ACL Fest (Austin Kiddie Limits) 2007: Let's Review

Y'know, when you're trying to blog a day sequentially in less time than you really need, you don't really get a chance to add all the random thoughts and memories that you'll end up leaving with. So here are some random memories and thoughts from Austin City Limits Music Festival 2007:

-- I am definitely not the first person to say this, but having a music festival in September in Austin is insane, unless it's part of some massive dehydration campaign on the part of a megalomaniacal evil person bent on taking over Texas. The heat and humidity is ridiculous. Or maybe I've just spent too long in Phoenix, where the heat is beyond ridiculous but the humidity is, well, not.
-- Having said that, this is a primo-organized festival. Shows started (and ended) when they were supposed to, port-a-potties were numerous, and the sound was functional. If people decide to go to a festival based on who's performing, they decide to go back (the next day or the next year) based on all the little (and big) stuff that doesn't have anything to do with the acts. Austin City Limits Festival is worth going back to.
-- Everything I said about the organization of a festival and its importance goes double for a kids show, and Austin Kiddie Limits met that higher standard. There were lots of activities for the kids to do or watch between the sets, so that staying within the grounds for 4 hours wasn't nearly as daunting as I would've expected. Best thing: cheap, healthy snacks (cheaper and healthier than in the main food court, which really wasn't bad). 2nd best thing: the shade structure over the audience area. Awesome. Worst thing: running through the sound for the b-boy and salsa lessons through the main speakers. Since the dance stage was far away from the music stage, it meant that sitting down in the audience between sets meant enduring sound that was way too loud for me, let alone the kids. Having a conversation there was a near-impossibility. Next year -- get those dancers (who were pretty awesome) their own PA.
-- Favorite set, kids' division: the Sippy Cups -- if only because the crowd on Saturday was the largest and their set really played to the kids.
-- I loved the touch of playing the "Chariots of Fire" theme and music from "Star Wars" when the gates opened up at 11 AM each day. As I'd snuck in just before then through the press gate, I got to see some of the crowds stream through. Let me tell you, those Dylan fans Sunday morning were hauling their butts to grab a primo spot stage-front, cheered on by the beer vendors close to the entrance...
-- Favorite set, adult division: Crowded House -- it reminded me just how much great music can stay with you over the years and move you emotionally 15 years or more after you first heard the music. It was the set which I felt how selfish it would have been to have Miss Mary Mack with me the entire day, and indeed, I saw very few kids hanging out there.
-- As I stood in the world's longest line waiting for the shuttle buses to leave Friday night (a line which took me about a half hour to negotiate, and I was walking for most of that time), I was amused by how silent the crowd around me was during the Killers' set... except when they played songs from Hot Fuss. Then we all sang along...
-- Other random concert memories: The lead singer for the Kaiser Chiefs successfuly negotiating a climb up and down 30 feet of scaffolding, then tripping running across the stage and twisting his ankle; M.I.A. encouraging the crowd to rush the stage during her set (then being unable to continue until the stage got cleared); the fury of LCD Soundsystem's drummer and guitarist at the end of "Daft Punk is Playing at My House."
-- Man, I wish one of these things would make their way to Phoenix...
-- Finally, thanks to Tor with C3 and Brittany with Fresh & Clean Media for their assistance in attending and reviewing this festival.