Austin is indeed weird…at least weather wise! Day one of the second weekend of Austin City Limits (ACL) Festival was a scorching 90+ degrees without a cloud in the sky. It was pure sun with absolutely no shade. Top that with an enormous crowd of eager fans making their ways to the fronts of eight different stages and you’ve got one hot, sticky helluva good time!

Day two was a polar opposite. The temps dropped 30 degrees and it rained throughout the night leaving Zilker Park a massive, muddy mess! I personally think getting a little dirty added to the fun.

Fast forward to day three, the perfect combination of sunny skies with just the right amount of cloud coverage and a nice comfortable temperature. There was even a breeze providing the ideal festival climate! But the BEST part of day three, in my opinion, was Lorde.

I wanted to be front and center for this one. I made my way to the stage almost an hour early and it was already packed! I’m not sure why a festival the size of ACL chose to give an artist of Lorde’s caliber one of the smaller platforms. With her growing popularity, I assumed she’d be a headliner on a main stage but, alas, she was set to play at 7PM on the RetailMeNot stage  located to the right of the Samsung Galaxy stage where Pearl Jam would be playing at 8PM. I wanted to see them both so it at least made maneuvering through the masses a little easier for me.

She opened with “Glory and Gore.” The eruption from the crowd gave me chills! Lorde is one of those artists that doesn’t sound completely different live. It’s refreshing to see someone so young that hasn’t fallen victim to altering their voice. It’s hard to believe she’s only 16 with the depths of her edgy lyrics, but the Goth vibe and overuse of expletives brought me right back to my teenage years.  She came full circle, appealing to a wide spectrum. I noticed a few children as young as 10 in the crowd sitting on their parent’s shoulders singing along (cursing and all!). I even met a guy who came all the way from Liverpool! Lorde has  grown so much as a new artist and I was very impressed with her performance. The highlights for me were when she covered Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights” and of course,  my favorite of her originals “Bravado.”

– Submitted by Nina Butler, Audio Production