The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Austin City Limits

Thousands of fans brave the heat for Austin City Limits festival

Rock ‘n roll fans are hard to discourage. It’s justa fact. From muddy Warped tours to hot marathon camp outs atBonnaroo, most music enthusiasts will endure pretty much anythingto see their favorite bands.

This year’s three-day Austin City Limits Festival was ashining example of the unfaltering dedication of live musicaddicts.

From the opening of the gates on Friday, the sun beamed down itsquasi-murderous rays on the heads of the thousands of fans thatpoured onto the ground of Austin’s Zilker Park. Despite theunbearable windless heat, the crowd seemed surprisingly cheerfuland pleased.

And with reason: The lines for the port-a-potties were minimal,water was cheap ($2 a bottle), and fans spraying a cool mist werescattered around the park to provide temporary relief from thehellish temperatures.

Shade was sparse, especially at the height of the day when bigacts such as The Roots and The Killers played. Sunburns and sweatybacks soon became the new fashion statements of the weekend. Theheat did not seem to bother the estimated 200,000 fans thatattended the weekend festival, and only made them more appreciativeof the relative coolness of the evenings (it never dipped lowerthan the mid-80s).



Beyond the heat, getting used to the smell of body odor, beerbreath and marijuana smoke seemed to be the only challenges on thefirst day.

Las Vegas’ The Killers put on a true-to-recordperformance, and New York darling Jarrod Gorbel’s (ofHonorary Title) solid solo performance at the shady BMI stage was awelcomed break from the madness of the day.

Super-band Broken Social Scene of Canada put on one of the mostnotable performances of the weekend. The unusually large bandpulled in a full stage of musicians, featuring a three-piece windsection and guest vocals from Metric’s Emily Haynes thatmarked the show with a particular softness unmatched by any otherperformer.

Front-man Kevin Drew joked about a certain former Austinresident saying that the audience did “in no way reflect theactions of any past governors,” adding to the generalanti-Bush, pro-voting sentiment of the Festival (booths were set upselling bumper stickers and artists from Kweller to Wilco urgedtheir fans to exercise their right to vote).

Of course, Scotland’s beloved Franz Ferdinand’sevening performance was a huge draw, especially amongst the youngerattendees, who crammed in front of the Cingular stage to danceenergetically to “Take Me Out” and”Michael.”



Saturday seemed to be the most chaotic of all. One-day ticketshad sold out and those who hadn’t planned for it werefrantically walking up the lines to the entrance asking for extrapasses. That night, the astoundingly large crowd of 80,000 packedin front of either the legendary Pixies, whose set resembled abest-of-rock, or former Phish front-man Trey Anastasio.

Remarkably, the thousands of people shuffling towards thecrowded exits at the end of their sets were courteous, shufflingcasually out of the venue.

Another big draw for the day’s sellout crowd was ModestMouse, who, to the dismay of many, put on a less-than-stellarperformance. Notoriously unpleasant singer Isaac Brock even failedto thank the throngs of fans before him, some of which had beenwaiting in the sweltering heat since 11 a.m.

The following act, My Morning Jacket, took the smaller, lessfrenzied Bank of America stage, and put on a rock performance forthe books. The constant head banging by the long-haired indierockers during their 45 minute set was entertaining and impressive.The crowd cheered on as the sun set on the Kentucky band, bringinga much-needed end to the heavy heat.



Sunday was noticeably tamer as festival goers tiredly draggedtheir feet through the yellowing grass. However, the day packedmore exceptional performers than the preceding days. TheRoots’ rock/R&B/hip hop fusion was a crowd pleaser,showcasing the group’s hits and new songs from the recentrelease, The Tipping Point. The band’s set evenfeatured a face-melting guitar solo that seemed to stun the hotcrowd.

The rest of the long day was filled with exceptionalperformances from Texan indie-rockers Ben Kweller and Spoon, alsofavorites of the younger members of the audience. Legend ElvisCostello was a big draw, as was Wilco’s relaxing twilightperformance, during which hundreds huddled on blankets under treesto listen.

This year’s Austin City Limits Festival lineup might behard to top in future years and despite the colossal crowds andrecord heat, was worth every sweaty, miserable minute.

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