It’s no surprise that the second day of Austin City Limits Music Festival saw an influx of people attending earlier in the day. Many of the younger demographic found themselves watching A$AP Ferg, however most of the rest of the day was ruled by good ol’ Rock ‘n Roll.
Nineties nostalgia reigned as LĪVE started their set on the American Express stage and started off the set with “All Over You” from their massive 1994 album, Throwing Copper. The band knows where their bread is buttered and as a result didn’t include any new songs in their set. They instead performed only songs that were on albums that were released between ’91 to ’95. Songs like “Lightning Crashes”, “Selling the Drama” and “I Alone” were played alongside covers like Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line” and Audioslave’s “I Am The Highway”, as a tribute to the late Chris Cornell. A set like that is quite impressive to see from a band whose height of popularity was two decades ago, as most bands still try to sell you on their new stuff. Bravo! Not to mention, singer Ed Kowalczyk’s energy on stage was top notch and they managed to keep their crowd until the very end.
For The Black Angels, a daytime set tends to do them a bit of an injustice as their stage lighting is a large part of their show. However, even with this slight disadvantage, Alex Maas and company managed to pull off a stellar set. Songs like “Currency” and “Half Believing” from their new album Death Song were played flawlessly as those in the crowd sang and danced. Older favorites like “Black Grease” and “Bad Vibrations” received the same enthusiasm as new material like “Comanche Moon” showing both the strength of the new tracks and the love that Austin has for its own.
Meanwhile, Angel Olsen performed her brand of rock over on the Miller Lite stage. Almost the whole set was made up of new material from her latest album My Woman and the crowd couldn’t have been happier. The single “Shut Up Kiss Me” made its appearance early in the set and was immediately followed by the garage rock-fueled “Give It Up.” Olsen’s ability to switch effortlessly between styles while creating her own sound was impressive to witness and was most evident in the song “Sister”, which starts out softly in an Americana style but as the song continues to progress it turns into a garage rock jam with all three guitarists adding to the raucousness before Olsen ends it in much the same style it began. Olsen’s set was cut a bit short because the sound on her keyboard wasn’t working, so a few songs had to be cut.
Just before Spoon was set to take the stage, the jumbo screens at each stage were taken over by the festival to show a live performance of Tom Petty performing “Free Fallin” at a past ACL festival. As that was taking place the Blue Devils drop some skydivers over the festival as the entirety of the festival attendees sang along in tribute to one of rock’s greatest.
By far the best set of the day was played by Austin’s own, Spoon. After opening with “Do I Have to Talk You Into It” from their excellent new album Hot Thoughts, Britt Daniel and co. launched into a series of classic tunes, spanning their discography. Having so many years under the belt now, the older songs have been given some slightly new arrangements to keep them from sounding stale. The crowd sang loudly along to favorites like, “Don’t You Evah” and “I Turn My Camera On” as well as new tracks, “Can I Sit next To You” and “Hot Thoughts”, making the energy of the whole show palpable.
Undoubtedly a majority of those in attendance made their way over to so see Red Hot Chili Peppers close the festival for the day. Those who did were not disappointed. Though they did play material off their newest album The Getaway, most of the set was made up songs from the albums that made them as successful of a band as they are. “Right on Time” saw Flea and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer trading some unbelievable riffs back and forth. Hits like “Californication”, “Soul to Squeeze” and “Aeroplane” were performed alongside some choice covers like The Stooges’ “I Want to Be Your Dog” and Funkadelic’s “What Is Soul”. The best cover of the night though came when after the encore break Josh Klinghoffer took the stage solo to perform a cover of Tom Petty’s “A Face In The Crowd”.
All photos by Maggie Boyd.