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Sharon Jones, with a little help from a new friend (Dawn Jones-Garcia)

Random Thoughts on ACL Fest

The best fan-participation moment came during Sharon Jones’ set, when not one but two different random slobs got onstage to dance with the funky soul siren’s set. The first guy was a bearded, burly dude who came out from backstage and busted some impressive moves, not a bit intimidated by the powerful Miss Jones. A couple songs later, she called up a guy in khaki shorts and glasses who looked like he was interrupted from his hacky sack game and who got down on his knees and totally hammed it up. I later overheard the bearded guy swearing to somebody in the media tent that he hadn’t been a plant. (UPDATE: Turns out the "bearded, burly dude" was Nakia Daniel Reynoso of Southern rock band Nakia and his Southern Cousins, which performed at ACL Sunday.)

Perhaps the most mystifying thing I saw during the weekend was the sign held by an attractive young woman in a bikini top: “Got pot? I’ll trade.” She wasn’t holding anything of value that I could see. I wish I’d had a chance to ask her what it was she was offering.

Octopus Project’s Yvonne Lambert played the theremin with a lot more precision than I ever thought possible from the quirky electronic instrument, coaxing angelic howls from the cold machine.

Whoever thought to have Blackstone Wine give out free bandanas and straw hats is a saint. The hat probably saved my neck from a melanoma removal somewhere down the line, and wearing the bandana bandit-style as a makeshift dust mask against the sinus-coating grit in the air was the hottest trend of the weekend. – Jesse Hughey

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