Update (12:20 p.m.): The Foo Fighters concluded Day 1 of ACL’s first weekend with an invigorating set.
The band’s two hour performance began with an energetic rendition of “Everlong,” and kept up its pace with exciting performances of “My Hero,” and “Times Like These.”
The best moment of the set, however, didn’t come until Gary Clark Jr. joined the Foo Fighters to perform his solo on “What Did I Do / God As My Witness.” He brought the two-dimensional Foo Fighters sound to a whole new level, confirming that Clark Jr. is one of the most dominant guitarists in music today.
In typical Dave Grohl fashion, the band’s crowd interaction provided humourous moments. Grohl’s introduction of his fellow five band members, took ten minutes, with each musician performing their own solos.
For older and newer fans alike, the Foo Fighters’ performance tonight showed exactly why people keep coming back to ACL — for personal and exhilarating performances by some of their favorite artists.
Updated (8:36 p.m.): Festivalgoers clad in “The Killers” t-shirts flocked to the Honda stage to catch the band’s frontman, Brandon Flowers. Performing under his own name at the festival, Flowers didn’t hesitate to play popular Killers tracks. He started off the hour with the Killers’s original, “Human,” and continued weaving Killers classics between his own songs.
Courtesy of Jimmy Fontaine
His voice echoed throughout the crowd as the sun set behind the stage and cool temperatures greeted crowd members. A lively performer, Flowers hopped on and off various platforms to engage with the audience.
Halfway through the show, he joked with the crowd, saying he would cover a Rod Stewart song or “Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO. Instead, he surprised the audience with another Killers track, “Read My Mind.” With his humble attitude and casual, classic black slacks and jacket, it’s no wonder audience members yelled out “I love you” and groaned in disappointment when the big screen showed a wedding band on his left hand.
Topping off the hour with “Mr. Brightside, “ Flowers left the chorus to the audience members, smiling as the crowd screamed, “jealousy, turning snakes into the sea.” While adding in a few more Killers songs would have improved the concert experience, Flowers’ stage presence and strong vocals were enough to keep fans rocking out.
— Marisa Charpentier
Updated (8:10 p.m.): Tame Impala’s popularity skyrocketed after their release of Currents, but fans of the group were let down with the lack of the band’s hospitality and energy.
To start their set, Kevin Parker and his band mates calmly walked out onto stage.
“Is the mic on?” Parker asked. When he heard himself, the band immediately dove into their first song, no questions asked. This continued, with Parker speaking very little throughout the entire show.
Ignoring an interactive element with the crowd, Tame Impala’s music was on point, with each song’s interpretation sounding subtly and sometimes drastically different from its album companion.
In the end, Tame Impala is a band better experienced in a much smaller venue. The group may be a bit awkward on stage, but their energy would resonate well in a 2,000 person venue rather than in front of tens of thousands of people at a music festival.
— Chris Duncan
Updated (8:05 p.m.: During their set, Run the Jewels were sure to emphasize what they see as the realities of America.
“Here’s our new set of laws,” said El-P. “Repeat after me: Lie, cheat, steal, kill, win. Everybody’s doin it!”
Right off the bat, the rap duo of producer/rapper El-P and rapper Killer Mike made it clear: their set wasn’t for everyone. Throughout the performance, lots of people left, but the loyal RTJ fans stayed true, and were rewarded with an exciting flurry of aggressive hip hop.
Highlights of the set included an appearance from Gary Clark Jr., “Jeopardy,” and “A Christmas Fucking Miracle.” Their banter in between songs was on point, with El-P’s jokes complimenting Mike’s blunt style.
Their show might not have been for everyone, but Run the Jewels’ performance today cemented exactly why they’re one of the most dominant rap groups of this year.
— Chris Duncan
Updated (8 p.m.): Leon Bridges brought his old school vibe to ACL for the first time today. He and his accompanying band sailed through their set with ease, but provided only a few genuine moments for the audience.
The band executed every moment of their concert with precision. Even when Bridges’ microphone cut out, he was still able to recover quickly and keep the chill vibe of the concert continuous. Each song from Coming Home sounded almost exactly like it was recorded for album.
However, their set seemed formulaic and lacked the spontaneity to make it a genuinely great experience. The show’s final song featured Bridges and his backup singer sang “River” together, brought an emotional closing to an otherwise run-of-the-mill show, but by that time, many fans had chosen to move on to another performer.
Overall, Bridges’ set wasn’t bad, but lacked genuine character to make it memorable. A smaller venue experience would have made his performance more relatable.
— Chris Duncan
Update (4:10 p.m.): ACL is just getting started, but for many rock fans, it’ll be hard to beat Royal Blood’s performance.
On Friday, the English rock duo began their set at the Samsung Galaxy stage with a fairly small crowd, but by the the end of their one hour performance, the crowd had grown to twice its original size.
Bassist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher kept up their energy for the entire 50-minute set, and the crowd loved it. Although some listeners might note the lack of an electric guitar on stage, Kerr usually played his bass high on the frets and with heavy effects, making the instrument as versatile as a guitar.
Playing hits such as “Figure It Out,” and “Little Monster” off of its most recent album Royal Blood, Kerr danced around stage while Thatcher hammered on the drums, pausing only for Kerr to switch his bass out.
At one point, Thatcher crowd surfed both sections of the audience while Kerr played riff after riff. By the end of the performance, Kerr and Thatcher were clearly exhausted, but the crowd’s energy had just reached its peak, leaving the audience wanting more.
They might not be the most popular act performing today, but Royal Blood managed to set the bar extremely high.
– Chris Duncan
Update (2 p.m.):
Take a look at our schedule for today, and join us in seeing some of the best.
- 2 p.m. — Nate Reuss at Honda and Royal Blood at Samsung
- 3 p.m. — Cherub at Miller Lite
- 4 p.m. — Leon Bridges at Honda
- 5 p.m. — Run the Jewels at Miller Lite
- 6 p.m. — Brandon Flowers at Honda and Tame Impala @ Samsung
- 7 p.m. — George Ezra at Austin Ventures and Gary Clark Jr. at Home Away
- 8 p.m. — Foo Fighters at Samsung
Update (12:00 p.m.): Good afternoon Austin City Limits Music Festival- goers! Today’s weather is looking perfect with a high of 86 degrees. The day looks overcast currently but expect the sun to come out around 3 p.m.
Over the course of this weekend, we'll be live-blogging Austin City Limits and all its hippie-filled glory. Follow Daily Texan reporters, photographers and editors as we post the highlights of our work here. For minute-to-minute coverage of the best and the worst that ACL has to offer, follow us on Twitter at @thedailytexan.