ACL Fest 2009: The U18 Report

Next Up blogger Livvy Bennett didn't just enjoy ACL Fest, she sang with Daniel Johnston

Next Up blogger and AfterMath bassist Livvy Bennett performed with Daniel Johnston
Next Up blogger and AfterMath bassist Livvy Bennett performed with Daniel Johnston

Looking at the lineup for ACL Fest this year, I couldn’t help feeling slightly disappointed in the bands playing. There were a few artists I liked, but overall the bill seemed pretty dull. I ended up happily surprised with the music I heard over the weekend. Many of the lesser-known artists ended up being my highlights of ACL.

One band, The Virgins, grabbed my attention right off the bat. Their sound was, to me, is a mixture of Ok Go, Spoon, and MIKA. At first glance they seem to be just another boy band, but their stage presence was so interesting and fresh I couldn’t help but think they have something special. Lead singer Donald Cummings appeared on stage wearing green eye shadow that, because of the rain, gradually ran down his face throughout the show. Their persona left the impression that they’re quirky weird guys, and something about that uniqueness makes one want to know more about them. They were also very happy to be there, exclaiming a few times throughout the show, “Whoa! You guys, it’s so cool to see an audience this big!” Another great show was Mute Math. Mute Math provides sophisticated dance music with a Radiohead-U2 kind of vibe, though with modern twist. All the musicians played their instruments masterfully and with such passion I couldn’t help but dance throughout the whole show. Lead singer Paul Meany sings with a smooth voice contrasting drummer Darren King’s emotional loud beats. A few highlights of the show included Meany doing a handstand on his keyboard and King performing a percussion breakdown by tapping his drum sticks on various microphone stands. A highly entertaining performance, and played beautifully. This year, I had the honor of singing with Daniel Johnston. Daniel played great as usual and performed all his classics while sprinkling some new songs into the set. His back up band, HYMNS, added energy and a new fullness to Johnston’s show. Though I only sang on one song, I feel as if that show is a highlight in my musical career thus far. Needless to say, I was quite starstruck meeting the Austin legend and writer of so many quirky and magnificent songs. I came to find Daniel Johnston was a very nice person and is an inspiration to me now more than ever.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Austin City Limits Music Festival
Austin City Limits Music Festival Aftershows Announced
Austin City Limits Music Festival Aftershows Announced
More ACL means more aftershows – in four different cities

Chase Hoffberger, Aug. 20, 2013

ACL Music Fest Swap-Outs
ACL Music Fest Swap-Outs
Two-weekend music festival earmarks 33 bands for single sets

Chase Hoffberger, May 9, 2013

More U18
The Kids Are All Right But They Need Rules
The Kids Are All Right But They Need Rules
Ten standards for making the scene and performing shows

William Harries Graham, Oct. 9, 2012

Dreams Come True
Dreams Come True
Georgia Napolitano joins Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Livvy Bennett, Oct. 25, 2010

More by Livvy Bennett
Last Chance to VOTE!
Last Chance to VOTE!
Three Texas acts compete in School Jam USA

Nov. 29, 2010

Schmillionaires
Schmillionaires
Introducing all-girl band Schmillion

July 9, 2010

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Austin City Limits Music Festival, U18, Daniel Johnston

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle