By Mitch Holt, Opinion Editor
Don’t Believe the Hype
My second year to attend Austin City Limits music festival, I knew what to expect atmospherically–varieties of interesting people, the meshing of sounds from stage to stage, long walks, hot sun, pungent marijuana odors, scantily clad middle-aged women and, last but not least, exceptional music.
Sunday I spent the entire day at this festival in Austin with my brother.
We stood all day in 100 plus degree weather and watched some of my favorite bands. Some of the bands I saw are Wilco, The Decemberists, Eisley, Franz Ferdinand, The Arcade Fire, Jason Mraz and, my favorite of the day, Coldplay.
And this was just Sunday’s line up.
To see Coldplay on a normal day, it costs between $40 and $80, but to see the entire list of aforementioned bands and more, it costs a flat $45 for a full day of music–that, by far, is the greatest part of the experience.
This festival provides the opportunity to see quality bands that musically hit the spot for anyone that likes good music for unbeatable prices in the greatest city in Texas.
During the festival, I learned three important lessons:
Bring a gas mask or a doctor’s mask if you don’t like unnatural odors. Whether you want it for the dust that is kicked up from 60,000 people walking on it all day and creating black snot in your nose, or for the variety of body odors and secondhand bong smoke, if you aren’t used to things like this, bring a mask. I’m a fairly tough guy, so I wasn’t really affected in these areas–just giving you a heads up.
Second, go with someone whom you enjoy being around. I went with my brother because he bought me a ticket for my birthday, and I wouldn’t have traded companions for anyone (except, of course, Lindsay Lohan). Experiencing a spectacle like ACL with a best friend rivals a weekend of watching The OC.
And the last thing I learned, music is the single greatest form of God-given personal expression ever created. Few things on this earth rival a resounding chorus, unexpected bridge or a great band covering Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash, let alone if Cash rose from the dead and played it himself. I believe every form of music is God-inspired. Some might think about the cussword-laced lyrics or the sexuality in songs on the radio. My answer to this is that inappropriateness in music is humankind’s contribution (or degredation) to the gift of musical expression from God.
Our creator inspires hip-hop, our creator inspires country, our creator inspires indie-rock; however, our sinful natures inspire indecency and vulgarity.
I learned at ACL that a great band is a breath of fresh air, but a great band that aspires for positiveness as much as musicality is a diamond in the rough.