The Best of ACL Weekend 2012

The Best of ACL Weekend 2012

Photo by Patrick Chapa

Whether you were one of the lucky ones that scored tickets to ACL, or you hit up the free events around town, these were our top moments of ACL weekend 2012


@The Festival

Florence + The Machine – this for me, was by far the most anticipated of all the acts, and she definitely lived up to her reputation. Miss Florence, lit up the entire park with her energy and fiery red hair as she basked in the Friday evening sunset. My favorite moments of her set were when she walked into the crowd and when she asked for the entire audience to get on each other’s shoulders for the song “Raise it Up.”

AVICCI – having seen AVICCI, after our interview with him back in February, I was by no doubt, expecting anything less than a dance party. However, he blew my mind on Friday, appearing and DJing from on top of a huge white human head. My favorite part of the show was when lights were projected on to the face of the mask to make it look as if the mouth was moving and talking.

Wild Belle – although added later on to the lineup, just shortly before the actual festival, this woman was probably my favorite “discovery act” of the entire festival. While I had heard her before on the radio, recordings do not give justice to how rich this woman’s voice is. If you notice that Wild Belle is coming to an area near you, check her out. My projection is that she will be blowing up in the next year!

Thievery Corporation – one of my favorite groups of all time,; these guys definitely did not disappoint and brought their A-Game to ACL as they have in past years.

The Black Keys – this was an unexpected surprise, as I thought I would miss The Black Keys all together since I had committed to seeing AVICCI. However, The Black Keys were loud enough for me to actually hear them all the way at the AMD stage once the AVICCI set had ended, and I must say they rocked it, sounding amazing even from the other side of the park.

Weezer – While we only caught the last couple songs of Weezer’s set, these guys were so solid, we couldn’t go without mentioning them. As they have in the past, they continue to sound incredible live, engaging the audience as if it were the first time any of them had ever seen a Weezer performance


@The Festival
Space Capone – Until the ACL Line Up came out, I had never heard of Space Capone, but was really intrigued with his video, “I Just Want to Dance.” His set was full of funk, R&B and had the crowd swaying and dancing. He has since been added to my Spotify.
Metric – I must say, I absolutely love this band. There are very few bands I can see a hundred times and never get enough of them. Metric’s set was by far in my top five acts I saw all weekend.
The Shins – As the shins opened their set, so too did the heavens. However, the rain did not dampen one bit the crowd’s attitude. Instead, you just saw a sea of people turn into a rainbow of umbrellas, as the Shins rocked out.
Bassnectar – As the Shins wrapped up their set, so too did the rain, and we proceeded to Bassnectar and a Dubstep fiesta of people drenched in water and sweat as he’s mashed up songs from the Beastie Boys to his Ellie Goulding “lights” remix.


@The Festival
Two Door Cinema Club – We saw these guys back in June at the Houston Free Press, and they were one of my favorite acts of the entire festival. We only caught a couple of their songs this time around, but what we did hear sounded amazing live!
The Dunwells – This band had such a naturally appealing and soothing sound. I look forward to seeing more from them in the future.

Die Antwood – I have been waiting years to see Die Antwood in person, and I had a blast every minute of their set. They are every bit as good live. I was genuinely disappointed when this set ended.

Avette Brothers – We saw these guys as well for the first time back in July at Free Press Summer Fest in Houston. These guys have just blown up. From just barely hearing about them about a year ago, to them being mentioned in an episode of Showtime’s Dexter. These guys aren’t going anywhere. It’s nice to see a group that looks to truly be enjoying playing for their audience.

Chili Peppers – If you missed these guys to “beat the crowd,” I must say, I pity you because the Chili Peppers closed out ACL with a bang. Words can’t describe how incredible these guys are. They never cease to amaze me. What a great ending to a wonderful ACL weekend.

There was no question, the Xbox Music lounge and the Silent Disco were the parties to see and be seen at ACL weekend! At the Xbox Music Lounge, Emily Haine, from Metric, kicked off ACL weekend, spinning an hour set from various genres from rock to jazz to indie. She kept the energy going while drinking Kahlua’s new iced coffee drink. Questlove came to the lounge, straight from the airport, and came to relax to play Xbox’s newest game “Forza Horizon” before his performance that night, and Big K.R.I.T met Questlove for the first time and they talked about possibly working together and exchanged phone numbers. Look out for a collaboration with these two in the future.
When all other parties were ending and serving last calls, the Silent Disco was still alive and kickin til sunrise. We headed there early Sunday morning, and danced our asses off at the Pine Street Station, Home of the Fader Fort and Austin Farmer’s Market. Upon entry each guest was given a set of headphones with two stations to choose from. Djs were spinning on both stations simultaneously and guests could switch back and forth between stations at their desire. There were also glass blowers creating glass art to the music as well. This was my first time to a silent disco, and it was one of the coolest events I’ve ever experienced. Best of all the proceeds to this party with a purpose, went to helping renovate The Enchanted Forest.

Best Flags of ACL Weekend
ACL would not be complete without mentioning the flags. We ranked our favorite flag for each day of the festival.
Friday – the best flag we saw, was a group of girls who had fashioned a flag made of their bras
Saturday – the wine flag, a tradition of some local Austinites, who choose every ACL Saturday to only drink wine, made its appearance again this 2012 with wine bottles hanging from the pole.
Sunday – the most interesting flag we saw on Sunday was the New Kids on the Block flag, at the Die Antwood set.

By Katie Warner
Austin Times

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