Top Five Acts at ACL Festival, 10/6/2013
ATOMS FOR PEACE
Photo by Julian Bajsel
Can you be a fair-weather Radiohead fan and still really like Atoms for Peace? Well, sure. It may be Thom Yorke's side project, but he's got Flea in tow, and something about the combination of Flea's uber-charismatic personality and Thom Yorke's ability to make music out of sounds that really shouldn't work together made for some sweet stage lovin' Sunday evening.
It was refreshing to see Yorke step out of those Radiohead shoes and into something a bit dancier as he played along with Flea's energy. Yorke even busted out some sweet dance moves of his own. Of course they pulled from the Atoms record, but also threw in Radiohead's "Paperbag Writer," and even a bit of music from Yorke's solo stuff. ANGELICA LEICHT
Photo by Angelica Leicht
I caught Bear Mountain completely by accident Sunday morning as I was rushing to a stage at the back side of the park, but I'm really glad I did. I have no idea how this band managed to turn 11 a.m. on the last day of ACL into a mega-dance party, but they did. I'm guessing their appeal has something to do with the hearty mix of dance beats they ladle over a kind of indie-rock base, making a pleasant, easy listen that remains entirely danceable. And dance they did. The stage was full of these insanely energetic band members, all jamming out while hopping around like tightly-wound toys.
The audience followed suit, quite a change from what was happening on the rest of the stages in the park during that time. That may be the first time I've ever seen someone breakdance before lunch. That guy, and the rest of the crowd, must have been exhausted well before they could take in enough caffeine to counteract it. ANGELICA LEICHT
Photo by Julian Bajsel
As wildly popular as Phoenix is, the members sure are quite the anti-rock-stars onstage. Amid their aggressive, funky dance-rock, the band members were mighty stoic during Sunday afternoon's performance, letting the thump of the music and the hypnotic light show take front and center stage. For whatever reason, it worked well.
The way the music's pulse still couldn't tempt front man Thomas Mars to come alive with the tracks was mesmerizing. But as he opened the first number, "Entertainment," the crowd jumped into hyper-mode, stumbling over the words and dancing along. Mars remained unstirred, though, seemingly content as a vessel for the vocals to wash into the screeching guitars. Every bit of their set, from "S.O.S. In Bel-Air" to "1901," was flawless; nothing was out of place or jarring. The sound and the lights flowed hand in hand, never missing a beat. ANGELICA LEICHT
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