Most Likely To Make Like a Tree and Leaf
When we listen to the music of Australian synthpop quartet Cut Copy
, several things come to mind. Dancing. The ’80s. Vegemite sandwiches. A lush forest, however, is not one of these things. Yet, that’s what Dan Whitford and company decided on for set decoration, surrounded by so many ferns and palms that it looked like they’d just raided a Home Depot Garden Center. Why all the foliage? We’re not really sure. But we applaud them for going green anyway.
Most Songs You Know By Heart
Stevie Wonder took to the stage Saturday night opposite My Morning Jacket
. Though we’ve never seen MMJ live — and hear they put on a great show — we knew the chance to see the legendary Wonder perform in person was one we couldn’t pass up. What we didn’t realize, though, was just how much of Wonder’s catalog we knew. Every song in Wonder’s two-hour set was one you’d heard before, save for the new song that he was “working out” with his band right there in front of us. “Superstition,” “Higher Ground,” “Living For the City,” “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You),” “For Once In My Life”…the list went on and on. We only wish the show could have, too.
Sunday was hot. Blazing hot. Attendees were wearing as little as they could in order to stave off heat exhaustion. But not Hamilton Leithauser, vocalist for indie rock band The Walkmen
, who came out looking coolly debonair in a khaki suit, white button-down, and black tie. “If I’d known it was gonna be this hot, I would’ve worn my shorty-shorts,” he quipped.
Despite the fact that they’ve only released one album — 2008’s Walking on a Dream — Australian electronic duo Empire of the Sun
got a primo spot on the ACL line-up: right before festival closers Arcade Fire on Sunday night. We’d heard from those in the know that it was no mistake: EOTS simply puts on an incredible live show. They didn’t disappoint. Sporting painted faces, feather mohawks, sequined shoulder pads and spiked headpieces, band members Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore were upstaged only by their back-up dancers, who donned flamboyant bird and seahorse costumes. The whole spectacle — complete with trippy space scenes on a backing video screen — was truly a sight to behold.
Biggest Travel Budget
Love him or hate him, Kanye West
knows how to put on a show. And Friday night was no exception, as he closed out the evening (presented in a theatrical three acts) with hits old (“All Falls Down”) and new (“All of the Lights”). Wowed by the gaggle of dancers backing him up for much of his set — on some songs, like “Runaway,” they were ballerinas in delicate tutus; other points, like the chanting crescendo of “Lost in the World,” saw tribal dancers foot-stomping and flailing about — we wondered if he’d employed a local dance troupe for the gig (much like Ghostland Observatory tapped the UT marching band to provide an extra punch to their aptly titled “The Band Marches On” during their 2009 appearance). But if you believe everything your cab driver tells you (and we do), the ladies traveled from as far away as Japan to be there. (He drove several from the airport to their hotels.) We just hope they were flying AA.