and be able to cut out early to get a good spot for Broken Bells. Instead, we stood there until the last note was played and then stood there for probably another 2-3 minutes after in complete shock at what we had just seen.

Being absolutely exhausted and feeling every muscle in our backs and legs hurting, and not being able to get closer than 100 yards to Broken Bells, we decided to call it an early night and started the long walk back to the bus stop.

We got back to the hotel kind of early so we took in dinner at the bar in the lobby. This is so inconsequential, but Tricia ordered a pasta and it was the largest plate of food I've ever seen in my life. It was at least a full box of noodles if not more.

And that wraps up the second day. The Head and the Heart and Avett Brothers was all we actually took in but their strong performances were enough to keep us happy until the next day.

If you have a spare hour, I strongly recommend checking out the Avett Brothers set.

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