QRO Magazine

ACL 2009 Recap

By Abby Johnston
Austin City Limits 2009 Recap

Despite potentially detrimental line-up shifts, the Austin City Limits festival maintained a stellar cast of bands that had all-access passes for the three-day festival sold out in early May.  Boasting more diversity than ever before, the festival drew everyone from hippies to hipsters.  Every day over 65,000 fans flooded Austin’s Zilker Park, creating a nostalgic love-all Woodstock-ian feeling that was only strengthened by the layers of mud caked on visitors’ feet.  An unexpected deluge aside, ACL may have had its finest year yet, handling stumbling blocks gracefully and pulling together for an amazing weekend:

Day 3Mud covered, exhausted fans filled Zilker Park for Day Three of Austin City Limits.
Recap > 
Day 2Day Two the deluge began.  ACL goers said goodbye to the soft, newly planted grass and hello to layers of mud and another full day of music.
Recap > 
Day 1Day One of Austin City Limits Music Festival kicked off with a variety of acts.
Recap > 


Who was seen & what was said:

Avett Brothers – Day OneThe Avett Brothers‘ chemistry is an amazing thing to experience.  They perform with such warmth and care, and they bring you into the family with them.

Blitzen Trapper – Day OneBlitzen Trapper is the modern equivalent to a jam band.  Their songs have that sing-a-long quality, but with the talent to give them longevity.”

Andrew Bird – Day OneThere are no words to adequately describe Andrew Bird‘s shows.”

Bon Iver – Day Two“Immediately following Bon Iver‘s performance, scattered “best show” accolades could be heard through the crowd.

The Decemberists – Day TwoThe Decemberists took the stage with Becky Stark and Shara Worden in tow, and rightly so. … While The Decemberists, as ever, were breathtaking, the real show stopper was Worden.

The Dodos – Day Three:  The Dodos‘ vibrancies made up for a washed-out early afternoon bunch by providing endless energy in their 45-minute set.”

Ghostland Observatory – Day Two“Electronic duo Ghostland Observatory closed out with a flashy, vibrant show.

Girl Talk – Day Three:  “Arguably the biggest crowd of the day … was for an artist that doesn’t even use real instruments, Girl Talk. 

Grizzly Bear – Day TwoGrizzly Bear‘s career finally seems to be garnering attention from a wider audience.  The set, unfortunately, was somewhat of a disappointment.

Heartless Bastards – Day Three:  Heartless Bastards blasted the crowd and woke everyone up from a slow, sludgy morning.”

Here We Go Magic – Day Three:  Here We Go Magic failed to leave much of an impression as far as dynamics. “

The Low AnthemDay OneThe Low Anthem has commented on their subtle sound’s inability to compete with the constant techno beat in ACL’s background, but their early morning set was the perfect start to the festival.”

Passion Pit – Day Three:  “Although for many it was one of the most anticipated performances of the festival, Passion Pit fell way short of expectations.”

Phoenix – Day OneWhile not necessarily a stellar show, the energy and obvious gratitude Phoenix showed made up for technical flaws.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Day One“Kings of Leon caught the attention of most of the festivalgoers, but a fair amount relied on the Yeah Yeah Yeahs as their closers.

In : Features

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Abby Johnston

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