Day One | Austin City Limits
We arrived excited for a great day of musical festivities on Friday. With clear skies and huge crowds occupying Zilker Park, we were excited for the days awesome bands. Austin City Limits Music Festival is perhaps one of the most organized festivals in the country, with a well layed out infrastructure and easy to navigate stage setup, it was rather painless jumping around from stage to stage. This years lineup was the most diverse we have seen in a few years with a plethora of genres being represented. Regardless of the genre crowds showed up in masses to enjoy music on all scales. One of the bands on our radar was BROODS, which if you can remember played an awesome show at The Bluebird recently. With a new album making waves, it was great to hear the new material live. The entertained the early crowd on Friday and set the tone for us the rest of the weekend.
Next up for us was the legendary Jimmy Cliff. Jimmy has been gracing us for the past few years with great feel good songs such as "You Can Get It If You Really Want It", "The Harder They Come", and some choice covers of "I Can See Clearly Now". Truly an experience to witness, and one of our favorite sets of the weekend. So much indeed that many in the crowd were seen singing and dancing to the infectious classics.
As the crowds began to pack in Zilker Park, we headed to The Honda Stage to capture one of our favorites we discovered at SXSW a few years ago. Hailing from Glasgow, Scotland the trio of Lauren Mayberry (vocals), Iain Cook (guitar, bass, synths) and Martin Doherty (synths, samplers, and vocals) comprise the group CHVRCHES. Having established themselves in the US now, the electronic pop trio performed a near flawless set with songs off their album The Bones of What You Believe. Crowd favorites included "Recover" (by the way one of our personal favorites), "The Mother We Share", which had the most reaction. Mayberry although small in stature manages to carry her voice to great heights and stands out as one of the most talented singers in music right now.
From time to time we love to check out a band that has created a buzz from radio play. Such was the case for Bleachers. The group is made up of lead singer Jack Antonoff of the group Steel Train and Fun. With catchy lyrics and a strong stage presence, Bleachers was probably one of the most exciting bands we saw during the fest. A hurricane of energy brought out playful and dance friendly actions from the packed crowd. Not bad for a mid-late afternoon set. The highlight was a full crowd sing-a-long of the bands hit single "I Wanna To Get Better". The band will be making their way to Denver on November 12, we suggest checking them out.
Our next act stole our hearts and managed to perform by far one of the festivals best sets. St. Vincent took residence on The Retail Me Not Stage (which by the way, hosted some of the best performances of the weekend). Described by many as art rock/indie pop St. Vincent commands your attention right away with her on stage presence and unique array of fashionable attire. Highlight of the set was when she pointed at a photographer to give her his camera then posed with it mimicking taking photos of the crowd as they erupted with glee. She also managed to channel her inner gymnast by climbing to the top of the stage scaffolding while belting out her lyrics without a hitch. A energetic performance to say the least, she also managed to win our hearts with an incredible display of showmanship and carefully orchestrated setlist. A true talent and perfect live act that shouldn't be missed.
Our first dilemma of the festival was upon us, with a festival of such grand proportion, one is sure to run into some scheduling conflicts. For us night one had us contemplating between Beck and Outkast, both incredible performers to say the least. We had just covered Outkast during their recent trip to Denver for The Mad Decent Block Party not too long ago, Beck on the other hand we missed his epic performance at Red Rocks. We made up our minds and decided to go with Outkast, based purely on the basis that we may not get to see this band tour for a long time (if any). We had so much fun covering them last time that we couldn't wait to do it again. Playing the almost identical setlist that they have all festival season, we were set for a two hour set taking us down memory lane. The duo opened with "B.O.B", quite possibly the only way to open an Outkast set. The energy bestowed on the 75,000 in attendance was nothing short of an all out party as the band played hit after hit. With Big Boi and Andre 3000 commanding a stage backed by a full band, the songs were brought to life with an abundance of energy and charisma that has followed the band for 20 years not. As we made our way to catch the tail end of Beck, we must mention that the same exact party was being thrown on the opposite side of the park. Not a bad opening day for the festival.
CHECK OUT OUR DAY ONE SLIDESHOW!