ACL Music Festival 2014, Week Two, Day One – Beck, Chvrches + More
The beginning of the second weekend of the 13th annual Austin City Limits Music Festival went off without a hitch. Although it can be argued it was quite a bit warmer at the start of this weekend's festival, long lines still formed well before the fest officially opened its gates at 11AM.
We started our day with Jimmy Cliff, who is a legend in his own right. Jimmy is the only living musician to hold the Order of Merit, the highest honor that can be granted by the Jamaican government for achievements in the arts and sciences. The crowd was a grateful, younger audience that paid respect to such a well-known and successful musician with much cheering and dancing throughout a high-energy set.
Bleachers, who are fronted by Jack Antonoff of fun., connected with the audience immediately on such an emotional level it was hard to believe the band has been together less than a year. An energetic cover of the Cranberries' 'Dreams had the audience dancing like it was already dark outside -- not 3PM.
How can anyone not love Lauren Mulberry's band, Chvrches? The delicate and young Mulberry captivated the crowd the second she began singing; whipping her microphone cable around violently and commanding a large audience that danced and sang to every song.
After such a strong performance last weekend, we weren't about to miss St. Vincent a second time around. Sporting a slightly different hairstyle but still portraying herself as outlandish, St. Vincent (Anne Clark) put on another show-stopping set with antics as clever as her previous week's cell phone sharing, although this time she opted to pluck a camera from one of the photographers sharing the photo pit with us.
Pyrotechnics in a performance are never a bad thing, and Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) made good use of it during his performance. "Last weekend was hot but let's turn it up today and make this the best show yet," declared Glover, clearly showing the crowd that an earlier time slot wasn't going to stop him from giving his all.
The Glitch Mob kept everyone dancing and had one of the best productions of any of the first day acts, but when it came time for the headliners, the crowd split abruptly between Beck and Outkast. Since we covered Outkast last week, we knew we had to see Beck and we were not disappointed.
There isn't much to be said about Beck that hasn't already been said; he is a force of musical nature that has a back catalog of 12(!) studio albums and nearly three decades of material. "It's Friday night -- let's mix it up," Beck proclaimed and then broke into a rousing mash-up and cover of Michael Jackson's 'Billy Jean.' No one seemed to want the night to end as hit after hit followed.
Check out some of our exclusive shots from our journey at day one of the ACL Music Fest: