Life in Austin this time of year is absolutely brilliant; there's a certain energy vibrating in the air. The weather is cooling down, the leaves are falling, and the festivals are the best. As the first year for ACL to throw down for two weekends, Weekend One proved to be another successful festival for the city.
Do yourself a favor and eat the festy food. Far from the basic funnel cake and turkey legs, the ACL food court is filled with excellent food that the city is known for. From crawfish etouffee pies and good ol’ Texas BBQ to vegetarian and gluten-free options for the picky eaters, there’s something for everyone! I recommend Boomerang’s, the Australian twist to your classic chicken pot pie. The Peached Tortilla, Chi’lantro BBQ, and Live Soda Kombucha (to quench your thirst) are also delicious local vendors that are worth trying out.
Each day of music was spread out; I was fortunate to see every band I wanted without having to overlap sets. From the psychedelic rock hits of the Black Angels to Kaskade’s electro dance anthems, my Friday was filled with a wide variety of talent. Purity Ring gave an amazing evening performance at the Austin Ventures Stage, with an excellent cover of Soulja Boy’s Grammy.
By Saturday the weather was cooling down and the masses were in full force. Looking most forward to seeing Grimes, I was disappointed by her performance; her music is great but she was flapping her arms around like that wacky inflatable flailing arm tube guy at used car lots. Just an hour later Kendrick Lamar performed at the same stage for a crowd that was packed like a can of sardines. I’m not much of a fan for rap concerts, but he played all his hits including B*tch Don’t Kill My Vibe and his verse (twice) in F*cking Problem.
Sunday may have been my favorite day of the weekend, with a killer performance at the Zilker Tent by Red Baraat. The eight-piece band from Brooklyn had everyone dancing on their feet to the bhangra rhythms and elements of brass, funk, and jazz. The superjam performance by Atoms for Peace was amazing. When you combine Thom Yorke, Nigel Godrich, Flea, Joey Woronker, and Mauro Refosco, you’re going to get nothing short of a fantastic musical masterpiece.
New Additions to the fest
- Samsung Charging Station- For when you need to juice up your phone. Quite the life saver if you’re separated in a giant crowd during a show and your phone’s battery is at 1%.
- ACL Boutique Store- Selling limited edition specialty items, from ACL aprons to hand-printed festival posters. It's a step up from the commemorative shirts for sale on the other side of the festival grounds.
- Barton Springs Beer Hall- Nothing makes a festival better than an ice cold, craft beer. FINALLY, ACL gets its own special tent for the beer lovers. With 16 beers on tap, there's something for everyone.
- Hope Farmers Market- Get your green on with these healthy foods! It's all things local.