As they did Saturday with a Day One recap video, the ACL Fest video team has uploaded a recap video for Day Two to Youtube.
The video doesn’t feature either of Saturday’s headliners (no K Dot or Chainsmokers, sadly), but there’s still plenty of cool moments to see, including LL Cool J throwing roses to fans in the front row.
Check out the video below, and remember to follow @Austin360 on all your social media platforms to stay up-to-the-minute with ACL Fest coverage.
The festival’s YouTube page has a video recap of Day One all ready to go for your YouTube viewing pleasure. The two-and-a-half minute video captures most of the day’s big moments, like the mad rush to get into the gate and the first few photos taken inside the ACL picture frame.
The video also boasts some great up-close-and-personal shots of several of Friday’s acts, like Jess Glynne and Major Lazer. (Sadly, Radiohead isn’t included at the end of the video. We can’t have it all.)
Check it out below, and be sure to follow @Austin360 on all of your social media platforms for all your ACL Fest coverage.
Brooklyn-based indie-pop trio Prinze George, no relation to the UK-based royal toddler, played to a packed tent Friday afternoon at the Tito’s Stage. (Technically it’s the “Tito’s Handmade Vodka Stage,” but no way am I going to type out all that marketing nonsense. Wait… No!) While it seemed many were posted up solely for a chance to sit and soak up some shade, as the set ended the masses dispersed, so these up-and-comers seem to have a solid pull for a group fest newbies — and rightfully so.
Singer Naomi Almquist will be hard to top as best dressed at the fest, platinum-haired in a pearly pink dress and towering high heels. Her voice is porcelain and smoldering, somewhere between Stevie Nicks and Lana Del Rey. That voice paired with “Stranger Things” retro synths and live drum and guitar made for a chill, swaying soundtrack this cool Austin afternoon.
Isabelle De Leon deserves a nod as most likable drummer of the day: bright blue-haired and all smiles, she was clearly having a blast behind a massive honey-colored kit. (There’s just something satisfying seeing a performer having as much fun as the crowd.)
If you can’t wait for ACL Fest weekend two to see them, Prinze George plays Tuesday night with Cold War Kids at Emo’s.
Some bands rattle and hum. Others jangle and bite.
Don’t mistake Frightened Rabbit for some floppy-hatted folk band that’s got as much common-man grit as a box of Frosted Flakes. Neither should you think that they’re indie rock bros with matching haircuts and songs ready for a mayonnaise commercial. The righteously sour Glaswegian stalwarts — don’t forget, strong since their 2006 debut — pulsed with insistent rhythm and wondered how the Messiah got so famous, all during their Friday afternoon set at Austin City Limits Music Festival.
Rousing rock, topics of impolite conversation. Burn your flower crown on the ground, because singer Scott Hutchinson is not here for it.
“Festivals for a pessimist like myself can be a depressing affair,” Hutchinson wryly confided to the Miller Lite stage crowd before calling out the casual attendees in their folding chairs. “Go get a beer and be obnoxious.”
It’s difficult to explain why Hutchinson gets away with being so caustic, except to say that a smile and a triumphant-sounding chorus go a long away. The insistent “Get Out” made a strong salvo at the start, thanks in part to explosive drums and guitar breaks that sound like an ancient spirit breaking free from a moss-covered castle. Yet Frightened Rabbit’s lyrics are always a brick to the head: “Get out of my heart/She won’t, she won’t.”
That was the Rabbit formula: Be a little salty about sacred cows and drive it home with the sounds of a swollen heart. An early-set performance of “Holy” was a pew-burner in more ways than one, as Hutchinson proclaimed his hole-filled imperfections amid pleas to be spared from New Testament brimstone warnings. And on “Head Rolls Off,” he declared that Jesus is “just a Spanish boy’s name.” Older cut “Keep Yourself Warm,” meanwhile, chastised those “looking for love in a hole” with the reminder that “it takes more than (expletive) someone you don’t know to keep warm.”
So you’re doing it wrong. All of you. Whoever you are. And it seems that Frightened Rabbit counts themselves among the hopelessly broken.
The claimed humilty in “Holy” aside, songs like “Living In Colour” drowned in a rapid fire vibration. These aren’t snotty punk songs or fist-raised protest rock or Bruce Springsteen. The band’s constant, unrelenting rhythms felt like a racing heart, or like a thought that you just can’t get out of your head. And yes, with just a streak of plaintive fear behind those lyrics about all that doubt.
