Autin City Limits is moving? Not to worry. They’re still going to be in Austin –
I just read an article in the Vancouver Sun that indicates Austin City Limits is changing locations! Fear not! ACL is staying in Austin. It freaked me out at first when I saw the article was in the Vancouver Sun.
“Et tu Brute”, I thought to myself, assuming ACL was anticipating a move to Vancouver as many filmmakers have done over the years since production costs to film there are far cheaper in our “Great State” of Canada to the North, not to mention the breathtaking backdrops. Just kidding about the “Great State” thing. That is meant more as a compliment than a swipe. However, this isn’t the place for that discussion.
As I read on, I realized they weren’t moving out of Austin at all (Thank you Lord) but were moving to a $40 million complex attached or near a Hotel in Downtown Austin.
I hope they’re not going to start making this a “black tie” event. Apparently, they are not. They just had their final taping for the new season that started about a month ago. The headliner is Sonic Youth. It’s doubtful they will be wearing anything even closely resembling a black tie, but you never know.
I started having my doubts about ACL last year or maybe the year before, when Kenny Chesney was a headliner for one of their shows. Now my wife will be perturbed at me for this. She loves KC, but he is hardly ACL material. Sorry Cindy (my wife of 18 years and big fan of Mr. Chesney), but there is really nothing new, exciting, or original about Mr. Chesney. He is just another pop artist who has sold mega-millions!
That is not what ACL has always been about. It takes an enormous amount of energy and a huge dose of originality for an artist to remain obscure and interesting enough to be a headliner on ACL. They have always provided, at least, most of the time, extremely original entertainers.
Willie Nelson was the first in 1974 when ACL debuted, and of course, there is absolutely nothing obscure about him today. However, back in 1974 he was. He had been all but washed up as far as Nashville was concerned, but then something strange and interesting happened. I don’t know if it was because “Jim Bob” smoked his first joint or what, but folks here in Texas started really digging what Mr. Nelson was doing. The rest is history.
Have no fear though. Besides Sonic Youth, season 36 will include shows with John Legend and the Roots, Brandi Carlile, the Black Keys, The National, and Band of Horses. Some truly great bands the mainstream, up until now, has been completely unaware of. It would appear ACL is getting back to its roots, even though they never really strayed too far away.
One thing I found to be a bit worrisome is that the new facility will hold about 2700 souls as opposed to the 320 or so the original venue allowed. What I find worrisome are the “sponsor” suites. So long as it does not affect the impeccable production values ACL has always incorporated, I can keep an open mind. Nevertheless, I will be watching.
Besides, with more seats being offered, maybe, just maybe, I can finally get me a ticket!