October 7, 2013


5 Best Moments from Austin City Limits Festival

It's impossible to distill three full days of music into just five moments. At Austin City Limits Music Festival, which boasts eight stages and more than 100 bands, a new moment is created everywhere you look. But we sifted through our copious notes from weekend 1 and did our best to compile the five moments we think will be remembered and talked about for a long time after the festival ends.

5. Haim Look Out for Their Fans

Despite being October, this was still Texas, and Saturday's brutal temperatures caused many to run for shade and water bottles. Los Angeles sister trio Haim felt their pain, asking security to bring fans water during their mid-afternoon set. Hooray for empathetic rock stars!

4. Indie Rock Band Pinback Breakdance

San Diego indie rock band Pinback are more known for their melodic pop/rock tracks than dance moves, but midway through their 2004 track "Fortress," frontman Rob Crow, the self-described "fat one in Pinback," dropped to the ground and performed The Worm to an elated crowd. It received the biggest applause of the set, natch.

3. Cover Me

ACL saw numerous inventive covers during the three-day festival. North Carolina folk-rock group Delta Rae took on Fleetwood Mac's classic track "The Chain," while bombastic British rock trio Muse appended their punishing song "Stockholm Syndrome" with Rage Against the Machine's "Freedom" and Eric Church slipped some "Born to Run" lyrics in "Springsteen." The best cover, though, went to L.A. singer-songwriter Lissie, who took on Kid Cudi's "Pursuit of Happiness." The singer prefaced the track with a story about receiving hate tweets from the rapper/singer's fans after she was misquoted saying she wrote the track. Happy ending: Cudi and Lissie talked about it on Twitter and everyone's cool now.

2. Dave Gahan Enjoys "Silence"

During Depeche Mode's Friday night set, playful frontman Dave Gahan shook and shimmied to tracks like "A Pain That I'm Used To" and "A Question of Time." But he reserved his best moves for "Enjoy the Silence," a song that will remain a crowd singalong for decades. Like an overzealous cheerleader, Gahan spurred on the crowd, danced alongside keyboardist Peter Gordeno and gyrated like he was in a competition. It was impossible to not get wrapped up in the singer's enthusiasm. 

1. Lionel Richie Performs "We Are the World"

"This is a song that means a great deal to me because it gave me an opportunity to give back to the world," iconic soul-pop singer Lionel Richie told the crowd Sunday night. "I'd like to share this with Michael Jackson." And with that, Richie ended his set with a stirring rendition of "We Are the World," a song he co-wrote with Jackson. Bros hugged. Families all held hands. Groups of strangers swayed together. It's hard to think of a better moment to end the three-day festival.