Words by Audra Tracy | Photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin

Summer festival season may be over in the Northeast, but in Austin, the party never, ever, ever stops. Yes, there’s always something hip happening in the live music capital of the world, and October 4th-6th saw the first week of this year’s Austin City Limits Festival take over Zilker Park.

The marquee at the gates of the event read “3 days, 8 stages, 130 bands”, presenting a hefty challenge for live music fans to take in as much entertainment as their little legs could endure. Featuring performances by top acts like Depeche Mode, The Cure, and Atoms for Peace, as well as a roster of up-and-comers like The Black Angels, Vintage Trouble, and Reignwolf, attendees did their best to tackle the Texas-sized itinerary.

So with BBQ in our bellies and our heads full of fuzzy memories, we lovingly recount the ultimate festival highlights of Week 1 in Austin, TX. From costumes to cover songs and everything in between, Waster Inc. presents, ‘The ACL Awards’…

The ACL Awards

Hometown Heroes – The Black Angels
You thought you could wade into Week 1, but then these Austin natives took the stage on Friday evening. And then the ghosts of Syd Barrett and Velvet Underground showed up to hail the hometown heroes. (At least that’s what it sounded like.)

Best Cover Song – Arctic Monkeys – ‘War Pigs’
In the middle of their killer new song ‘Arabella’, the UK garage rockers paid tribute to their forefathers with a rippin’ and roarin’ teaser of the classic Black Sabbath anthem.

Most Elusive Fan Costume – Waldos Gone Wild
Thanks to the fun-chasers at Half Past Now, a wild group of Austinites took over Zilker Park decked-out in full Where’s Waldo garb.

Most Overtly Decadent Song – Queens of the Stone Age – ‘Feel Good Hit of The Summer’
QOTSA band-leader Josh Homme encouraged fans to have ‘a night you’ll never remember’ with this ode to excess, chanting ‘Nicotine, Valium, Vicodin, Marijuana, Ecstasy and Alcohol’.

Sexiest Set – Depeche Mode
Leather, tattoos, and silver pants have always made for a steamy combination, and the UK electro-rockers employed all three during their provocative performance on Friday night.

The Superbowl Award – Muse
Muse closed out Day 1 of Week 1 with a bang by rocking the Samsung Galaxy stage so damn hard that they literally knocked the power out.

Your Next Guitar God – Reignwolf
Dude totally shred his way to indisputable guitar glory during an explosive performance that found his Marshall stacks shakin’ early Saturday afternoon.

Your Next Girl Crush – HAIM
These three sisters (and a mister) had hearts racing as they won over the AMD stage with songs off their brand new LP, Days Are Gone.

Most Swagger – Vintage Trouble
“Have you had enough drinks in your body to get filthy on that field?”, a sharp-suited Ty Taylor asked fans at the Austin Ventures stage between soul-soaked songs like ‘Pelvis Pusher’.

Most Guyliner – The Cure
The band known for trailblazing the guyliner trend in the 80’s brought out everyone’s inner goth with a deliciously dark headlining set on Saturday night.

Best Stage Prop – Tame Impala’s Tiger
These psychedelic rockers introduced a new band member: a stuffed animal they coined ‘Gavin the Epileptic Tiger’, who swayed and head-banged through Tame Impala’s Sunday set.

Best Pre-Birthday Bash – Atoms for Peace
Mere hours before his birthday, Thom Yorke pre-gamed his 45th year of awesomeness with a super-heavy headlining set to close out Week 1.

Week 2 kicks off October 11th, and you can still get tickets here!



TheWaster.com | Austin