Lionel Richie

Commodore spotting at Justine’s

Hey Lionel Richie, know the names of any sweet bars in this town?
Hey Lionel Richie, know the names of any sweet bars in this town?
photo by Gary Miller

Two days into the second week of ACL Fest and I’m already 0-for-2. My “Dancing On the Ceiling” infographic in our first festival supplement (page 23) – prognosticating where you might find ACL acts between the two weekends – looks like a drunk college kid’s NCAA tournament bracket right around the Sweet 16.

Last night’s Phoenix pop-up for a PBS Inside the Artist’s Den at Anderson High School notwithstanding, the biggest blow to my prophesying psyche came last night at Justine’s, where I’d gone to celebrate a friend’s engagement.

Our table of six had just concluded a rousing round of Lionel Richie impressions stemming from his out-of-this-world showing Sunday night at Zilker Park. “Either you fell in love listening to me, or your mamma was playin’ me for you when you was a baby!” “You get your CD, your cassette tape, your 8-track, and you call Lionel Richie!”

Suddenly, who walks in but LIONEL RICHIE HIMSELF and three of his silky smooth cohorts.

He stood inside for just a few seconds before being ushered to a picnic table at the southeast corner of the East Austin eatery’s grounds, so I couldn’t make out what he drank. What does an ageless eagle drink anyway? Does he order off the menu? Richie was dressed all in black and wore a subtle set of eyeglasses, and his three friends – two men, one woman – all looked like the types of people who consume little besides green juice and possess accents in their names.

The whole scene brought back memories of Prince’s 4:30am excursion to the Rainey Street IHOP after his South by Southwest show at La Zona Rosa – only this round with escargot. Mr. Richie sings sweet nothings into the ears of ACL Fest Sunday night at 8:30pm on the Samsung Galaxy stage.

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Lionel Richie, ACL Fest, Prince, Justine's, Phoenix, Anderson High School, PBS

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