A weekend of mud, sweat and beer came to a close Sunday with a nearly two-hour headlining set by the Red Hot Chili Peppers at Austin City Limits 2012.
“We came here specifically to mess with Texas,” frontman Anthony Kiedis told the Austin crowd after kicking off the final set of the festival with “Monarchy of Roses.” And they did just that as the crowd danced and sang along with “Can’t Stop,” “Dani California,” “Suck My Kiss,” “Otherside,” “Under the Bridge,” “Snow (Hey Oh),” “Californication” and “By The Way.”
Crystal Castles, Childish Gambino Feed Off Chili Peppers Crowd
Electronic band Crystal Castles started their set 20 minutes late but made up for it with blinding strobe lights, a tummy rumbling bass and a bit of crowd surfing. Despite the mad beats, many audience members left early to wade through the crowd eagerly awaiting the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Bud Light stage.
Actor and rapper Childish Gambino’s (a.k.a Donald Glover, Troy Barnes on NBC’s “Community”) crowd stuck around longer partly because of his performances of “Heartbeat “and “You See Me” and partly because the Chili Peppers were headlining at the neighboring stage.
Mud, Bras and Jellyfish
On the fan front, the final day of ACL 2012 saw most people covered in mud thanks to the previous day’s rain. Despite forecasts calling for more precipitation, there was hardly a cloud in the sky. Once again, flags out-shined fashion choices, as one group carried around an umbrella jellyfish that read “R U Jelly?” while another made a flag out of six lacy bras.
Avett Brothers Perform With the Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith, Stooges Invite Fans Onstage
North Carolina folk rock band the Avett Brothers rocked the AMD stage with “January Wedding,” “February Seven” and a performance of “Paul Newman vs. The Demons” featuring Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith.
At the same time, Iggy and the Stooges owned the Bud Light stage across the park with “Raw Power” and “I Feel Alright (1970).” “I’m lonely…. Bum rush this f***ing stage,” Iggy Pop told onlookers before a group of about 20 fans stormed the stage during “Shake Appeal.”
Fans Get a Taste of Windows 8 in Techy Tent
Festival-goers beat the returning heat at the Dell Live Lounge where they recharged their phones, tested out Windows 8 on Dell laptop computers and played video games as a DJ kept the music fest atmosphere alive in the air conditioned tent. Sports fans took in Sunday football at the Rock Island Hideaway while others dressed up and took pictures inside brand new Honda Accords and Civics for a free personalized bandana and the chance to win a new car.
Two Door Cinema Club Brave the Sun
The members of Two Door Cinema Club weren’t sure if their “Irish skins [were] up to” the sweltering Austin afternoon heat but they made it through their hour-long set, which included performances of “Wake Up,” “This Is The Life,” “Do You Want It All,” “I Can Talk” and their newest single, “Handshake.”
At Farmers Market, Even the Wrappers Are Edible
Hope Farmer’s Market vendors set up shop near ACL Eats selling pies, ice cream, Indian food, salads and tamales, as well as vegan and gluten-free goodies. Of note were Coolhaus ice cream sandwiches that allowed customers to pick cookie and ice cream flavor combinations served in an edible wrapper.
Lumineers Draw Large Crowd at Small Stage
Indie bands rocked the early crowd with Freelance Whales performing “Locked Out” off their new album, “Diluvia,” as well as older singles like “Hannah” and “Generator ^ First Floor” during their 1:15 p.m. set. Later in the afternoon, Colorado bands took the stage. Husband-and-wife duo Tennis played “Marathon” and “Deep in the Woods” while the folksy Lumineers packed a smaller stage as they hyped the crowd with “Hey Ho” and “Stubborn Love.”
ACL Keeps Zilker Park Green
Environmentally conscience efforts were in full gear at his year’s fest with an area of the park dubbed ACL cares promoting green initiatives, as well as music education, food drives and voter registration. Rock and Recycle tents were set up around the park encouraging fest-goers to fill up green bags with cans, bottles and cartons of water (only boxed water was sold inside the park) for a free t-shirt.
The Austin fest lived up to the city’s reputation as “the live music capital of the world” with a weekend of performances by The Black Keys, Weezer, Florence and the Machine, Jack White, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and more. But as festival-goer Matt McGlennnon said during a rainy set by The Shins, “ACL isn’t all about the bands, it’s about the people.”
While the music fest is over for now, it all starts up again next year with double the fun as Austin City Limits extends the festivities over two weekends.