Austin City Limits, it’s hard to tell what the defining festival of the year is but this is definitely one of them. This year’s line-up was spectacular. This festival is so great mainly because it’s in the fall and the weather is so nice in Austin. These videos aren’t from the festival but just live performances I enjoyed so you get the same vibes.
Father John Misty
There is something about Josh Tillman that I can’t pin down. He carries himself like one of the left behinds of classic outlaw country musicians. He really owns the stage. He lets fans rub his chest hair, he brags on his $35 H&M suit, which looks like hell in the Texas heat, and reminds us of the importance of amphetamines. He’s the epitome of the musical antihero that the music industry so desperately needs. One of my favorite quotes of his is “I wanted to write about love without bullshitting” and that’s so accurate to what he does. Nothing seems candy-coated or cheesy, it seems real. His marketing itself is a whole other story that would have to include his insanely funny Instagram and his women’s perfume but we can’t get into all that right now.
I can’t begin to say how fascinated I am with B0RNS’ music. He has one of the few albums that really seems to fit together and flow without sounded like the same song over and over again. He takes his inspiration from The Beach Boys and The Turtles, so I can see why I love his music. It’s very dramatic and interesting. It’s like vintage space music. He really reminds me of a seventies rock-star with his subtle hand movements and effortless hair. Plus the guy wears the coolest jackets, like where do you get your jackets?
Ryn has such a phenomenal energy when she performs and I’ve loved her since OctaHate. I was worried her pop vocals wouldn’t deliver well but I was very wrong. Ryn has some amazing dance moves and a great stage presence. I also liked her audience interaction. She told us emotional stories about her grandfather and had us look around and shake hands with people like in church. I can’t wait to see where she goes next.
I want to note that Alessia Cara is relatively new to not only the festival circuit but she’s only recently made her debut in music. Her vocals are powerful and diverse going from the sultry “Here” to the upbeat “Seventeen” her lyricism is so advanced for a girl her age and she’s wise beyond her years.
I can’t imagine the energy necessary to put on a Twenty-One Pilots show. Seriously do these guys ever stop moving? They really seem made for festival performances with one of the most theatrical live shows I’ve ever seen. Everything from the pyrotechnics to the acrobatics. It’s a fine line between circus act and live concert and these guys walk that line just right.
Drake was a huge disappointment to me. I love Drake’s music but live was so mediocre, his interactions with the audience seemed so cliché and worn out. “Austin is my second home” and “Man I should’ve put money on that Longhorns game” as if he’d read that he was indeed in Austin and inserted a sports update. I waited for the surprise J. Cole appearance then left. Maybe my expectations were too high but when nearly every other artist had me almost instantly hooked it’s tough to just sit through something vanilla at best. His song performances were good but as a whole show it doesn’t work for me.