Austin City Limits: Day 3, 10/14/12

ACL’s final day probably had the best collection of upwards trending acts, and definitely my favorite early lineup. Minus the residual mud from yesterday, it was a pleasant conclusion to a weekend of audio bliss and funky people watching.

There are few bands hotter in indie circles than Alt-J right now. I am damn glad I got to check them out before they get bigger. They have quite the mastery of that sweet spot in between chill and heavy.

I’ve waited about a year to see Kimbra, after missing all of her NYC shows w/ Gotye and Foster the People. She’s good live! Love the backing band, but the crazy dresses are definitely getting close to Gaga tier.

Moon Duo was a grungy, psychedelia team of guitar and synth you’d be more likely to find playing some Brooklyn back alley basement than ACL. They reminded me of home a lot with their dark sounds. I do hope they become ‘Moon Trio’ and add a live percussionist, instead of a drum machine.

I had no plans to see Needtobreathe, but I decided to try camping out the main stage for a front row spot for RHCP. I found them pretty tolerable for a full-out country act. I definitely prefer the genre to dubstep.

Two Door Cinema Club really hits the nail on the head for dancey indie rock. Live, they meet all expectations, but the speakers system got way amped during their set and forced my retreat soon after their show’s ending.

If you’re looking for Texas fan service the band, Old 97’s is a great answer. I caught them as the penultimate act on the small stage, and had a fairly intimate show with them. They were a good first catch live and a nice little break before the finale.

Red Hot Chili Peppers were a stellar choice as festival closer. Not a single boring song in their set, and a good new album this year. Flea is truly the king of bass and probably the real star of this band. I hated their live visual effects on the screens though. The music stands on its own, no need to sully the viewing experience with silly special effects.

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About John Harrison

John Harrison is a music afficionado and web developer in Hoboken, New Jersey.
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