ACL Live Shots
Reviewed by Melanie Haupt, Fri., Sept. 23, 2011
The MoondoggiesZilker Park, Sept. 17
"That's how it goes," muttered Kevin Murphy, singer/guitarist and frontman of Seattle's Moondoggies. Despite being visibly unimpressed by the excessive (and surprising) noise bleed from Iron & Wine's uncharacteristically rocking set, Murphy and his bandmates soldiered ahead with their gothic Americana. The set was curiously, and rather obviously, bisected into older and newer material, with the country-fried shambolic tracks from 2008's Don't Be a Stranger up front. The moonshine-soaked "Black Shoe" and "'Ol Blackbird" paid such clear homage to their Grateful Dead forebears that I almost expected some baked trustafarian to try to sell me a falafel. The second half of the set featured darker, more complex material from last year's Tidelands, including the gorgeously harmonized "It's a Shame, It's a Pity" and Hammond-rich, world-weary "Down the Well." This second act provided all the drama necessary in less-than-ideal festival circumstances.