|Hangin' with the bros at ACL!|
As the performances began at Zilker Park, they were accompanied by a much-needed downpour as venders, outside and in the festival, struggled for their piece of the poncho market-share.
On the plus side -- and it's a very plus side -- the rain brought relief to an area of Texas plagued by drought and wildfire. As a result, a feeling of relief and peace could be felt in the massive crowd, who, despite fear of thunderstorms, showed up in droves -- so much so, that the festival officially sold out today.
There was even a certain camaraderie amongst festival goers, which replaced a feeling of tension brought on by the hot sun yesterday.
The feeling of togetherness stretched even to the bands, as Kurt Vile's bandmates looked on from the back of the Austin Ventures stage, while Phosphorescent performed a melancholy set.
It could've been the cool, humid breeze, or the small size of the crowd -- less than a thousand -- or the tasteful, sorrowful tangents that the dueling guitars and pedal steel took on each song, but Phosphorescent's set was one of the most powerful of the day. The gloomy sky and rocky crags behind the stage provided the perfect backdrop, as Matthew Houck and his five-piece band played their way through a blazing country-tinged set.
The breeze subsided and drizzle picked up during Daniel Lanois' Black Dub's set. The front end of a dark storm cloud loomed overhead, as clear skies only one gust away said "see ya later." In the meantime, the air was stagnant and humid.
Lanois went back and forth between dub reggae, blues and soul, often blending the three in one. But mostly he stepped into the background, allowing his singer Trixie Whitley, a vocal deadringer for Joss Stone, to shine. Same goes with Lanois' longtime go to drummer, Brian Blade, whose jazzy style made it impossible for the rest of the rest of the band to lose the groove.
Over at the Google+ stage, Alexander's '60s soul-meets-gypsy-folk-meets-reggae had a big crowd. Almost all eight guys in his band wore some form of a fedora. Despite the music being a bit cheesy, the general attitude was fun, but at the same time festival goers were preparing for the rain to switch from a drizzle to an all out downpour.
In the late afternoon, Allison Krauss came out wearing a long flowing red and white dress, wielding a fiddle. She easily had the biggest crowd of the afternoon. Her tone, like many of the other acts that day, settled into melancholy territory. But it was easy to see why she's one of the great country artists, her voice was pitch perfect as she sang old dust-bowl country-folk songs with class.