AUSTIN, Texas — After a gloriously sunny and warm first day on Friday, the Austin City Limits Festival settled into a wet, Seattle groove Saturday with a steady drizzle much of the day.
In fact, the ACL festival (named for the long-running public-TV show) felt much like Seattle’s recent, drizzly Bumbershoot festival — at least on Saturday.
What’s different about ACL is that it’s almost ALL music, and not the broad-based cultural mix of music, art, film and comedy that Bumbershoot represents.
Staged at beautiful Zilker Park, ACL is not so much on the city limits as right in the heart of the picturesque music mecca on the Colorado River.
With eight stages (among them the Austin Kiddie Limits stage) and more than 100 acts, ACL is an intense experience for festivalgoers.
Tickets were sold out by Friday, when more than 65,000 attended the festival to see shows by Asleep at the Wheel, The Walkmen, Raphael Saadiq, John Legend, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the insanely popular Kings of Leon.
ACL attendees are also among the best-fed music-festival crowds in the country, with a local gourmet chef, Jeff Blank of Hudsons on the Bend, in charge of the food court. Among the best offerings on site were the brisket sandwiches from Stubbs famous barbecue.
Saturday’s musical lineup was typically eclectic, with sets by Airborne Toxic Event, Flogging Molly, Mos Def, John Vanderslice, Sound Tribe Sector 9, The Levon Helm Band, Devotchka, The Decemberists, Ghostland Observatory and the Dave Matthews Band, which closed the festival Saturday at the Livestrong stage.
Like Friday, dozens of shows were scheduled at local clubs late into the night for concertgoers who hadn’t had their fill of live music after more than 10 hours at Zilker Park.
Pearl Jam, which kicked off its current tour last week at Seattle’s KeyArena, tapes a segment tonight at the University of Texas for an upcoming “Austin City Limits” segment, performing songs from its new, No. 1 album, “Backspacer.”
The group also closes the ACL Festival with a huge show Sunday night at the Livestrong stage.