ACL Fest: BadBadNotGood’s freaky jazz explosion is anything but

The Tito’s Handmade Vodka tent overflowed for Canadian experimental jazz act BadBadNotGood’s Sunday night ACL Fest 2017 set. “Do the kids like jazz now?” you might rightly ask yourself. Maybe.

BADBADNOTGOOD performs during the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017. NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Though the masses thinned as the crowded tent air thickened throughout the show, the group (two barefoot, all four looking nearly too young to drink or be as musically competent as they are) led a sweaty dance party packed with I-hope-no-one’s-watching moves. Those who remained through the heat were treated to a free-wheeling jazz freakout with kaleidoscopic, off-kilter keys, the squeak and trill of tenor sax, and the meaty, monstrous bumble and bop of booming bass—which delivered some mind-blowing, blistering solos that would make even Thundercat do a double take.

Utilizing keys, bass guitar, woodwinds, percussion, and a non-stop attack of tempo changes and oddball rhythms, the band, perhaps most known (or at least first known to most) for their collaborations with other vocalists and rappers, played a basically vocal-free set, save for the occasional “can I get a” call out or command to jump to the crowd.

BadBadNotGood returns to ACL Fest next weekend.


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