Live: Austin City Limits Festival Day Two – Local Natives, Gogol Bordello, M.I.A.
(Editor’s Note: Our Austin correspondent Lily Angelle is covering the Austin City Limits festival in Austin’s Zilker Park, and Saturday she dipped her toe into the variety evident at this year’s event.)
Everybody is saying how this weekend’s weather is perfect for a festival, perhaps the best it’s ever been in the eight-year history of the ACL fest. Saturday we walked the grounds a bit, sampling some of the food and the variety of music.
We saw Local Natives, a California band that we also caught earlier this year at SXSW. I like this band’s mix of world beat and rock, and they helped me get over not being able to see Vampire Weekend on Friday. This is very happy music, perfect for this sunburn kind of day.
And I really liked Gogol Bordello, the gypsy punk band from New York City. There’s no way I can tell you many of the song titles but their set was full of energy and fun – front man Eugene Hutz had his shirt off and the entire group remained in constant motion through the set. People went nuts during their accordion-driven “Start Wearing Purple,” which I’m told is one of their most popular tunes. People tried to crowd surf during the Gogol Bordello set, but each time somebody went up security was right there to bring them down and walk them away. Where do they go? I don’t know, I hope those people weren’t getting tossed out though.
We also caught some of the Black Lips, who sound like they could be a cross between a garage band and the Jefferson Airplane. I wasn’t too thrilled with these guys, but they drew a large crowd for their early set.
After Gogol Bordello, we were positioning ourselves for one of the headliners so we saw/heard Matt and Kim from a distance … they sounded pretty good. But we were in place for M.I.A., the singer/rapper whose real name is Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam. We got “XR2” and “Bamboo Banga” from her 2007 album Kala and the obligatory “Paper Planes,” most famously from the movie Slumdog Millionaire. M.I.A. is also in constant motion, and she really sent everyone into a frenzy when she ventured out into the crowd. She can really mix it up – even though she has only three albums, M.I.A. puts on a strong and entertaining show.
We walked over to catch the big finale of Muse, as they kicked into “Stockholm Syndrome” and the encore with “Plug In Baby.” Lots of fireworks and smoke, and a very appreciative crowd here too. Amazing that two headliners can put on big shows on opposite end of a park, and each has an audience of literally tens of thousands of people!
Today is the last day of the festival; we’re going to try and catch some of the big names including Robert Earl Keen, Norah Jones and the Flaming Lips. And if we have to, some of the Eagles.
UPDATE: Muse will stream its entire ACL set here at 10 p.m. CDT today.