Austin City Limits Music Festival 2004


Texas Platters

Austin City Limits Music Festival 2004


Let's return to the days of heat and dust and sweat and huge crowds of half-naked bodies. Those three days from last September in Zilker Park when Austin really did become the Live Music Capital of the World. Distilling the 130 bands and eight stages from last year's ACL Music Festival down to a little more than two hours couldn't have been easy, but this 2-DVD set with 24 songs does a sly job of representing ACL's eclectic mix while also capturing some impressive performances. In near chronological order, the first disc starts out tentative, with unconvincing appearances by the likes of Sloan, Broken Social Scene, and Josh Rouse. The highlights, however, save the day: the sky-shaking Blind Boys of Alabama, the bluest eyes of Sheryl Crow, Ebbot Lundberg of the Soundtrack of Our Lives fighting his way through heat stroke while his band gets psychedelicized, and Howie Day creating a near symphony with just his voice, an acoustic guitar, and an array of foot pedals. The second disc is much stronger, kicking off with the mighty My Morning Jacket, Neville Brothers oozing funk, and Trey Anastasio leading his orchestra through an uplifting guitar romp. It also includes the Drive-by Truckers, Calexico, Pixies, Cake, and Ben Harper. On paper, the mix sounds jarring, but in reality it's surprisingly fluid. One quibble is the scant representation of local artists. Austin is so much more than Bob Schneider and Los Lonely Boys. Overall, though, these DVDs are substantially more convenient than standing in a field in 95-degree heat for three days with 75,000 of your closest friends. Sold separately, the accompanying CD pares the weekend down to 16 tracks, including one by alt.rockers Dashboard Confessional that didn't make the video compilation. With the DVD package priced just a dollar more, the audio-only disc seems extraneous.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Chapter One (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Dec. 14, 2018

Texas Platters
Kendall Beard
Here Comes Trouble (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Dec. 14, 2018

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle