How is October already over? We had an amazing time at the second weekend of the 15th annual Austin City Limits Music Festival a few weeks ago. It was the perfect weather in Austin (cooler than most years but still a tad warm). The festival made a few layout changes from last year and it proved very successful. The new set up allowed more shade for concert goers, a different and easier experience for families and also as always, plentiful music and top notch execution.
If you’ve never been to the Austin City Limits Festival, we highly recommend. Austin is a really cool town that is already music oriented and being touted as the music capital of the world, it’s no surprise they put on an awesome annual music festival. Austin has cool ways to arrive at the festival, one of them being via pedicab which is not available in every town. The drivers are cool and it’s the quickest way to get there as they can go straight past all the traffic jams near Zilker Park.
Today we are sharing a myriad of photos and some of our favorite live acts caught during the Austin City Limits Festival for Weekend Two.
We already shared our favorite bands to watch before the festival earlier this month and we are sharing the live sets that impressed. Some of these are from super well known bands, and then of course a few lesser known as well that were already on our list. All professional photos courtesy of our Austin photographer Gabe Guevara.
We shared “Critical Mistakes” from 888 earlier this year before we even knew they were coming to ACL. The edgy electro pop track caught our attention, but the video really took the song to a new level. We caught up with the band at the festival and asked what the motivation behind the track was and how they got involved with The Forgiveness Project. It turns out they already had shot the video and later came across TFP when they were researching a few things afterwards. They reached out to the foundation who were very happy to be incorporated in part of the video and a few edits were made from there. Danny shares the motivation for writing the song which was just from self reflection on past experiences and how you would possibly change things from your past. Their feedback from fans has been very positive. We also asked about how their experience as a former hardcore band has shaped their sound. (Members were previously in the metal core band Drop Dead, Gorgeous). They shared that they had just grown out of that and 888 is the new evolution of their sound which is electronically driven music but with a definite harder edge. Their live set was really amazing and energetic and we look forward to more from 888. Their Critical Mistakes EP is out now.
Atlas Genius of course exploded onto the scene back in 2013 with their extremely addictive track “Trojans”. They have released other albums since and we honestly believed this band was on a way smaller stage than they should have been based on the and their popularity as a band. Their set was really great with frontman Keith Jeffrey playing to the crowd. It was cool to see the three brothers in action on stage and hear some familiar and new tracks as well.
Bad Suns have been continuing to build on their success as a band. Their debut album Language & Perspective turned heads with tracks like their addictive “Cardiac Arrest”. They now have a new album out titled Disappear Here and this album is full of single-worthy tracks that can catapult this band to the forefront. We caught up with the band after their set at ACL and learned a little more about the quartet. The accumulation of the new album is a collaborative process with certain guitar riffs, lyrics or ideas for a song. The guys pass the time traveling on tour with either listening to music or many times being bored. Another interesting fact is that their band name was chosen with front man Christo was from eating Alphabet Soup one day, and it clearly spelled out Bad Suns. The band is not embarking on another headlining tour in support of Disappear Here which is out now. Their live set was amazing, the vocals of Mr Bowman are stellar in a live setting and the boys are super appreciative of their fans and the authenticity shows on stage.
Blue Healer are an Austin based band that puts on a super fun set. They just came out with their debut album and we caught up with the band at the festival who are quite hilarious with their sense of humor (all of them). We first asked if either of them had a Blue Heeler dog in regards to their band name and they actually said when they were figuring out a band name they describe seeing a ‘ghost’ of a blue heeler along with a lady while out and about one day. The current band members were part of a previous band, Sons of Fathers. We asked what they like to do during touring and they actually try and hit up a YMCA in their town which is a great way to pass the time, as they enjoy playing basketball. Blue Healer has their self-titled debut album out now and will be touring in support of the album. They have an awesome bluesy-soul vibe going on during their live set and it’s quite unique and entertaining.
Caveman are creating some amazingly laid back tunes and even more than that, they are some of the coolest guys we have met yet. We highly recommend checking out their newest album, Otero War. We asked them if they did anything different with this album and they shared that most of the songs were already completed and ready to record, whereas the previous albums most songs were written and performed in the studio. They also have a pretty collaborative process in terms of creating songs and lyrics which is pretty cool. They also find time to write or collaborate whenever the mood strikes them including on tour if a song comes to them. Their philosophy on being musicians and artists is perfect, they really are living the dream and excited for being able to create and perform their music for fans. Otero War is out now.
Chairlift are from Brooklyn and they are creating awesome and danceable synth pop that you can’t get enough of. We were mesmerized by the stage presence of Caroline Polachek and we couldn’t get enough of the duo’s sound. Her vocals are the perfect compliment behind Mr. Wimberly’s slick synth production. We were not sure what to expect in terms of a live presence, but their set was high energy and very enjoyable. Chairlift are definitely on our list of ones to watch.
Huge Foals fan here no doubt with being highly impressed with their last album What Went Down. This is the first time to see the band live though, since they come all the way from the UK. Expectations exceeded by far. Their set was flawless and man do they rock it out in a live setting. Blown away would be a good description. If you are a Foals fan and ever get the chance to see them in a live setting..don’t miss it!
Lincoln Durham will leave you wanting a musical revival of sorts. His live set is enigmatic and completely draws you in as you can feel and hear the authentic attitude he brings forth as a one man band. We caught up with Lincoln and learned that he didn’t originally intend to be just a one man band but logistically in the beginning it worked out that way and it just stuck. He also shared with us he would be open to having a full fledged band one day but it would be under a different project or name. Mr. Durham actually played the fiddle for a while as a youth and having that background of country roots and influences, he turned the fiddle in for a guitar and crafted what he now describes as gothic soul.
We haven’t caught M83 live before and we weren’t sure how Anthony Gonzalez was going to translate his ethereal tracks live but he accomplished the live set amazingly. With a great light show, and an awesome Sax player, we were really impressed with how they performed live. Add M83 to your list for sure.
Prinze George are now on our radar after seeing the band live we are super impressed with Naomi Almquist. Her vocals are amazing, their sound is enchanting and they did the most beautiful cover of Prince’s “I Would Die For You” which just made us love them even more. Keep tabs on this band, we feel they will be on the rise in the next year.
High energy rock-n-roll! That pretty much describes the set – it was non stop and very entertaining with frontman Luke Spiller being able to mesmerize any crowd. If you are looking for a fun and awesome time with straight up rock n roll, make sure and see The Struts live if you can. You won’t be disappointed.
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