Day two of the Austin City Limits festival kicked off with a much larger crowd than day one. The lineup for day 2 consisted of major acts including Icona Pop, Lucius, Iggy Azalea, Lana Del Ray, The Avett Brothers, Major Lazer, Skrillex and Eminem.
Early in the day, The Hunts prepared for their hour-long set at the BMI stage, one of the smallest stages at the festival. With a tiny crowd and some viewers sitting back in their lounge chairs in the shade, The Hunts took the stage. For such an early set time, the crowd was pretty mellow. The Hunts played “Remember Us,” and “Lifting the Sea.” Their stage presence and combination of the violin, drums, guitar, and banjo really worked in their favor. The cheerful attitudes of the band members all dancing on stage made a lasting impression on those in attendance. Although the crowd was mellow, the set was definitely a gem. The Hunts hold that type of impressive talent that will lead them to a bright future. One day they’ll be at the biggest stage, rather than the smallest. They closed their set with “Make This Leap” which had some crowd members grabbing dance partners and waving their hands in the air. Overall it was a really fun and outstanding performance.
At the neighboring stage (RetailMeNot), Mac DeMarco was gearing up for his set. He drew a fair amount of people to his performance, but no one in the crowd seemed to be really showing any sign of awe. DeMarco himself was doing a pretty good job of being an entertainer. He kept the attention of people with his low key screams and dramatic facial expressions. He seemed to be having enough fun himself for the whole crowd. He played popular songs “Blue Boy” and “Cooking Up Something Good.” These songs were two that had the crowd at a little more upbeat tempo. He also played “Brother” which wasn’t phenomenal, but also not terrible. The show in general was mediocre at best.
Next up on the RetailMeNot stage was tUnE-yArDs. She opened up with “Sink-O” which had the whole crowd singing along “peace and love.” The crowd was responding in a good way to her set. Her energy wasn’t at a crazy level which was reflected by the fans. With such heavy bass, her songs “Gangsta” and “Water Fountain” really got the crowd moving. Her performance wasn’t anything special, but the music itself sounded great. There was just no “wow” factor to her set. As for the audience, she drew a strong fan base, but none of them were really bouncing around ecstatic showing love.
Over at the Honda stage, Interpol was rocking out. They opened with “My Blue Supreme” to an audience that was pretty slim given the size of the stage. As they progressed in their set and played “C’mere” and “Hands Away” the audience slowly got more into it. They put on a pretty low-energy show. And although their energy was at a minimum, they still sounded pretty polished. When they played “Anywhere” people started bumpin’ a little bit more, but still only with that mid-day energy. They closed their set with “Lights” and “Slow Hands” while the audience applauded them off the stage. There was really no lasting impression on their set, it was just a place to be during the day while people waited for more exciting showcases to start.
Next door at the Miller Lite stage, Icona Pop was owning the stage with their first song “All Night.” They merged from that song into “We Got The World” which had the whole crowd dancing. Their stage performance is highly energetic. The girls showed passion in their choreographed dance moves, and made the entire performance a dance party on and off the stage. Icona Pop sang loud and proud, showing their appreciation for the music in songs like “On a Roll” and “Girlfriend.” Icona Pop is truly a powerful duo, and their energy and catchy bass filled beats will get them far in the music scene. Songs like “Nights Like This,” “Good For You,” and “Light Me Up” are those feel good kind of songs people want to listen to. They have a contagious sound that just makes people want to dance. They closed with their hit single “I Love It” which had the whole place on its feet.
Across the festival it was Lana Del Ray’s time to shine. The crowd was massive, and that was to be expected. Lana Del Ray has a very unique voice, and a strong, dedicated fan base. There was no movement in the crowd besides maybe a few sways back and forth while she performed “Body Electric.” Lana Del Ray is a talented singer, but her performance was kind of a snore fest. She continued her set and played songs including “Blue Jeans” and “Summertime Sadness.” Towards the end of her set, she sang “National Anthem” which had the majority of the crowd singing along. However if you were too far from the stage, it was hard to hear her even singing. She’s a talented singer, but she’s just not very exciting. For such a highly anticipated show, it would be an overstatement to say she was incredible.
After Lana Del Ray, the most talked about performer of Austin City Limits 2014 was getting ready to go on, Eminem. He performed an hour and a half long set, and gave an absolutely legendary performance. The anticipation before he went on was insane. His name appeared up in lights and the crowd went nuts. He played his angst filled song “White America” which provoked a mosh pit in the middle of the audience. His song “Rap God” had the crowd in awe. Referring to himself as a “rap God” almost seems like an understatement for the type of talent that he posses. While playing “Criminal,” gunshot sound effects were fired off. To say the least a lot of fans in the crowd freaked out because they sounded real! Eminem performed “Just Don’t Give a Fuck” followed by, you guessed it, “Still Don’t Give a Fuck.” His eccentric energy, anger and passion during his set left the impression of a true musical genius. Part of the show he rapped songs he featured in including “Airplanes,” “Love The Way You Lie,” “Monster” and “Forever.” Rihanna didn’t make an appearance during the songs, but the crowd was happy regardless. The end of his set was just huge hit after huge hit. He performed “Bezerk,” “‘Till I Collapse” and “Cinderella Man.” After the stage went dark, he appeared seconds later and started the beat to “My Name Is.” At this point there was movement throughout the whole audience. Eminem flowed into “The Real Slim Shady” before ending with “Not Afraid.” He showed love for all the people who have been “fucked up” or “fucked around” in life and dedicated the song to “everybody out there.” After leaving the stage the crowd chanted “Slim.” For his encore he performed “Lose Yourself.” To be brief, the crowd definitely “lost themselves.” Eminem’s performance at the festival will probably go down in history as one of the best sets ever. He is an amazing performer, and probably gave everyone that feeling of “the best night of their life.”