by Melissa Smith | co-Editor in Chief
This past weekend of October 12-14, I was lucky as to experience the Austin City Limits music festival. This took place at Zilker Park near downtown Austin with around 70,000 people in the crowd, over 60 bands and seven stages. Although it was crammed enough to make anyone claustrophobic, steaming hot on some days and pouring rain others, it was by far the most fulfilling and exhausting experience I have ever endured. Headliners were the legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jack White, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, and the Black Keys, with many other popular bands lining up before them.
Surprisingly, the bands I enjoyed the most were the ones I was not dying to see. Tegan and Sarah took the stage at 4, but before they did, Ryan Gosling and Rooney Mara waltzed onto the side of stage filming. Of course, seeing Gosling made me want to faint and pretty much completed my life (If he’s a bird, I’m a bird), so this only added to the show. Tegan and Sarah then came onto the stage with their punkish attitudes, singing with their alternative voices and slamming the guitar. I wasn’t familiar with all of their music, but it was enjoyable nonetheless.
I was nearly front row for the Black Keys and let me say if was by far worth waiting hours in a nasty sweaty pit of people. They sounded exactly like they do on the album. Their old rock style satisfied my music hungry ears.
NEEDTOBREATHE, a 12 year old band that has recently hit it big, showed their talent which was undeniable. I was close up enough to notice the effort they were putting into their music, with their sweaty foreheads and arm muscles flexing when they played their instruments. They were by far the most friendly, engaging band, and the lead singer’s voice is phenomenal.
Florence and the Machine stole my heart on Saturday night. I was in complete awe of Florence, her voice is pure perfection and her demeanor is of an angel. All I can say is that this band (and mainly Florence) is perfect and everyone should experience them live. If you do not listen to their music, you’re wrong. By far this was the best and most memorable performance at the festival.