ACL Fest 2015: Too early for a Knifight

Knifight performs at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park on Sunday October 11, 2015.  JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Knifight performs at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park on Sunday October 11, 2015. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

It was a stunning morning at Zilker Park for the final day of Austin City Limits Fest 2015. The fields were almost empty, the sun was shining, and up came a generous westerly breeze.

Ideal weather, then, to catch a band called Knifight.

They’re an Austin synth pop band, via Tyler, Texas, and like Ume, another serious, intense, Austin group playing in an awkward noontime slot best left to chill acts, they did their best to work the crowd into a mood. No easy task.

But they played a tight, focused set with a big brash sound. Their bio says they’ve opened this past year for another intense (almost emo) electronica act, Future Islands, as well as Duran Duran. How’s that for an interesting fit.

This time slot is about numbers–meaning, there aren’t enough of them to go around this early in the day.

The Hunts

An hour later, Virginia folk band The Hunts had an audience four times the size as Knifight’s, at the same Austin Ventures stage. The Hunts’ music is definitely a better fit for this time of day, but they also have the benefit of that many more people in the park.

The Hunts’ music is cute. They’ve got singable parts, a relaxed vibe and some soothing harmonies. There’s even whistling. Once you find out they’re a seven piece, and all brothers and sisters, it’s enough to make fans of pulsing synth rock sick to their stomaches. The only problem is that those fans weren’t there before noon.


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