Saturday at Austin City Limits the rain came down and drenched Zilker Park. Festival goers went undeterred as the puddles turned into seas of mud. The first band I saw was Mute Math, who played a mean version of ”Spotlight.” MUTE MATH mashes electronica and hard rock. These New Orleans musicians are excellent entertainers putting on quite the show. Lead singer and keyboardist Paul Meany literally did flips while playing his keys. Also MUTE MATH has a wonderful collection of interesting instruments from space-age synthesizers to wild effects pedal boards. Following Mute Math, I caught part of Canadian singer-songwriter Sam Roberts‘s set under the tent. I heard someone describe Sam Roberts as the Canadian Bruce Springsteen and certainly the comparison seemed apt.
The rain really started to fall as Citizen Cope took the main stage. Despite the rain Citizen Cope served up some spectacular music. His laid back flip-flop rock lightened the mood with “Back Together“ and “107°.” And a mean version of the protest song “Bullet And A Target” brought energy to the wet crowd. Clarence Greenwood aka Citizen Cope capped the set with the ballad “Sideways.”
Next Jamaican reggae superstar Eek-A-Mouse filled the Wildflower tent with reggae lovers and good vibes. This unique singjay performed his smash hit “Ganja Smuggling” to a most appreciative audience. Interesting enough the Mouse also performed a cover of Dolly Parton‘s classic country song “Jolene.” It was amazing. The Mouse soaked up the Texas outlaw sound dropping gun-slinging rhymes and rawhide whips. Eek-A-Mouse is quite the entertainer demanding crowd participation and ensuring sweet reggae grooves. With the crowd shouting “Irie” the Mouse dropped the reggae classic “Wa-Do-Dem” and closed with “Sensi Party.”
Mos Def performed on the AMD stage playing a red hot version of ”Casa Bey” from the new album The Ecstatic. The Brooklyn rapper also covered one of Bobby Brown‘s love songs “Roni.” The smooth voice and bass heavy beats of this young rhyme sayer leaves fans bobbing their heads.
Devotchka turned out to be the highlight of the evening. In fact, I consider Devotchka to be the nicest surprise at the festival this year. I knew certain bands would kick ass. But I wasn’t even planning on seeing Devotchka until some of my friends talked me into seeing them. The Denver-based band of gypsies rocked and rollicked. One amazing performing burlesque artist glided above stage on a giant red curtain. Devotchka includes multi-instrumentalists Nick Urata (vocals, guitar, trumpet), Tom Hagerman (violin, accordion), Jeanie Schroder (sousaphone, bass), and percussionist Shawn King. I highly recommend seeing this band. You will not be let down. Their music is beautiful and fun. One of my friends said she liked to listen to this band when she cleaned. I can see why. It doesn’t matter if your are cleaning or standing in the mud Devotchka deserves a listen.
The Dave Matthews Band headlined Saturday night. The group played my favorite song off the new album Big Whiskey And The GrooGrux King entitled “Funny The Way It Is.” Also from the new album the boys kicked out “Shake Me Like A Monkey” and “Spaceman.” The Dave Matthews Band played some classic tracks, including “Jimi Thing” and “Cornbread.” And after a brilliant cover version of the Talking Heads song “Burning Down The House,” launched into the crowd pleasers “So Much To Say,” ”Ants Marching,” and “Two Step.”