Austin City Limits never lets you down. The final day feature the super charismatic young Chance The Rapper. The Icelandic marvels Of Monsters And Men doing their best not to cook in the sun and heat. Hozier and Ben Howard delivered on their across the Atlantic charm. The event capped with the shambolic brilliance of Julian Casablancas and The Strokes.
Enjoy the commentary from our man on the ground, Henry LInser.
Chance The Rapper
The phrase 'working the crowd' doesn't begin to describe Chance, who somehow acts as his own hype man. He never once stopped running around, leaping, even throwing water on people (a welcome favor in the Austin sun) all while never missing a beat in his lightning fast rhymes. Sometimes funny, sometimes deep, and always willing to help out an overheated fan by dousing them with H20. What more do you want?
Our "Ben Howard" Session
Hozier put on a simply hypnotic performance that was the Sunday stand-out. Another case where rest of the park seemed empty as they pulled even non-fans to the HomeAway stage like a magnet with their impressive light show, then held them transfixed with incredible energy and musicality. So good it was like mind control, I just couldn't leave. Then the lights went out and the spell was broken, and more than one person was left shaking their head thinking 'Wait, where am I? Where was I going?' Stellar!
Of Monsters And Men
These Icelandic geniuses have such a big touring ensemble and they use it to their advantage, combining a wide variety of sounds into a huge wave that pulls you in. An incredibly rich and immersive live act that takes their studio tracks to new heights. If you like 'em, see them live because it's at another level.
Our "Of Monsters And Men" Session
As I was leaving the Hozier set I wondered if The Strokes could even hope to top it. When Julian first stumbled out onstage, he leaned on the mic stand seemingly unable to stand under his own power. I was worried, which only intensified when he started by slurring "City Limits...I love you City Limits!! Maybe cuz I dranken too much!" I thought he would fall off the stage. But while Casablancas first seemed a little too loose, their set was incredibly tight. They blitzed through the hits from 'Is This It' before playing deep cuts and B-sides from all stages of the band's nearly 20 year career, proving why these guys are headliners. It was such a lively and comprehensive set that no fan walked away unsatisfied. What can I say? To bastardize Hunter Thompson, I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for The Strokes--and by the end I was the one falling over.