Recap: Austin City Limits Festival Oct 11-13

The Shouting Matches | Photo by Jeremy Quattlebaum |
The Shouting Matches | Photo by Jeremy Quattlebaum |

All photos by Jeremy Quattlebaum |

Last week’s Austin City Limits Festival featured a variety of sounds and styles, ranging from the soulful harmonies of the Blind Boys of Alabama to the introspective and moody hits from The Cure. Held in Austin’s Zilker Park, the six-stage, two-tent festival was a non-stop show of up-and-coming acts like the electro-rock group Cherub to the soulful sounds of Luella and the Sun to the stadium filling acts like Muse and Kings of Leon.

Local Natives | Photo by Jeremy Quattlebaum |

The ever-present heat did not stop Local Natives from giving there all in a high-energy set that was a departure from their more mellow albums. A raucous set by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion was the highlight of the first night, with the front man acting as part bluesman, part revival minister, and part rock god. The Queens of the Stone Age’s set featured a bevy of fan-favorites like “Go With the Flow” and the high speed closer “Song for the Dead.” Depeche Mode wowed the audience with their mix of dominant stage presence and the over-the-top graphics that accompanied their set.

The second day’s performances were typified by the alt-rock shuffles of the Silversun Pickups and a bluesy set by The Shouting Matches, who peppered their set with blues standards that got the audience moving. Passion Pit proved to be the favorite for the dance crowd as the audience chorused their electro-pop hits when they were not in a dancing fury.

In fact the only thing that could stop the top caliber performances was a true Texas gully-washer that flooded the festival and caused the festival to cancel its final day.

Austin City Limits festival grounds and skyline | Photo by Jeremy Quattlebaum |
Austin City Limits festival grounds and skyline | Photo by Jeremy Quattlebaum |

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Spiritualized at Union Transfer, Laura Mvula at World Cafe Live, Muse at Wells Fargo Centerat


Though tonight’s early-anticipated opening of Boot and Saddle is sold out, there is other live music to be seen – including Spiritualized, who headline Union Transfer.  Formed by Spaceman 3 leader Jason Pierce, the UK psychedelic rock project released its third full-length, Sweet Heart Sweet Light, in 2012.  Pierce is the only permanent member of the band, though he fully realized the album’s intricacies with a band of six other musicians when he played a Free at Noon for XPN in May 2012 (listen back to that performance here).  Tickets and information for the all ages show with Guy Blakeslee can be found here.  Watch Spiritualized’s new video for “I Am What I Am” below.

WXPN Welcomes Laura Mvula to World Cafe Live. The exotic British soul and jazz influenced singer-songwriter was XPN’s Artist To Watch in May. Tickets and more information here.

English rockers Muse will perform at the Wells Fargo Center tonight with Cage the Elephant.  The Devon, England-born band has released six records since its beginnings in 1994, the most recent effort being 2012’s The 2nd Law.  Departing from the heavily prog-rock influenced dynamic on their earlier releases, The 2nd Law was recorded with an electronic focus – UK electronic act Nero has a production credit on the album and the composition nods to dubstep in a big way.  Tickets and information for tonight’s show can be found here.  Watch the video for “Madness” below.