The first day was extremely hot. The second day was much colder and rainy. The third day was just right. This year’s Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival was a fantastic celebration of everything that makes the city of Austin great – good food, great music, and of course, a little touch of the weird.  Why not make another list?

So here, in no particular order, are my Top 5 Favorites from the second weekend of the 2014 ACL Festival:

Pearl Jam
Probably the most rocking performance of the entire festival, they took the stage with the pedal down and never let up. It also helped that they played on the nicest night of the whole weekend.

The Replacements
No banter, no gimmicks. The Replacements just marched through a set of straight rock & roll that showed a lot of the younger generations how it is supposed to be done.

Charismatic is the best word I can think of to describe Beck’s performance.  He played electric, acoustic, fast, slow, and everything in between… and he kept the crowd in the palm of his hand for the duration.

Beats Antique
While trying to get some distance from the massive Avett Brothers and Lana Del Rey crowds, I found myself underneath a tent for a band I had never heard much of…and I’m glad I did. Combine Gypsy, burlesque, psychedelic, and hip hop and you might start to get an idea of the Beats Antique sound. Then throw in a giant, inflatable squid. Words don’t really do their performance justice. I highly recommend checking them out.

The Sign Language Women
While that might sounds like an odd band name, this isn’t a musical act. Every band that played ACL Festival this year had a person standing in front of the stage signing the words to all the songs. While you could tell that some of them knew the lyrics beforehand, it was obvious that others were “translating” in real time – listening and then using sign language to show what they just heard. The most interesting part was that they would come up with signs for the music as well. During a guitar solo, they would be playing the air guitar right along with it. Same went for drums, bass, etc. I found myself focused on these people during more than one act because, quite a few times, they had more energy and exuberance than the performers on the stage. They definitely earned their money that weekend.

So there you have it – my Top 5 Favorites from ACL Festival. What were some of yours?

–  Submitted by David Sheyda, Music Design