Monday, October 31, 2011

Zombies Invade Austin

Today might be Halloween, but last night zombies invaded Austin, Texas. Maybe I should clarify that statement: Zombies invaded Austin's hottest new music venue, Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater.(That's the  fancy name for the studio where the 37 yr old megahit PBS music show, Austin City Limits, now resides.)  Normally, I would not be excited by the invasion of our fair city by zombies, but these were not your everyday run-of-the-mill zombies. In fact, these were very special zombies, and we are the only city where these type of zombies have been spotted.

If you frequent this blog, then right about now you are probably wondering what has gotten into me. Why am I talking about zombies instead of my normal subjects of David Archuleta or American Idol? "Has she lost her mind?" is probably one of the first things that you said to yourself.  Well, I probably have lost it but, have no fear, these zombies are not far off of my normal subjects. 

Last night was a great night for me as a lover of American Idol as I was fortunate enough to attend the first Austin concert of AI Season 7 winner - and good buddy of my favorite Idol contestant- Mr. David Cook. (Dave as he introduced himself to the crowd.)  Now "Dave" is on tour with Gavin Degraw and they, along with Carolina Liar, stopped by ACL Live last night as part of their tour, each supporting their newest albums. I was so thrilled to get word of this concert.  My husband is a live music photographer here in Austin and we have been working together recently doing music reviews for an online music magazine, All Access and we were lucky to secured both photo and review passes for this concert.  My husband, Limelight Imaging, owns the rights to all of the photos of Cook and his band seen below.  More images from this concert and many more can be found here.

I am not familiar with the opening act, Carolina Liar, and I only heard their last two numbers, so I won't try to review their performance. Gavin Degraw was ok, not my favorite by any stretch of the imagination, but he was well received by the crowd.  I was there to see Cook.

"Dave" had tweeted that they would have a different look for this concert but I don't think anyone was really expecting the whole band to appear as zombies.





















They looked great. Not overdone, but just enough to set the mood for a great pre-halloween show. (The night before the venue had hosted an intense Zombie Ball, so this was really fairly tame.)






















I thoroughly enjoyed this show. Cook and the band really rocked the venue. Although the setlist showed 14 numbers, Cook actually performed 13 songs: Circadian, Heroes, Mr Sensitive, Paper Heart, Come Back To Me, Let Me Fall, I Did For You, Last Goodbye, a cover of Muse's Stockholm Syndrome, Lie, Barbasol, Light On, and Fade Into Me.




All were very good, but my favorites were the last two, Light On and Fade Into Me. I also loved the a capella section of Lie.




I didn't have my regular camera with me to shoot pics and videos since my husband was shooting pro shots but I recorded Light On and Fade Into Me with my iPhone.




 It's not the best visual since I was in the mezzanine but the audio is pretty good. (Please don't judge the venues incredible sound but my poor videos. This place is amazing.)



Although I had a great time finally getting to see one of my favorites from my favorite season of AI, three things about this concert made me sad.

First, I wish Cook had been the headliner and had played even more of his great music. There are many other selections from his albums that I would have liked to hear. More selections like the acoustic performance of Fade Into Me would have been great.

Second, I was really disappointed in the turn-out for this show. At one point Cook even noted it himself saying "I guess everyone didn't get the memo."  ACL Live can easily hold 2700 to 3000 guests but for this concert, in which the floor was made GA standing, and most of the third floor balcony was curtained off, I would guess that the attendance was less than 1000. After Cook's performance, it was probably only 750 left in the building. The ticket prices weren't bad so I don't know why the attendance was so low. Probably because none of these artists get their music played on radio stations in this town.

Third, the one artist that I really want to see live in this venue is David Archuleta.  While others need amps and mega sound systems to fill up this space, David just needs his voice. I hope one day to actually see and hear Mr. Archuleta in this venue.

Well, I see Mr. Archuleta dropped by to check up on his friend, Mr. Cook. Now, if I could just get him to drop by the new ACL Live venue here in Austin, I would have a spooktacular review to post here.
Hope you all had a fantastically ghoulish Halloween.

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