ACL Live Shot: Foster the People

At twilight on Friday, the raw energy of Foster the People made any spot in view of the Samsung stage a good one. Drummer Mark Pontius kicked off opener “Are You Who You Want to Be?” from the trio’s relentlessly cheery sophomore release, Supermodel. With his tight percussion and frontman Mark Foster’s manic vocals, the crowd was suitably incited. Read More | Comment »

Bidi Bidi Bom Bom 11:35AM Sat. Oct. 11, Nina Hernandez

ACL Live Shot: Chvrches

Chvrches could get really big. Like monumentally famous in the same way Radiohead sells out stadiums while making albums entirely out of amniotic fluid. There’s a bright future for these three twentysomething Scots to become the next New Order – and we must do everything we can to ensure that. Read More | Comment »

Heretic Pride 11:11AM Sat. Oct. 11, Luke Winkie

ACL Fest Cancels Early Acts Due to Rain

This just in from the ACL Fest press office: “Due to heavy rains overnight and into this morning, we will be delaying the start of ACL Festival today by one hour. Doors will open at 12pm with the first bands beginning at 12:30.” Read More | Comment »

Death Valley Nights 10:57AM Sat. Oct. 11, Raoul Hernandez

ACL Live Shot: Robert Ellis

Robert Ellis could easily become a star if, paradoxically, he doesn’t fall victim to his own multifaceted talent. A skilled songsmith capable of perfect hooks and sticking indelible phrasing, Ellis plies deep country twang, poignant grit, jazzy runs, and even expertly watered-down radio crossover hits. When he picks a route, he’ll go as far as he wants. Read More | Comment »

Southside of the Tracks 10:29AM Sat. Oct. 11, Doug Freeman

ACL Live Shot: Temples

Last time they docked locally, Temples played an uneven set at Austin Psych Fest that begged the question of whether the neo-psychedelic rockers might be better prepared for nightclubs rather than festivals. Friday at Zilker Park, the UK quartet made up for its local debut by bathing confidence and skill in an ocean of reverb. Read More | Comment »

High Bias 10:05AM Sat. Oct. 11, Michael Toland

ACL Live Shot: Black Pistol Fire

Friday morning of ACL Fest week two arrived in perfect jean jacket weather. And yet, the minute you got down off a festival shuttle bus, every degree of heat in Austin concentrated itself directly on Zilker Park. Black Pistol Fire just about shocked the heat index into the 100s. Read More | Comment »

Napalm Heart 9:37AM Sat. Oct. 11, Tim Stegall

Austin City Limits Taping: Spoon

Aside from ACL Fest last Sunday – and a surprise show at Banger’s on Wednesday – Spoon’s previous performance locally was a 45-minute set in the 175-person Hotel Vegas. A tuneup for the Austinites’ first tour in 29 months, the quintet sweat 16 oldies. New member Alex Fischel wore a ratty t-shirt and intermittently kept a tambourine atop his head. Read More | Comment »

Check Yo' Self 10:45AM Fri. Oct. 10, Chase Hoffberger

Ringo Starr’s Still the Greatest

Scale: two nights by Paul McCartney at the Erwin Center in May versus Ringo Starr’s pair of performances at the Moody Theater this week. Call it a difference of 20,000 fans. And yet, when the Beatles drummer touched off “Yellow Submarine” halfway through a two-hour set Wednesday night at the Moody Theater, it was equally – and literally – breathtaking. Read More | Comment »

Death Valley Nights 2:02PM Thu. Oct. 9, Raoul Hernandez

ACL Video Interview: Chromeo

Wherefore art thou Chromeo? In their artist trailer backstage. Read More | Comment »

Playback 4:20PM Wed. Oct. 8, Kevin Curtin

ACL Live Shot: Pearl Jam

Last time they headlined ACL Fest, Pearl Jam blasted a greatest hits set guaranteed to make waves in the sea of people. Rather than repeat that performance, the Seattle alt-rawk staple dug deep into its catalog for a set that, while not stylistically diverse, proved the band has more arrows in its quiver than just the classic rock warhorses. Read More | Comment »

