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October 25, 2020
GJD at The Shows: ACL Day 3: 9.28.08 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 02 October 2008 02:45
By Nick Friese - GJD
The dust and music filled the air in Austin, Texas on Sunday at ACL. The crowds were huge and colorful, and ready for another two full days and nights of music.

The day featured artists Foo Fighters, The Raconteurs, Blues Traveler, Joe Bonamassa, Shooter Jennings, and many more.

On Sunday, at least for us at GJD, it was time to get deep into the guitar driven sounds of Joe Bonamassa. Joe all decked out in Texas duds, cranked out a blistering set of guitar hero quality playing. The guy is not your run of the mill blues-rock guitarists out copping lick after lick from the masters like Page, Vaughn, and Beck. Joe Bonamassa has a sound and style of his own that is liquid and deep as any player I've heard. I was not expecting the raw power and incendiary guitar work from this 31-year guitar hero. Bonamassa played tunes from his Sloe Gin and You and Me albums that had people throwing the rock salutes. Towards the end of his set Bonamassa pulled out his acoustic guitar as his band members took a break and Joe stood alone with just his axe. He furiously blasted out what sounded like the start of a chunky blues version of Rude Mood and then took off into flamenco runs and more melodic playing before leaving everyone breathless by his guitar mastery and versatility. Bonamassa is one of those players that can play well beyond what is recorded in the studio and what you normally hear through your ear buds.

Next it was off to catch Blues Traveler, one of the original jam bands dating back to the late 80's. The crowds were enormous and stretched all the way back and mixed in with the masses waiting for Gnarles Barkley on the AT&T stage. It was impossible to get close to the band. Quite frankly I was surprised at how young the crowds were waiting to hear the band and was unaware that the bands songs have passed through the generations of music fans. The band came out and started off with a high paced jam and son went into a speedy version and a bit rough might add of Blondies "I Want You to Want Me". After shaking off a poorly played cover tune, Popper led the group into a much more comfortable and well played version of the radio friendly hit "Run Around". Popper blasted into some mind blowing harp solos throughout the set as they played some tunes off of their latest studio album North Hollywood Shootout.

Overlapping Blues Traveler during the late afternoon time slot was Shooter Jennings. The son of the late Waylon Jennings, Shooter is not your chip-off-the-ole-block country singer-songwriter-guitar playing progeny. He is a more a true rebel than anything else. His outlaw country, southern rock, music that will kick you in the teeth, is a departure from what Nashville normally churns out. His love for great songwriting and hard driving music is infectious. The hard life lyrics and screaming guitars will knock your hat off.

The band also looks the part as well with all members will shoulder length hair and all outfitted with Gibson SG's, Firebirds, and Flying V's. This band is 110% badass. When Shooters keyboard wasn't giving him the sounds he wanted, and after failed attempts by his tech to fix it, Shooter punched the keyboard a few times (crowd loved it) and then picked it up and then slammed it down on the stage. The place went crazy and Shooter just took the mic and said "well I fixed that". It was one of the coolest moments of the weekend. Afterwards, outfitted with a black Gibson SG guitar, Shooter and his band ripped out smoking southern rock that had the flags waving and crowd cheering. The music is a throwback to the days of Skynyrd, Blackfoot, and Outlaws but with a bit more mood, dimension, and weight. Shooter was definitely my sleeper pick of the ACL festival.

To close things up for the GJD crew we headed over to catch the Raconteurs, Jack White's project outside of the White Stripes. White cranked out some fuzzy, bluesy rock from the AMD stage with a fiery energy. Although, White was recently injured and was sporting a ruptured disc in his neck - which kept him a bit more stationary than he would have liked. He even went so far as to apologize for the ailment to the fans telling them he would do his best to play but was sorry if it wasn't as good this time around. White's neck had no effect on the vibrant rock sounds coming from him and his band.

That's a wrap for this year's ACL festival. We'll definitely be back next year for more fun in the sun, dust, and wonderful sounds in Zilker Park.


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