ACL Day 2


Precarious clouds loomed over Zilker Park until about 5 pm, when the rain had music fans either running for shelter or pulling out umbrellas.

At 3 pm Big K.R.I.T. appeared on the Honda stage after a hyped up intro from his DJ. He displayed unrelenting stamina during his hour of enthusiastic and fast paced rapping. The DJ showcased his turntable virtuosity through solo instrumental breaks comprised of massive amounts of vinyl scratching and air horns.

Josh Tillman of Father John Misty took the Austin Ventures stage carrying a bottle of Tito’s vodka and wearing red, plastic, heart-shaped sunglasses. He opened his energetic set by commenting on the cloud-covered skies. “This weather is like a hung-over person’s paradise, Jesus! What sweet relief,” Tillman said. Father John Misty’s performance was flamboyant bordering on ridiculous.

In the midst of one of the many bursts of rain, The Shins began their performance on the AMD stage. The band played an array of songs from their extensive library, and the crowd was happy to dance along to the familiar tunes. However, the performance was bland, and devoid of the character and commentary that audiences typically crave from a live show.

The TVs next to the Honda Stage were turned off to concentrate the spotlight on Bassnectar. The electronica artist sampled popular songs like Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” while adding his own pulsating drum sound clips. Almost every song followed the same formula of buildups to breaks. Though predictable, Bassnectar’s original tracks and remixed songs prompted everyone within earshot to drop everything and just dance.

The final choice of the night was classic or alternative rock. For the latter crowd, Jack White began on the AMD Stage at 8 pm on the dot with an all-girl backing band (but no Meg White). Playing songs from The White Stripes like “I Can Tell That We Are Going To Be Friends,” and that one Raconteurs song, White concisely summarized his prolific career within an hour and thirty minutes. Known for a guitar-driven sound, his delicate finger picking and cacophonous slide techniques were joined by a pedal steel, organ, and violin to create a holistic soundscape. 

Meanwhile, anticipation was high in the tightly packed crowd before Neil Young and Crazy Horse walked out on to the Bud Light stage. Dressed in t-shirts and blue jeans, the band of graying, balding rock-stars were as spry and lively as ever. There were frequent, extensive instrumental breaks, but the fans didn’t seem to mind.  The band held the audience’s captivation for the duration of their two-hour set, and the muddy army of fans left the show still in awe.

Saturday is in the history books, leaving only the bittersweet last day. The rain will continue tomorrow and is likely to boil during the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ headlining set.