PHOTOS / WORDS: James Blake @ ACL Fest 2011 (DAY ONE)
Yesterday was an amazing first day out at Zilker Park in Austin, TX for this year’s 10th running of the Austin City Limits Music Festival. I caught a few sets to warm up the day, with my first exposure to both Delta Spirit and Fool’s Gold leaving me nicely impressed and plenty of warmed-up to move on and get my photo pass on.
First up for me was a guy I’ve heard a lot about through the blogs and media: James Blake. I really had no exposure to his music before I showed up, which is how I like it sometimes, and sadly I wasn’t familiar enough to get to the deeper layers of his crooning and his off-rhythms and it left me slightly uninspired. I think I need to listen to more of his stuff studio style before I can make a full judgment on how that transfers itself to the stage.
James Blake’s music is all about the spaces in between, which doesn’t make it particularly well suited to a festival setting. Moreover, the British singer-songwriter-producer is a reticent sort of fellow, whose idea of pandering to the crowd is pretty much offering a bashful ‘Thanks ever so much!’ at the end of a number. But some of the peculiar hooks in his songs are so irresistible, and his shimmering, powerful, yet understated vocals are so arresting, that his 3 p.m. set at the Honda stage had a surprising amount of impact. [Austin360.com]
I got a few good shots of Blake and his mini-band and I’m psyched to share them with you all anyway; just because it didn’t immediately “do it” for me doesn’t mean anything but I need more time with his music to really “get it.” Read on for the full gallery.
About the author
Justin Ward is the Editor at Live Music Blog and has been with the site from the very beginning. He currently lives in San Francisco and regularly tweets other stuff over @justinpward.
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