The impact of Thursday’s rain was felt through high humidity levels and sporadic spots of mud on the inaugural day of Austin City Limits 2012.
The War On Drugs took the Budweiser stage around 2 pm. The band’s lone guitarist played whimsical blues riffs similar to The Allman Brothers. His vocals were a mix between Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin and Bob Dylan.
Umphrey’s McGee was one of the best acts of Friday. Their jam band style downplays the importance of vocals and their expert instrumentation stole the show. Just when a song seemed like it was dying down, they would come back with a shredding solo. The band’s chemistry and raw musical talent went unmatched by any other act of the night.
Jovanotti’s enthusiasm radiated on stage through his seizing style of dance. The music was largely rhythmic based and showcased the versatility of the two percussionists. Their interesting take on bebop was infused with a funky slapped bass and the guitarist’s expert use of the wah pedal.
Weezer’s set list consisted of songs from The Blue Album like “My Name Is Jonas” and “Buddy Holly” and easily recognizable hits like “Beverly Hills”. Rivers Cuomo, looking just like Buddy Holly, was all smiles while dancing with the ASL translator.
Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine took the stage in a slow, dramatic saunter and was wearing one of her signature ball gowns. The Florence + The Machine performance was a first day favorite according to many audience members. The dynamic set was rounded off by a large jumping spree to the band’s hit, “Dog Days Are Over”.
By 8:00 pm the entire crowd had essentially segregated between the AMD and Bud Light stages on far sides of the park. Pandemonium broke out when DJ Avicii took the AMD stage. His sampled vocals and industrial style electronica played through a colossal sound system pushed the crowd to the limit. There was no law in his crowd and one was likely to get fist pumped in the face.
On the other side of Zilker Park, The Black Keys delivered the powerful, old school rock show performance they’ve come to be known for. Dan Auerbach’s bluesy guitar tones wafted over the tightly packed crowd as the band played old hits like “I Got Mine”, which served as the band’s bold and boisterous closing song.
The first day of what could be the last single-weekend ACL festival provided a perfect sampling of what Zilker Park will provide for the duration of the weekend.
Check out Daily Texan Multimedia's ACL Day 1 photo slideshow.