Headliners heat up ACL
Record-breaking heat didn’t stop people from coming out in droves to this year’s Austin City Limits. Most people seemed to have adapted to the heat by wearing less clothing, or taking clothing off once they got there. This provided a constantly replenished buffet of eye candy for those not necessarily interested in the band they were watching, or people who were too strung out to see the stage clearly.
UH students who attended the festival likely discovered that finding parking is often an issue in Austin, and this weekend was no exception. Parking lots seemed to increase the prices of their spots throughout the day. The early birds were lucky, but those who got a late start likely found their hangover worsened when they had to shovel out upwards of $30 for a place to park. Sounds like UH, right?
There was a smoking ban this year because of the drought. Although good intentioned, it was openly broken by many of the festival’s concert goers. With the amount of rain that fell during the weekend, many concert goers likely found the ban uneccessary to begin with. If there is enough moisture on the ground for your cigarette to make a hissing noise when you toss it, there is a pretty good chance you are not going to start a fire.
But the smoking ban did have one unusual effect. The cigarette smokers in attendence seemed to be more shy about their smoking than the concert goers who were smoking other substances. It was more common to find oneself enveloped in a cloud of illicit substances than cigarette smoke, especially if you were closer to the front of one of the stages. This wasn’t entirely undesirable.
Coldplay and Kanye West were two of the biggest headliners this year. They both played on Friday night at the same time. This caused issues for people who wanted to see both.
However, Kanye seemed to give the better performance. There was a lot more energy in his crowd than Coldplay’s. There were also fewer old people sitting in lawnchairs in the middle of Kanye’s crowd. Coldplay should take the make up of their crowd as a sign that, although still an amazing band, they are perhaps not as relevant with young people as they once were. Or at least that their performance on Friday didn’t pack enough energy to prevent people from drifting over to Kanye’s stage.
As far as musicality is concerned, Iron & Wine was the hands down winner. During “The Shepherd’s Dog,” their flautists entranced — yes, entranced with a flute-like instument, the crowd. Their performance seemed to have been enhanced by the rain, as it seemed to pair well with their dreamy musical selection.
Stevie Wonder was one of the headliners on Saturday. He performed “My Cherie Amour” and “Evil” with the the energy of someone 40 years his junior.