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

SMU students gather around a bucket of markers to write an encouraging note to put in “Welcome to the Shelter” kits at event in mid-April on SMU’s campus.
Dallas homeless recovery center, The Bridge, is a home
Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024
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Funday Sunday at ACL

 

Sunday was relatively calm at first. It seemed that more people were excited about Friday and Saturday, and the older crowd was coming out for the Eagles and Norah Jones. But the overall chill attitude continued, a signature of ACL it seems.

After two days of the hot sun beating down, it seemed that my main goal was to watch the concerts in the shade somewhere.

I spent most of the afternoon checking out bands that I knew very little about. This started with the pleasant surprise of Devendra Banhart and the Grogs. Clearly, I am behind the times on this one, because people adore Devendra – and with good reason.

Devendra is a performer who is full of heart and really good music. Besides playing his own songs really well, including “Carmensita,” and a Roxy Music cover, he asked the crowd if there was anyone who had written a song recently they’d like to play. So, one lucky guy was invited up on stage to play for the crowd on the biggest stage in the park.

After having my heart warmed by this Houston band, I made my way to the BMI stage to check out some indie music NOLA style. My Name is- JohnMichael, was apparently really late to take the stage, but what I heard from them appeared to be worth the wait. I’m a sucker for any music that has good horns and this band sure delivered on that.

Then the toss-up of the afternoon was decided for me. Earlier in the morning I was torn between Gayngs and Morning Benders. Apparently though, a monumental mix-up took place the night before and after Gayngs played Emo’s downtown, their bus with their equipment re-routed to Nashville on it’s way across the river to the park. Hilarious though it seemed when I found out, I was slightly disappointed I wouldn’t be able to check out their music.

Morning Benders it was, and they were good. They’re surprisingly pop-driven, which makes them feel less unique than most bands at ACL, but they put on a fun show and have all the talent to explore deeper, more experimental work.

Yeasayer was the band that I was really interested in getting to know though. Apparently the requirement for anyone on the AMD stage on Sunday was that they had to do something out of the ordinary. This time it was bringing the Austin poet Dax on the stage to read a poem entitled “Yeasayer No. 4.” Other than that their music was on point and they delivered their anthems to an extremely large fan base.

I left this early to indulge myself in a close view of the hippie love of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Good lord, can they put on a show! Even though Alex Ebert gave a little bit too much attitude, yelling at the crowd that they were responsible for making him want to sing (in slightly more obscene language), and looking a little bit too much like hippie Jesus, this quickly turned into part of his charm. His demand for appreciation was only the beginning of what turned out to be the most energetic performance of the day.

They performed their more upbeat songs from “Up From Below” ending of course with the powerful and extremely popular “Home.” By the end of the show Ebert couldn’t stop telling the audience how much he loved them even doing an orgasmic crowd surf that was really just him crawling and rolling on top of the crowd.

Because of their magnetic performance, I wasn’t able to drag myself away for an up close spot at the Flaming Lips, but my distant view led to an excellent vantage point for taking in their entire performance. Wayne Coyne did his usual, crawling on top of the crowd in his space bubble to open the show. In all honesty, I wasn’t as impressed as I wanted to be by their show. Perhaps it was because I was at the back of the crowd at an outdoor venue and their shenanigans translate well to intimate interactions, or maybe it was my exhaustion after the weekend, or maybe I wasn’t drunk enough. Regardless, I trekked over to Band of Horses and was much happier. The highlight for me was their cover of Cee Lo Green’s “Georgia” as a nod to his cover of “No One’s Gonna Love You.”

Band of Horses had no problem playing to a festival sized crowd, which made standing at the back a pleasant experience in comparison with their competition.

Sadly, I left after these shows as I had to make it back to Dallas in order to be alive for work Monday morning. But what a weekend! Both educational and spectacular, ACL is an experience unlike any other and as far as music festivals go, this is one of the more successful weekends I’ve seen. 

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