It was a total shocker that Iggy Azalea wound up on one of the smaller stages at ACL Fest, if only because the crowd that came to forget their "Problem" for a sec turned out to be the size of multiple football fields. When your biggest hits ("Fancy;" "Problem") are collaborations and can't be performed full-out without the cohorts on the track, it can be a tricky let-down, but Iggy plowed through rousing in-tandem renditions of "Problem" and "Black Widow" (even if Rita Ora didn't show up ready to roll some heads with a samurai sword in hand).
You haven't seen a happy crowd until you've watched a field full of people belt along to an hour's worth of songs that they never thought they'd hear live again. That's what the Replacements' year has been all about, starting with Coachella (with Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day sitting in!). "Can't Hardly Wait" at sundown is a scene to behold, and Mats fans got a hefty dose of their favorites before the close of ACL Fest's first weekend. Later, Eddie Vedder would go on to toast the "irreplaceable Replacements" before diving headfirst into his own set. Rock gods: They're Replacements fans just like us!
That Eddie Vedder is a class act: He not only raised a glass (er, bottle) to the Replacements at the beginning of Pearl Jam's ACL Fest headlining set, he went on to shout out the Austin Chief of Police (who's apparently a massive Pearl Jam fan) and remind ACL Fest that today's important, as it's the last day that you can register to vote. Exceptional performance that was chock full of Lightning Bolt cuts and Pearl Jam classics aside, Vedder's banter was headline-worthy on its own.
Hometown shows are just the best, right?! Spoon are festival circuit regulars and always blow the proverbial roof off with "The Way We Get By," "Middleman" and pretty much any track off 2005's Gimme Fiction. Unlike most of the festival gigs they play, ACL Fest took place in their own backyard, and the enthusiasm and pure, unadulterated joy embraced by both Spoon and their local crowd as they plowed through songs from the recently dropped They Want My Soul was downright heartwarming.
As he's gearing up for the release of Shady XV, Eminem is revisiting favorite tracks from the Marshall Mathers catalog in a triumphant, exuberant way at the end of festival season. While yes, "My Name Is," "What I Am" and "The Real Slim Shady" made for the perfect crowdpleasers you've come to expect from Detroit's Finest, the 25+ song set truly represented Eminem's career in full—and he met the challenge of performing full-throttle without skipping a beat or catching a breath. Read our full review of Eminem's ACL Fest set here.
The sun was scorching at Zilker Park at 3pm on Sunday, and yet Jhené Aiko was cool as a cucumber, barely breaking a sweat as she sang her way through selections from her latest full-length, Souled Out. Crowd favorites included a Drake-less re-work of "From Time" with new verses from Jhené and a heartfelt tribute during her brief encore with Tupac's "Keep Ya Head Up."
Make love like war indeed, 3-Stacks. OutKast are almost through with their universally adored and lauded reunion tour, and ACL Fest provided one of the concluding chapters to this celebration twenty years in the making. It was business as usual for Big Boi and André 3000, who had just as much fun blasting through the hits as they did ribbing on one of the lighting guys. "The spotlight man is sleepin'!" "SPOTLIGHT MAN, BLINK AND LET US KNOW YOU'RE OKAY!" There were LOLs aplenty, and "Hey Ya!" continues to be one of the most satisfying songs to hear live in 2014.
Between the excitement over his new mix tape and the literal and figurative fire he brought to the ACL Fest stage, Childish Gambino is having an incredible fall so far. Tracks from Because the Internet won the crowd over immediately, and if anything, Donald Glover's return to Austin just proved that the world is eagerly awaiting the drop of a proper record in the hopefully not-so-distant future. Read our full recap of Childish Gambino's ACL Fest performance here, including the list of awards we'd readily hand over to him if that was a thing.
A field full of people hurling their shirts in the air, wielding metallic disco tambourines and twerking up against any available body? This is the kind of insanity Major Lazer brings about, and good thing, too, because they've perfected the art of the en-masse dance party. (A million gazillion points for working Reel 2 Real's "I Like To Move It" into the mix as well, Diplo & Co.)
As Sam Smith has spent the majority of the summer playing huge stages in support of his major debut In The Lonely Hour, it was only a matter of time before "Stay With Me" started drawing a crowd so large it would basically swallow the grounds of any given music festival. Smith had nearly all of ACL Fest waving their hands in the air and hugging the hell out of their loved ones during "Lay Me Down," "Latch," "I'm Not The Only One" and the rest of his emotional and uplifting set.
Any festival showing that begins with a beat-heavy chorus of "PEACE AND LOVE!" is one that'll not only get everyone in exactly the right kind o' mood, it'll keep the vibe up for the rest of the day. tUnE-yArDs is all about positivity, and Merrill Garbus and her incredible, eclectic and eccentric band plowed through the infectious glee of May's Nikki Nack while sending love to other members of the lineup. (Garbus definitely told the crowd to stay put for Iggy Azalea, who took the same stage shortly thereafter. They happily obliged.)
If you're a band from New Jersey, is rock sax a live show requirement? Is it a necessary part of the fabric of your very being as pop-minded guitar slingers from the Garden State? If so, cool, because Bleachers, the effervescent pop project from fun.'s Jack Antonoff, was all about the rock sax and more at ACL Fest. "Shadow" continues to slay, as does "I Wanna Get Better." If the first couple of months since Strange Desire dropped are any indication, Bleachers' strong festival showing demonstrates how Antonoff may have more than just a side project on his hands.
As Chvrches took the Honda stage in the middle of the afternoon, the crowd really started to thicken up at ACL Fest, and the Scottish electropop band held their own with a throng of 50,000 people before them. Just try to make your way through "The Mother We Share" with the Texan sun beating down on you, random flags waving throughout the field and Lauren Mayberry's voice carrying over Zilker Park in a triumphant arc without giving up everything for a minute to just dance. We couldn't. If you were at ACL Fest yesterday, we doubt you did, either.
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