The Austin City Limits Music Festival just wrapped up three days of music, presenting over one hundred artists and bands in Zilker Park. Even after ten years of these festivals, I’m still amazed at the diversity in an ACL lineup. It’s just so impressive, and the creativity is just awesome! So I’ve just got to share some of my favorites with you.
Gary Clark Jr. turned in an incredible set of rockin blues last Sunday afternoon. Clark and his band really cooked on Channel One of the webcast, where I caught his set. These guys have been making the rounds at music festivals around the country, and played at one of my favs in 2010, Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival.
Clark’s new album, titled Blak & Blu, is coming out on October 22nd, and the band performed a couple of those tracks at ACL, “Ain’t Messin ‘Round” and “When My Train Pulls In.” Official website: garyclarkjr.com
Alabama Shakes reminds me of the sweet soul music of Motown and the rockin’ rhythms of Muscle Shoals. Brittany Howard leads a very powerful band; I just love the horn section and the driving rhythms. She’s got quite the vocal range and a captivating stage presence. Good stuff! Check ‘em out at alabamashakes.com
Best surprise I found from this year’s ACL festival is the group, He’s My Brother She’s My Sister. Their sound is hard to describe, almost like a time warp where the Mamas & the Papas meet Jefferson Airplane, performing a show under the big top at the circus. I was immediately fascinated with drummer and tap dancer Lauren Brown, who has created a new way to establish a continuous rhythm with her feet, which act as a hi-hat and snare drum. I’m still not sure how she gets that unique sound, but it’s amazing to watch her tap dancing on top of the bass drum as she pounds out a solid rhythm on the toms. You have to see it to believe it, so here’s a link to their performance of “Clackin’ Heels.”
I would have loved to have seen Neil Young and Crazy Horse perform last Saturday night, but of course the reviewers have been raving about the show and how tight the band was. I can almost hear the guitars ringing from their encore of ”Hey Hey, My My.”
Live Artist Tapings with On-AirStreaming featured The Civil Wars, among others, and fans got a chance to win tickets to live tapings. The Fender Guitar Demo let you rock out on their live guitar demo station playing a Fender Stratocaster or Telecaster through their Mustang Floor digital effects board.
This was the first year that ACL launched a their Satellite Shop downtown, just a block from a shuttle station, that sold festival merchandise days before the gates opened, and offered fans exclusive “experience” packages, to get closer to their favorite bands and artists. The Satellite Shop also gave away festival tickets and even some 3-day passes a week before the festival.
One of my favorite record stores, Waterloo Records’ tent sponsored artist autograph sessions, and posted their full schedule on the ACL Music Festival Facebook page. A series of Late Night Shows took over some of Austin’s greatest venues and brought ACL bands and fans together in a loose late night setting.
The Official 2012 ACL Festival Mobile App & Instagram shots took advantage of mobile technology to connect fans with their friends, park maps and set schedules. Official website at aclfestival.com
Monday, October 15th, 2012
Written by: Mike Withrow
Posted in Concert