As the anarchy of the endless Iggy Azalea audience started their slow and sloppy shuffle across the mud toward Lana Del Rey, Beats Antique’s gathering crowd was mostly sitting cross-legged on the dry yellowed grass in the Zilker Tent. But that wouldn’t last for long. The tent was soon overflowing, and the beat-heavy weirdo world music makers turned the assembly from laidback breather to hedonistic dance party as the ACL Fest alums took to the stage under a rainbow-colored array of lights.
Beats Antique’s show was an audio curio cabinet of oddities, featuring everything from the grizzly growl of baritone sax to ghostly guest vocals from Austin’s SORNE to flurries of dueling drums and electric banjo and beds of tribal/futuristic beats and samples.
With the band entertaining ears and engaging feet, dancer (and occasional drummer) Zoe Jakes entertained eyes front and center — dashing on and off stage for elaborate costume changes just as often as she swapped up dance styles, dropping jaws as she belly danced with a vase balanced on her head and did a burlesque number dressed as glittery cobra.
If that all sounds weird or like something out of Burning Man, it was. But it works oh-so well. So much so, that when gypsy clarinet and Middle Eastern violin gave way to an all-hands-in-the-air old school hip-hop boom-boom-tick beat, it didn’t even seem out of place.