The 12th annual Austin City Limits (ACL) Festival got off to a good start yesterday in Austin's Zilker Park yesterday. For the first time, the festival has expanded to two weekends of performances. Friday marked only the first of six days of live music on eight stages spread across the park. Our coverage focuses on buzz acts at the Bud Light, Austin Ventures and Honda Stages. With the help of Examiner photographer Suzanne Cordeiro we got some great shots of Purity Ring, Shovels and Rope, The Black Angels, Pinback, Savages and FIDLAR in our slideshow.
The Canadian electronic duo Purity Ring played a beautiful set at a packed Austin Ventures stage just after sundown. The unmistakable voice of Megan James echoed over the crowd while Corin Roddick manned the decks. We included several shots of James emoting as the band performed. Purity Ring has attracted a lot of attention during past performances at SXSW and Fun Fun Fun Fest. Yesterday was no exception as fans pushed closer to see the act one of the smaller stages at the festival.
After watching Alex Maas and Christian Bland of The Black Angels give several interviews in the media area early in the day, we decided to see if ACL fans were as hyped about the Austin psych rockers as the press was. It turns out there was a legion of faithful fans at the Bud Light stage when the local stalwarts began their set before sundown yesterday. The band included several tracks from their recent release, "Indigo Meadow" including the title track. Their trademark sound stood out from the bulk of the festival acts as one both authentic and original enough to continue attracting new fans. Their official after show tonight at Emo's with Joy Formidable promises to be a good one.
Pinback played a fantastic dream pop set an hour before The Black Angels at the same stage. Founding member of the San Diego indie-rock band, Rob Crow ventured into the crowd towards the end of their set, trailing his vocal mic behind him. Crow also did the worm on stage while wearing a Dark Star shirt in reference to the John Carpenter film the band's name is derived from.
The Bud Light stage must felt like the place to get up close to fans for the performers, because FIDLAR's Zac Carper launched himself into the crowd inciting a giant mosh pit as the skate punks from Los Angeles enjoyed what might have been the most fun set of the day to start the festival.
A band we had not heard live before, Savages were impressive. The all-girl post punk act from London lived up to the hype. Lead singer Jehnny Beth looked imtidating with her closely cropped hair and stern looks. We are keeping this band on our radar.
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