ACL WE2 in a Nutshell

Another Austin City Limits is behind us boys and girls and it’s always a good time to reflect on the music and experiences from the weekend. I considered myself very lucky to spend more time out during Weekend 2 when the weather was a bit cold and then incredible. The rain was limited and refreshing, and the colder weather brought out everyone’s best ACL hoodie. Once again, fun was had by everyone in attendance and the music was killer. Hit the jump for a couple thoughts.

My Top Four Bands

1. Idles

Pretty sure everyone is in agreement here that this band absolutely destroys in the live setting. The festival was mostly devoid of loud, intense punk rock music so this was absolutely refreshing and fun.

2. The Raconteurs

Say what you want about Jack White, but the man can play a damn guitar. I’ve always been amazed by the ear piercing sounds he can make with an axe. Once again, nice to see a true band with so much pop and hip hop going on.

3. Cherry Glazerr

Notice a trend here? Yeah I was much more about the rock n roll and the bands wailing on guitars as opposed to DJ booths. Leading lady Clementine Creevy threw so much into her energetic performance that she busted her pants open at one point.

4. Tyler Childers

I’ve found myself drawn more to my initial background of country music recently so I thought I’d give Mr. Childers a chance. His voice had a perfect twang and his band was incredibly tight. Pleased to hear someone staying true to the genre, who updates and progresses the sound while others fall victim to overproduction and rock star status.

One Band I Didn’t “Get”

Lil Uzi Vert

Though I previously said I’m not a big hop-hop/rap guy, I can definitely appreciate a good performance no matter the genre. So this guy cancelled weekend one, came out 15 minutes late weekend two and then rapped/sang over a backing vocal track the entire time. The youngsters in attendance were all about it, but he gets a hard pass from me. I’m sure he cares…

Final Thoughts

The festival for me this year veered a lot more towards pop star music, which bugged me at first as I pulled the old man card. Then at the festival I realized I could find something pretty entertaining each and every hour. It was rare to find a spot in the day without at least something I could get into. And as always, ACL organizers set things up expertly and allowed for a smooth and easy festival experience. On to next year.

Brian’s WE 2 Add-Ons:

Top Bands (besides what RayRay shared cause Idles ruled all)

1. Orville Peck

That band he has is fantastic and the Graham Parsons cover they did of “Ooh Las Vegas” is so spot on what the world needs more of. Crooning and all the big-bodied guitar-noise you could ever ask for, a welcome contrast to the goth-country originals that drift about instead of slide and kick.

2. Rosalia

Flamenco, she loves it and went a capella to prove it. Massive talent, big voice, great stage show…

3. The Cure

Yes. I do love me some Cure. The interesting thing about WE2 was that bassist Simon Gallup had to head to England “due to a personal situation”. The second interesting thing is that his son and bass guitar tech stood in and did a pretty amazing job. It is such an iconic sound, can’t be easy to be pole-vaulted up, but he did it once before in Japan. Props.

4. Childish Gambino

Not that I spent too much time viewing his set, which from all accounts was amazing, but that *allegedly*, that was the last performance by Donald Glover as Childish Gambino. Mic drop for ACL.

One Band I Didn’t “Get”

Any DJ That Played Other People’s Songs Like They Were There

Final Thoughts

Koozies can be used as mittens. See Guns And/Or Roses because Slash is amazing. I would like to give thanks to BMI, Tacodeli, Topo Chico, High Brew and Good Pop for the top notch hospitality and festival fuel that let us chase things down. I know, product stuff, but they do take care of us, along with the great volunteers all through the park helping people find their stuff, their friends and their way. Thank you!

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