I figure now is a good time to review my experience at the Austin City Limits Festival. This was my first ACL and I was expecting a great weekend full of fun and friends. Well, it definitely delivered. I had a blast and was so glad to be back in that carefree atmosphere that festivals bring. I’ll follow suit with my comrade Hizzo and list my top ten performances of the weekend.
10. Vampire Weekend – These preppy kids from NYC were good, but not great. They were the first full act I saw of the festival and were a great way to start off the weekend. They’re sort of a guilty pleasure for me, and I really enjoyed it when they brought the string quartet on stage for a song or two.
9. MGMT – I’m as surprised as you are how high on the list these guys are. I was expecting them to be one of the top 5 highlights of the fest, but I was a bit let down. The psychedelic atmosphere these guys brought with them at Bonnaroo was simply not there at ACL. A lot had to do with it being in the afternoon so there was no light show, but I still felt their performance was lacking compared to Roo.
8. Fleet Foxes – This was one of the earliest shows I attended at the festival and I got exactly what I expected. These guys put on such a chill show that I enjoyed a lot. Probably the highlight of the show was when fellow Marathon Runner Austin held a sign up stating his love for the lead singer’s cousin and talked to him about it in the middle of the set!
7. Tegan and Sara – I love these Canadian twin sisters soooo much! They always put on the most relaxed, happy show I’ve ever seen and I can’t wait to see them again. It was nice to enjoy their show after the exhausting set put on by The Raconteurs. Like the last time I saw them, their playful banter had the crowd laughing the entire time. They even threw in a plea to us to vote for Barack Obama!
6. David Byrne – I wasn’t sure quite what to expect from the former Talking Heads frontman. The backup singers and dancers were a nice touch which I enjoyed. The highlight of the show was definitely when he played my favorite Heads song “Once in a Lifetime.” It had the whole crowd singing along.
5. Against Me! – This was the second time seeing them, and the time before they were very disappointing. I had heard a lot about their live shows and I was let down. However, their ACL performance was a redeemer. Although, the crowd was extremely weak during their show, I had a blast. Also, what I was hoping for all along, Miss Tegan Quinn, came on stage and helped sing my favorite song off of New Wave, “Born on the FM Waves of the Heart.” It was unbelievable and one of my favorite moments of the weekend.
4. The Fratellis – These lads from Scotland were the surprise of the festival for me! I had heard a lot of praise from my friends about his band, but I mainly saw them because I wanted to get close for CSS. It ended up being one of my favorite shows of the festival. This band is great and I have become quite the fan. Their performance was full of energy, and had me enjoying every minute!
3. CSS – These Brazillians know how to rock! Lovefoxxx is one of the strangest, yet coolest people I’ve ever seen. They opened with my favorite song by them, “Jager Yoga”, and the rest was history. Everyone around me was dancing their faces off (if that’s possible…) and having a blast. And yeah, like Heather, I had the privilege of touching Lovefoxxx when she crowdsurfed.
2. The Raconteurs – Jack White. That’s all I have to say. I have been a HUGE fan of his for a while now and never gotten to see him. I admit, I was completely starstruck. They rocked so hard! However, it was a bit disappointing that they did not play Carolina Drama or Salute Your Solution, but still a spectacular show and I really want to see them again soon.
1. Gogol Bordello – START WEARING PURPLE!!!! I 100% agree with Heather on this one. Dear god, one of the craziest shows I’ve ever been to! I completely lost it during their set, and have never danced so hard in my life. Eugene Hutz is hands down my favorite person of all time! My only complaint is that they didn’t play for the rest of the weekend. Here is what there setlist included: Ultimate, Sally, Not a Crime, Supertheory of Supereverything, Wonderlust King, Mishto, Tribal Connection, 60 Revolutions, American Wedding, Start Wearing Purple, and Think Locally, Fuck Globally. I was expecting Gogol to be the best of ACL and they did not disappoint. These guys can do no wrong in my eyes and I absolutely cannot wait to see them again!
There you have it, my top ten performances of ACL. Overall, the weekend was a complete success. I got to see a lot of friends I haven’t seen in a while which was great, and I can’t wait for next year!