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16th September 2006 Austin City Limits, Zilker Park, Austin, Texas, USA

False Flags/Rising Son/Black Milk/Man Next Door/Butterfly Caught/Hymn of the Big Wheel/Mezzanine/Teardrop/Angel/Future Proof/Safe From Harm/Inertia Creeps/Unfinished Sympathy/Group Four

(Photo By Gary Miller)
As the pulsing tempo of "Teardrop" replicated the beat of a forlorn heart, the sinister intent of Massive Attack began breathing new life, like that of Grant "Daddy G" Marshall's newborn, whose birth the day before kept the sonic shaman at bay from ACL. No matter: Elizabeth Fraser's divine vocal projections adorned the song's skeletal framework with fleshy substance, perpetually fleeting, but just coherent enough to kiss. With the renewal of the mundane into the sublime as the theme of Massive Attack's Saturday night headline excursion, Robert "3D" Del Naja more than covered for the absence of his dub-drenched colleague. Joined by the "Man Next Door," the impeccably stuttered Horace Andy, the group's enormous stage set couldn't have been more electrified. No "Spying Glass" left some wondering where these experiments in ambient trip-hop would ultimately lead, but then in the all-encompassing darkness, 3D's neon Frankenstein rose to its feet to the tune of Aleister Crowley raps and the fuzz bass of a former "Troglodyte." Faltering a bit by the Oakenfold-ish tendency to assume that any techno-oriented music must be given the rock treatment in a live setting, Massive Attack foreshadowed morning glory by moving its clone from the enclosed tedium of the Industrial to the free-wielding considerations of the Information Age.
by Robert Gabriel

photographs by DwnWrdSprl11