Significantly more people crammed into Zilker Park on day two of the 2011 ACL festival than day one. It had been forecasted that the weather during the 10th annual festival would be in the triple digits, but Saturday began in the same overcast haze as the day before. Again, the sky broke as festivalgoers wearing Native American headdresses, Where’s Waldo shirts, and no shirts at all ran toward Young The Giant in the warm rain.
Fresh from their show-stealing performance at this year’s VMAs, Young the Giant is the complete antithesis of what you’d except from a VMA performance; their music isn’t pop, performance art, or anything you will hear remixed at a club. It’s straight California rock.
YTG kicked off their set with the walking melody of “Apartment,” the first track on their self-tiled album, following with the Vampire Weekend-meets-Sam Cooke sound of “I Got.”
“This song’s called ‘Guns Out’,” frontman Sameer Gadhia said to the soaking audience. “I want you guys to dance along with us, that’s right.” Gadhia’s voice is infallible. He radiates energy – his body must be bruised up from hitting the tambourine so hard against himself. “We’re going to keep on goin’,” he said, introducing recent single “Cough Syrup,” asking the audience if they knew the words. “If you do, sing along.” As they wrapped their set with “My Body” everyone finally seemed to realize that yes, they have heard of these guys before.
Turning the corner of the park later in the day, the crowd at Skrillex was ridiculous, practically overlapping with the crowd gearing up for Cee Lo Green’s performance on the far end of Zilker. (more…)