Last Night, Rocker Stalker Said…: AUSTIN CITY LIMITS 2014 RECAP

Posted: October 14, 2014 in Entries
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Not my first trip to Austin, but my inaugural attendance at Austin City Limits, I was treated to three days of bliss featuring some of the top acts of my generation, notable emerging bands, amazing food and perfect weather.  Between 8 stages, thousands of people, and miles of walking, I was able to take advantage of some VIP luxuries and city’s downtown shenanigans.

On Friday, October 3, I kicked off my day with England’s newest hit-makers, psych/indie pop-rock group Temples who have been gaining notoriety with their throwback vibes and newest LP Sun Structures. Next up, some of Nashville’s tops, rootys rockers  Blank Range and soulful Lake Street Dive, which features vocal powerhouse Rachael Price, kept the afternoon energy surging.  I took a break from the rock ‘n roll to sample what the kids like these days, the eletro-poppy dance creations CHVRCHES, before the one and only song-writing master Beck graced the stage. With an ever-growing repertoire, Beck selected tunes from basically every album released to date, ranging from  Mutations, Odelay, Midnight Vultures, Sea Change,  Guero, The Information, Modern Guilt to the latest release, Morning Phase. Pretty killer way to start the weekend.

The next day, I was already hurting but amped for what the day would bring. Soaking up the 90-degree weather, I started day 2 with Canadian songwriter Mac DeMarco, who had all the teenage girls screaming for his nerdy yet charming demeanor and playful indie rock tunes off his recent release Salad Days. Across Zilker Park, one of New York’s pride and joys, Interpol, ran the gamut of their (almost) 20 year career, including the 2014 album El Pintor, showcasing their signature dancy alt-rock cadence that never fails to crowd-please. Zig-zagging back across Zilker, Nashville’s grungy garage rockers The Wans took the stage and launched a counterattack on “laptop music.” The power trio performed their ultra-rockin’ album He said She Said  in full along with selections from their 2012 EP, proving that real instruments are still the way to go. The band recently debuted a hilarious video for the track “Never Winthat makes those who are all-too-familiar with epic fails feel a little less terrible, and will be heading out on tour starting October 16 and playing TWO Rocker Stalker showcases on October 21 (Bar Matchless) and October 24 (Spike Hill)By the time Eminem and Skrillex hit the stage,I could only muster up the energy to listen from afar before heading out.

Closing day of Austin City Limits was bittersweet with an emphasis on sweet.  Yet another Nashville act, modoc, opened the day, showing off the city’s knack for pure rock ‘n roll with just the right amount of southern tinges.  Switching gears and genres, the legendary AFI shook the stage with tastes of their ever-evolving punky/hardcore/melodic sound. Lead vocalist Davey Havoc, even after almost 20 years of stomping around, gave audiences an energetic performance, climbing over crowds and leaping into the air throughout the set. A Thousand Horses brought the country to the festival before the beloved Austin-based, indie rock pioneers Spoon  put some pep in onlookers’ steps.  Last but certainly not least, the quintessential rock band, Pearl Jam, closed out the three days with a phenomenal set, blowing the minds of the seas of people throughout the park. Playing almost an hour and a half of favorites from the 90’s to Lightening Bolt, and even a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine” to match the band’s revolutionary spirit, the group didn’t tire easily, as they pushed through a half hour encore much to the park rules’ dismay. Eddie Veddar  was willing to take the party elsewhere, as he teased their sound guy about hosting an afterparty at his house nearby. Solid as ever, Pearl Jam wrapped up the weekend on a perfect (and epic) note.

For anyone contemplating a trip to Austin for ACL, it’s a must! I can’t wait to go back again, but in the meantime…

Check out some photos from the weekend on Rocker Stalker’s Facebook and give it a ‘like’ while you’re at it :)!

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