What saved Frightened Rabbit from their own cynicism was just honest-to-goodness rock. Like a U2 you can have a beer with.
Only a smattering of festival-goers had gathered for Glynne’s 1 p.m. set on Friday, as the Austin City Limits Festival kicked off under clear skies and bright sun. But Glynne’s six-piece band strutted on stage in coordinated black track-style suits, like the stadium act that they are back in Britain. Glynne sashayed after them, strong, soulful vocals ringing out into Zilker Park.
By halfway through the second song, “Rather Be,” (Glynne’s hit with Clean Bandit), the crowd had quadrupled and cheerful throngs were bouncing and clapping along in the sun. I dropped my pen in the grass and let myself dance.
“Are you ready to get down with my band and me?” Glynne called out, before waving her guitarist and bassist up front to dance in a line with her, grooving side to side to the pulsing funk bass line. During “Gave Me Something,” Glynne’s purple and blue lamé cape billowed in the early autumn breeze, and her two stellar backup singer-dancers leaned side to side in slow motion and punctuated choruses with tambourine exclamation marks.
More contagious choreography accompanied the disco-infused “Right Here.” During “You Can Find Me,” I wanted so badly to be rollerskating.
Through all of this, I thought: Prince would be proud.
Jess Glynne’s music (and talented, multiracial, gender-diverse band) would be at home at a gospel festival, on Top 40 radio, or in a Zumba class. It is timeless — recalling En Vogue and Adele, Sly & the Family Stone and Chaka Khan (whose “I Feel For You” Glynne and band covered) — and even after having to cancel shows and undergo surgery on her vocal chords in 2015, Glynne’s voice and songwriting are the real deal.
Glynne’s hourlong, 13-song set did lose some steam in the middle, with “Why Me” feeling like a throwaway and the tempos slowing. The dancing was still infectious, the sound shimmery, the band in the pocket — but something was missing. For all the ways Glynne was reaching out to the crowd with her lyrics and intense expression — her shoulders mean it when they dance — I also wanted to see her connect physically. I wanted her to reach out and grab hands in the front row during heart-swelling closer “Hold My Hand.” I wanted to see Glynne and the other singers jump into the crowd and dance with us.
The festival setting — with a big gap between stage and super-fans in the front row — prevents that kind of intimate connection. Glynne is set for a UK arena tour later this fall. She deserves a bigger audience Stateside too, a la Adele. But before she gets too huge, I hope she comes back to play small clubs too. “Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself” would bring a crowd to its knees in the dark.
Being the child of a legendary artist is surely a blessing and a curse. Let’s pretend for a minute your father is one Gordon Sumner, a musician who goes by the name “Sting.” What are the ups and downs of being dealt such a hand?
Pro: Your old man, who has made millions creating music and is one of the most influential recording artists alive, is probably going to be totally cool with you choosing to pursue music over, say, accounting.
Con: Anyone’s CliffsNotes version of you and your own art is going to inevitably include a mention of daddy dearest. (Sorry to be part of the problem…)
Pro: Who better to coach and shape those teenage garage band rockstar aspirations into actual musical talent than man who’s got more hits than Barry Bonds?
Con: The shadow of your dad hangs over you, colossal and as inescapable as the sky above.
Pro: Your DNA gifts you with human being-building code containing many of the more desirable attributes of your maker.
The pros have it. And, bonus, if you happen to be Eliot Sumner and band, it turns out you’ve got more than enough talent to warrant more than a cursory, celeb-obsessed rubber-necking listen.
Eliot Sumner returned to Austin Friday for an early afternoon ACL Fest, after appearing at South by Southwest back in March.
Statuesque and stony-eyed cool, Sumner is a confident and captivating singer and does double duty plucking driving, punchy bass from a battered old Fender bass. At this first day of ACL Fest 2016, Eliot wore an oversized black sweatshirt and big black leather boots with shorts. Sumner channels that androgynous rock ‘n’ roll cool that calls to mind David Bowie (or Sting). Her three-piece backing band provides glimmers of John Carpenter ’80s synths and drum machines alongside dreamy and sometimes menacing, muscular electric guitar (see: the band’s outstanding “Halfway to Hell.”)
Random celeb note (even after kind of judging such obsession above): Equally unfairly attractive/talented human being Pierce Brosnan was in attendance and seemed to dig Eliot.