ACL 2012: Friday's 12 Best and Funniest Moments at Zilker

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

ACL Kid Oct13.jpg
Photos by Marco Torres

In the interest of being tidy and not boring you with minute details of the three-day exercise in sweaty and human endurance underway in Zilker Park this weekend, Rocks Off is giving you a break. Our team on the ground at the Austin City Limits Music Festival -- Brittanie Shey, Craig Hlavaty and Marco Torres -- will reel out the three to four coolest/oddest/best/WTF things we saw each day here at the festival. Here goes... See also: The Fans of ACL: Part One.

1. The Erection Man at Avicii As if the giant, freaky head at the AVICII show on the AMD stage wasn't enough -- with the Who samples and pogo-ing college kids -- the exposed erection from one muscled and tank-topped hero dancing with his female squeeze put it over the top. I was just walking away from the stage to get a water when said boner made its cameo appearance. The couple was getting loose and free with a group of friends and his gal pal was gently rubbing his business. No pictures, though. Just sweet, sickly memories. CRAIG HLAVATY

2. The Afghan Whigs

Whigs Oct11 1.JPG
A giant crowd met the reunited Whigs on our hot and humid Friday-afternoon stroll. Front man Greg Dulli walked up to the crowd a few times, no easy feat on the large AMD stage. The band plays Antone's Saturday night, a hard ticket to come by in Austin right now. Hopefully this reunion jaunt will make it east to Houston. Their hits set on Friday was worth braving the crowds of strollers and ironic flags. CRAIG HLAVATY

3. The Tourists We overheard an out-of-stater in the crowd marveling about the weather: "Man, it just feels SO GOOD to be HOT right now." By October, most of us Texans are ready for that first breath of fall, but this guy was wallowing in the nearly 90 degrees. We didn't catch where he was from, but it sounds like a cold and dreary place. "You know what the weather's like at home right now? Fifty degrees and foggy!" BRITTANIE SHEY

4. The Sound...

M83 Oct 13 1.JPG
Was sorta off on Friday. I don't know if it was just me being picky after a summer and fall full of indoor shows, but even M83's evening set seemed quiet, and I know they can be loud. All was well on the AVICII and Black Keys stages, though, with the wub-wubs and the blues-rock coming through just fine. Also, it could have been the thousands of conversations and excuse me's drowning out the tunes. CRAIG HLAVATY

5. PDAs There was certainly something more than ragweed in the air though, causing big swings of public displays of emotion and affection throughout the park. More than once, I saw couples lip-locked and creating their own heat on the soft Zilker grass. I overheard one lady say "I think they were ACTUALLY having sex!" On the other side of the romantic spectrum, there were several couples' quarrels, too. Finger-pointing, crying, yelling, and apologizing was seen many times. Jeez people, it's a music festival! Go be miserable somewhere else, in private! Oh well, there's always the makeup sex! MARCO TORRES

6. Rachel Kolar's Outfit

Rachel Kolar of He's My Brother She's My Sister
Unlike some of the bigger West Coast festivals (lookin' at you, Coachella) fashion at ACL is typically laid-back. God help you if you forgot your cowgirl boots. But the sister half of He's My Brother She's My Sister was wearing the best thing we saw Friday: a leopard-print full bodysuit, complete with long sleeves, accessorized with a long red necklace and her curtain of hair. She looked great, but girl, we know you were sweating your ass off in that. BRITTANIE SHEY

7. The Black Lips' Annual ACL Appearance Every year the Atlanta monsters descend on Austin for at least three of the biggest festivals and never fail to whip ass. In a day of flowing capes, EDM and blooze, the garage-rockers fucked up some worlds. Catching the group while drinking a Lemon Shandy (pinkie out) was the best thing. CRAIG HLAVATY

8. Florence and the Machine

Flo Oct 13 1.JPG
Even though she's been to Houston twice in the past year or so, I hadn't been able to catch her until Friday night. Florence Welch, I want some of whatever you drink before you hit the stage. You'd think that her balls-to-the-wall singing style would require physical composure on stage, but Welch is not content to sit still at all. Even halfway trough her set, she was still running from one side of the Bud Light stage to another, then jumping down into the crowd and encouraging members of the audience to find someone smaller than then to lift up on their shoulders. The energy was good. BRITTANIE SHEY

9. The Crowds Not sure if it was the just okay, not great line-up or most people didn't get the day off from work, but ACL was pretty light crowd-wise on Friday. With the exception of the Barton Springs Stage, which always showcases soon-to-be headlining bands with major buzz that cause almost unnavigable walls of people in the area, I was able to jump from photo pit to photo pit fairly easily. MARCO TORRES

10. The Simple Things Catching Asleep at the Wheel early in the day, before the sweat and fatigue set in and before the hordes of people either got off work or snuck out early for Friday evening's shows. Ray Benson and friends wheeled out a few Bob Wills songs that even had some couples Texas Swingin' on the green. BRITTANIE SHEY

11. Paparazzi Status

Fassbender Oct 13.jpg
Michael "Magneto" Fassbender
There were rumors that Ryan "Hey Girl" Gosling was at the festival, and I was able to snap a few photos of him with Michael Fassbender and Terrence Malick filming another visually beautiful yet confusing movie. Last year I caught Christian "The Dark Night" Bale doing the same. I will be anxious to see the film once it is released because I'm pretty sure you are gonna see this chubby Mexican guy literally photo-bombing in the background. MARCO TORRES

12. Oh Yes, the Music I have a confession to make. I don't like going to ACL because my favorite band is playing, nor am I a fan of the indie hipster music that predominates the lineup. But I do go in with an open mind and if that indie hipster onstage is actually talented and puts on a great show, then I come away with a list of new band that I need to look for on Spotify or buy their albums at Cactus Music.

I really liked He's My Brother, She's My Sister, who provided good energy with their hippie rock. The lead singer made a sexy fashion statement with her leopard print body suit. RAWR! Esperanza Spalding was a disappointment. Her band was great, especially the saxophone player, but I wasn't feeling the cellist to much. The Afghan Whigs rocked out with a fierce fury, much to the delight of a few youngsters in the front row.

I wanted to see more A-Trak's set, but I was distracted by the Hollywood movie being filmed next to the stage. Florence and her machine were everything I expected, beautiful, energetic, elegant. M83 were aurally and visually stimulating, as was Avicii. MARCO TORRES

Follow Rocks Off on Facebook and on Twitter at @HPRocksOff.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.