Sunday, Sept. 16, Zilker park

ACL Music Fest Live Shots
Photo by Sandy Carson


Denton fivepiece Midlake was born for festivals like this. Tim Smith's calming voice coaxed the clouds out from behind The Trials of Van Occupanther's Seventies-tinged title track, echoing the harmonies and keys of Fleetwood Mac. "Bandits" ran with it, hypnotizing and soothing the burnt. Sticking primarily to the aforementioned guitar-driven third LP, Midlake hit "Roscoe" perfectly, and "We Gathered in Spring" became an unlikely sing-along. The real surprise came with a midset proposal from a friend to his girl: "Will you be my young bride?" he asked, fortunately gaining a tearful "yes" before the band launched into "Young Bride." With what seemed like 20 keyboards onstage, the band introduced a new song in the vein of the last album, less melodic roll, more rock passion. Chemical Brothers collaboration "The Pills Won't Help You Now" included a flute solo at the lips of Smith, but closer "Head Home" brought the house down. Who else can go from flute to rock in three minutes flat? Don't say Jethro Tull.

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