ACL Live Shot (Second Weekend): Black Angels

Austin psych warlords get baked

Black Angels frontman Alex Maas
Black Angels frontman Alex Maas (by Jana Birchum)

The Black Angels have nurtured a long, fearless catalog. They’re responsible for the consistently mind-blowing Austin Psych Fest. They might be the only band in history to make screeching, acid-washed psych-rock without looking like a bunch of art school dropouts.

And yet under the hot afternoon sun of the locals’ second weekend at ACL Fest, bathed in anus-destroying humidity, I came away with very little. Given the right sort of loudness, and in the right sort of darkness, the Black Angels’ foghorn riffage can feel like a religious experience. Daylight mitigates that menace.

Patience for the musically divine can be elusive when you’re worried about whether or not you’ll be able to detach your pants from your body later. Intermittent cloud cover notwithstanding, it wasn’t a pleasant Friday afternoon in Zilker Park. The Black Angels’ blear didn’t improve matters.

Which isn’t to say they weren’t heavy, and that the few fans gathered at the Bud Light stage weren’t sated. Unfortunately, the horde of indifferent Queens of the Stone Age fans gathering for the next set killed any potential vibes. This was just one of those music festival sets, the kind that turn to dust as soon as they hit organic matter.

For more ACL Fest coverage, see For photo galleries from the fest, see

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  

More ACL Fest 2013
The Rain Can't Stop the Music
The Rain Can't Stop the Music
UPDATE: ACL acts including Mowglis make alternate plans

Richard Whittaker, Oct. 13, 2013

ACL Live Shot (Second Weekend): The Cure
ACL Live Shot (Second Weekend): The Cure
Robert Smith summons the rain

Doug Freeman, Oct. 13, 2013

More Black Angels
Levitation: John Cale, Black Angels
Levitation: John Cale, Black Angels
Velvet Underground in the house!

Michael Toland, Nov. 10, 2019

ACL Review: Black Angels
Black Angels
Austin psych lords lower the doom

Doug Freeman, Oct. 15, 2017

More by Luke Winkie
ACL Music Fest 2015 Friday Record Reviews – Second Weekend
Dirty Sprite 2 (Record Review)

Oct. 9, 2015

Live Shots
X Games: Nicki Minaj

June 12, 2015


Black Angels, ACL Fest 2013, Alex Maas, Queens of the Stone Age

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

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

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