High Bias 1:30PM Mon. Oct. 6, Michael Toland

ACL Live Shot: Chromeo

Chromeo turned the vicinity in front of the RetailMeNot stage into a sunny Studio 54. Presenting all of the shiny, metallic references that represented the Eighties, the Montreal duo screened out and packaged the pleasurable angles of a bygone era into a dynamic, theatrical show. Read More | Comment »

Ill Communication 1:11PM Mon. Oct. 6, Kahron Spearman

ACL Live Shot: Zedd

Music like Zedd’s feels like broader commentary on a generation resigned to the end of the world. A mixture of legitimate crisis and an overabundance of information can make this sad world too much to bear sometimes. Read More | Comment »

Heretic Pride 1:00PM Mon. Oct. 6, Luke Winkie

Reunited Minneapolis punks devastate

ACL Live Shot: The Replacements

“I know it’s not on the list,” Paul Westerberg informed a protesting Tommy Stinson after playing a familiar riff snippet midway through the Replacements’ first Austin gig since their 1991 breakup. “I wanna play it anyway.” Read More | Comment »

Napalm Heart 12:46PM Mon. Oct. 6, Tim Stegall

ACL Live Shot: Spoon

With August’s They Want My Soul, Spoon earned critical acclaim not just for their return to form following 2010’s lackluster Transference, but also for the Austinites’ place as a leading indie band. Yet what makes their studio work so vital also makes it hard to translate live, especially to festival crowds. Read More | Comment »

Southside of the Tracks 12:12PM Mon. Oct. 6, Doug Freeman

ACL Live Shot: Jenny Lewis

In an hour’s time, fellow ACL performers the Replacements would be dripping pools of sweat, the blazing Austin sun foreign to the Minneapolis quartet. Heat didn’t faze Las Vegas native Jenny Lewis, clad in a white double-breasted suit, colorfully airbrushed like rainbow-hued cotton candy. Read More | Comment »

Shuffle 11:45AM Mon. Oct. 6, Neph Basedow

ACL Live Shot: Jhené Aiko

On the last day of ACL Fest weekend one, Jhené Aiko proved an unassuming replacement for Lorde, who plays the second weekend only. The L.A. songstress put on a dreamy mid-afternoon performance that had young girls screaming loud and often up front. Comparisons to Sade are both off target and unnecessary, as the diminutive wonder delivered the goods her way. Read More | Comment »

Ill Communication 11:30AM Mon. Oct. 6, Kahron Spearman

ACL Live Shot: Kongos

Arizona’s band of brothers court the mainstream more adeptly than their father, South African Seventies singer-songwriter John Kongos, ever did. Polished harmonies and snappy hooks blend with tribal percussion and walloping basslines, so their early Sunday afternoon set made a perfect antidote to the mind-numbing beats of ACL Fest’s Saturday night. Read More | Comment »

Bidi Bidi Bom Bom 11:10AM Mon. Oct. 6, Nina Hernandez

Deeply feminine paths in outlaw country

ACL Live Shot: Nikki Lane

Nikki Lane’s the kind of girl that gets mothers clucking. “She’s got such a filthy mouth,” they say over glasses of chilled Chardonnay. “I wouldn’t want my daughter getting mixed up with a girl like her.” Read More | Comment »

Shut Up 9:50AM Mon. Oct. 6, Melanie Haupt

ACL Live Shot: Legendary Soul Stirrers

“Before there was soul music – before there was rock & roll – there was the Legendary Soul Stirrers.” Most bands could never live up to such a towering introduction, but this one’s true. And on Sunday at ACL Fest, the gospel quartet did exactly what it’s done for nearly 90 years: praise Jesus with the most heavenly harmonies imaginable. Read More | Comment »

Bump & Hustle 9:37AM Mon. Oct. 6, Thomas Fawcett

ACL Live Shot: Eminem

At 9pm, a half-hour into the touch-em-all set of Eminem’s grandest canon, an 8-year-old and his mom stood together just in front of the No Chair line looking less interested in one another than anybody else in Zilker Park. Read More | Comment »

Check Yo' Self 12:11PM Sun. Oct. 5, Chase Hoffberger

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