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Lionel Richie

Commodore spotting at Justine’s
Chase Hoffberger, 3:30pm, Tue. Oct. 8, 2013
photo by Gary Miller
Hey Lionel Richie, know the names of any sweet bars in this town?

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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