Sunday lived up to its name through clear skies and tons of sunshine, disproving forecasts of rain to the delight of the umbrella-carrying crowd. The closing day ended the festival on a good note with the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ incredible performance.
Two Door Cinema Club, playing their second ACL since 2010, walked onto the Bud Light stage and were met with the high-pitched cheers and excited fist-pumps of the predominantly teenaged crowd. The alternative rock band played hits from their two full-length albums, Tourist History and Beacon, while audience members danced along and crowd surfed. The performance was full of energy given by both the band and the audience.
At 6:15 Iggy Pop and The Stooges provided an outlet for punk rock fans. The 65-year-old rocker looked weathered but still displayed a commendable amount of endurance, and at one point jumped down to the crowd whilst surrounded by security guards. His classic wailing vocals mixed with the saxophone over the fast-paced drums, creating an insatiable sense of urgency that drove some to crowd surf and push mosh. During the classic “I Want To Be Your Dog,” Iggy got on all fours and scowled at the audience with the mic cord in his mouth before closing the set with “No Fun.”
Crystal Castles’ set was a cross between a musical performance and a light show. Multi-colored strobe lights pulsed over the stage and the crowd for the duration of their performance. Band member Alice Glass spent about half of the set standing on, not in, the audience. Glass relied on the strength of her vibrating fans to hold her up as she danced and sang her way through each song.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers took the Bud Light stage an hour after Iggy ended and proved why they were selected to be the headlining act. Bassist Flea, with pink hair, leapt like a gazelle while slapping his instrument to the timing of Chad Smith’s drum kit. Guitarist Josh Klinghoffer frequently played while sitting down and added falsetto back up vocals to supplement chaotic front man Anthony Kiedis. The Los Angeles funk rock band played at least one song from almost all ten of their albums. From Blood Sugar Sex Magik came “Suck My Kiss,” featuring one of the funkiest bass lines ever, and “Under The Bridge,” which provided a cathartic release for the audience who sang along almost word for word. To transition into other songs, Flea consistently performed bass solos to demonstrate his music virtuosity. After 16 songs, the band left the stage after playing “By The Way,” from the album of the same name. Panic ran amuck in the dark crowd as lights dimmed, provoking desperate, yet unsynchronized chants for an encore. Ultimately the dramatic tension was cut with a drum solo from Chad Smith that led into “Sir Psycho Sexy,” and the closing song “Give It Away.” Kiedis remarked that “[The Red Hot Chili Peppers] come here specifically to mess with Texas.” The encore will easily go down in history as one of the greatest comebacks of all time.
The music lineup of Austin City Limits 2012 was well worth the struggles against humidity and rain. ACL continues to be a landmark event for the city and will return doubled in length for 2013. Hopefully Austin will have recuperated from this weekend by then.