by Ashley Farnie
Assistant Music Director
I recently attended weekend two of Austin City Limits Music Festival alongside KTSW music staff and experienced some great live music! If you were unable to attend this year, or only caught the artists from weekend one, I will fill you in on what you missed.
Unfortunately, because of my student schedule I only attended Saturday and Sunday of the three-day festival but packed in enough sets to my schedule to make the most of my weekend. I began Saturday afternoon with a set by Sloppy Jane at the BMI stage. I had the opportunity to meet with the band’s frontwoman, Haley Dahl, to discuss her creative pursuits within and without of Sloppy Jane. Check out my review of their set and my conversation with Haley here.
After talking with Haley, I made my way to the press lounge to check the schedule to see which set I should catch next. With an underwhelming and interesting lineup ahead, I joined a friend in The Front Bottoms’ crowd. Categorized as “Midwest Emo,” the set consisted of repetitive choruses over four-chord melodies, but the crowd was enlivened by it. With nearly every audience member chanting every lyric to every song, the fan base’s cult following of The Front Bottoms was apparent. Although I would not add their tracks to my personal playlist, the band put on an energetic and impassioned show in the Texas sun.
We trekked back to the car to get a night’s rest in San Marcos before returning to Austin for day three. After recovering, we drove back in the afternoon to see Faye Webster at the Barton Springs stage.
Faye Webster’s lyrical ballads atop intricate strings made for a lovely Sunday afternoon. Accompanied by local band Mamalarky’s bassist, Noor Khan, Faye’s jazzy, western-tinged sound radiated throughout the Texas crowd. A steel guitar added to the originality of the musician, restricting herself from genre classification through such individualized musicianship.
The crowd swayed in melancholy unison and tears streamed down the cheeks of those chanting the choruses. Faye remained on the electric guitar throughout the set, but did not hesitate to captivate the audience with her performance style. When I made my way to the merch tent to commemorate the religious experience within Faye’s crowd, her merch was sold out. A sad day for me, but a testament to Faye’s success this year at ACL.
One of the best parts of attending a music festival is the diversity of experiences available in one location. After Faye’s set, I was ready to bring my energy up a little with the indie pop sound of The Marias.
Frontwoman Maria Zardoya’s angelic vocals float atop synth tracks while beautifully transitioning between English and Spanish. Zardoya strutted across the stage in her red two-piece that shimmered with each step. A positive energy circulated throughout the crowd as we were hypnotized by trance-like bass lines and breathy vocals layered with the male vocalists of The Marias.
Maria concluded the band’s set at ACL with a run through the photo pit, shaking hands with fans and causing chaos within the crowd. The Marias’ performance was a perfect ending to my weekend at ACL. I left Zilker Park with a deeper appreciation for the band after seeing their live set.
Stay tuned for the next festivals I will be providing coverage for: SMFest and Levitation!
Written by: Hannah Walls