ACL 2010 So-Far Superlatives: The Best Performers, Songs and Movements of Days One and Two.
Here we are, final morning of Austin City Limits, and we're getting all wistful and whatnot. It's a busy day ahead filled with North Texas connections like whoa: 15-year-old Dallas-born fiddle wunderkind Ruby Jane kicks the entire day off with her 11:15 a.m. set; Midlake will somehow have to physically and sonically split the difference between Yeasayer and Robert Earl Keen at 4:45 p.m.; and Norah Jones will face off with The National, Richard Thompson and Cage The Elephant at 7 o'clock as she sets the table for Dallas' Own Don Henley and a festival-closing set from the Eagles, snooze you very much.
We figure to be halfway back to Dallas by the time "Tequila Sunrise" makes an appearance, but, before that, we'll be sneaking peaks at other offerings from an otherwise killer day that gets mucked up matched with this sole headliner: Portugal. The Man, Relatives, Gayngs, Morning Benders, Constellations,Yeasayer, Edwarde Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Band of Horses, and everyone's favorite festival act, The Flaming Lips, are teaming up to keep our ears perked and our sore feet moving.
But, before a mid-afternoon check-in, let's give the festival a so-far retrospective--high school yearbook superlative style, because, listen, we really hope you have a great time at college next year! Stay in touch!
Most Likely To Succeed: Vampire Weekend.
Vampy Dubs drew by far the biggest non-mainstage crowd to a secondary stage with its Friday night offering and seems on the fast-track for future headliner status--although, maybe a little, the band's audience was so big because Vampire Weekend was just the band to bridge the fan gap between the bands that immediate followed their performance with sets of their own, Phish and The Strokes.
Most Heard: "Everlasting Light" and "Paper Planes"
The Black Keys killed "Everlasting Light" when they played it on Friday afternoon, creating an impressive visual as the entire crowd recognized the song and all at once started bopping their previously still heads in unison. A cool moment, for sure--cool enough where you'd be forgiven for having that song stuck in your head all weekend. But, no your ears weren't playing tricks on you earlier: Broken Bells indeed covered the band's song on Saturday out of nowhere, making it one of two songs to be played twice so far this weekend. "Paper Planes" was the other, with M.I.A. performing it Saturday night and, earlier that same day, The Very Best expectedly performing its own recorded cover.
Most Nostalgic: Phish.
Seriously, Phish fans, you guys are older than I thought. Sweet tie-dye, though. And thanks for all of your high fives.
Biggest Heroes: The folks at the free water station.
These folks don't get enough credit: No one tips them, but, all day long, you can saunter up to their station in the middle of the park, fork over your water bottle, and they'll fill it up for free. In the at-times sweltering Saturday heat, they were a godsend. Their efforts surely saved a few dehydrated moments of fury for many.
Homecoming Kings: Spoon.
Spoon's Friday set still sits as the best of the fest, what with the band reveling in its hometown support and proving itself as engaging a live act as anyone else on the bill.
Most Likely To Change The World: The bicyclists!
I took a cell phone snap of all the parked bikes on Friday that doesn't do their volume justice. There were tons of bikes, which went well with all the recycling seen throughout the festival and its marked reminders of getting attendees to go "green."
Most Unforgettable: Sonic Youth
Sonic Youth sounded phenomenal on Friday night, giving a set worthy of the audience Vampire Weekend played before. The fact that they did it before a crowd maybe a third of that size made it all the more inspiring.
Most Spirit: Matt & Kim
Physically, Matt & Kim offered up the most daring and dangerous set of ACL 2010's first two days, but it was their enthusiasm, their infectious synth anthems and the crowd's willingness to let the duo led them any which way that made their set ACL's most fun in the fest's first 48.
Most Likely To Write The School Song: Muse
Muse was so inspiring on Saturday night that even they got swept up in the moment, forgetting their British heritage and paying homage to Jimi Hendrix and their host nation at once with a truncated cover of "The Star-Spangled Banner." Poor Queen.