Update (9:45 p.m.): While most artists at Austin City Limits spent the weekend sharing music on stage, Austin local Jon Mckenzie spread art through a different medium — spray paint.
An employee for SprATX, a collective of over 20 local artists who make murals and designs to promote companies and small businesses, Mckenzie worked at the festival’s AT&T tent, spraying colorful designs onto boards and posters.
“We all come from various backgrounds,” Mckenzie said. “A lot of people have a graffiti background and a lot of us work with acrylic and oil paint. We also hang out, chill together, paint, draw and trade ideas.”
Mckenzie said he has been pursuing art since he first drew a portrait of Nolan Ryan as a kid. He started painting as a teenager and worked as a tattoo artist in Dallas for eight years. Although he has no formal training, he’s been able to sustain himself as a full-time artist since moving to Austin almost two years ago.
“You can’t ever stop hustling if you do art for a living,” Mckenzie said. “If you’re sitting on your ass, you can watch your commissions kind of drizzle out.”
Aside from working for SprATX, he earns money doing commissioned portraits, illustrations and murals. He advertises his work on his Instagram account, which has over 8,500 followers. He said making a living off of these works can be stressful.
“It’s been feast or famine before,” Mckenzie said. “I’ve always got to be thinking, but I’d much rather be busy than bored.”
Throughout his career, Mckenzie said he’s found the most enjoyment in creating portraits.
“I love getting to know people and getting to know their story,” Mckenzie said. “You’re limited with what you can produce on paper or on canvas, but I think with the right delivery, you can really capture somebody’s essence and what they’re about.”
Update (7:50 p.m.): When Australian musician Vance Joy came out on HomeAway stage, it was clear he wanted his performance to be simple. With an acoustic guitar strapped over his shoulder the whole time, he had audience members swaying along to love song after love song.
He started off the hour with “From Afar,” followed by tracks such as “Redeye,” “Mess is Mine” and “All I Ever Wanted.” With little more than guitar strumming in the background of the first few songs, his vocals stood out — but not necessarily in a good way. He struggled returning to lower notes after hitting higher ones, which were often shaky. When playing “Winds of Change” and “Wasted Time, ” he stumbled with the beginning lyrics.
Despite these setbacks, he didn’t have trouble winning audience members over. Vance made the performance feel intimate by sharing anecdotes about how he wrote some of the songs he sang. Before performing “Winds of Change,” he told audience members it was the first song he wrote and felt confident about playing outside his bedroom. Before “My Kind of Man,” he said he originally wrote the song by accidentally recycling Lynyrd Skynyrd lyrics. After realizing the mistake, he rewrote it into what it is now.
Near the end of the show, he performed a lively and polished cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain,” which had the crowd clapping and stomping. Vance closed the set with his most popular song, “Riptide.” As the sun set behind the stage, audience members swayed and shouted the lyrics, “I love you when you’re singing that song, and I got a lump in my throat ‘cause you’re gonna sing the words wrong.”
Update (5:15 p.m.):Even though Børns has yet to release a full album, he managed to fill his hour-length show at Honda stage with energy and variety. The indie-pop singer started off with the mesmerizingly slow opening of “Past Lives,” enticing audience members with his high-pitched voice.
With long hair and round sunglasses, Børns gave off a Michael Jackson vibe. He swayed back and forth to the psychedelic beats, closing his eyes as he sang.
Graeme Hamilton | Daily Texan Staff
Often switching back and forth between slow ballads and electronic pop songs, Børns kept audience members on their toes. After playing several of his own tracks such as “10,000 Emerald Pools,” “American Money” and “Seeing Stars,” he filled the performance with covers of “Bennie and the Jets” and David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream.”
Throughout the show, Børns interacted with the audience, pointing out signs he saw in the crowd. After seeing one sign about an attendee’s birthday, he dedicated the song “The Emotion” to the festival-goer.
Børns ended the show with a performance of his most popular track, “Electric Love.” Crowd members lifted their hands to the sky as they sang along to the chorus, “and all I need is to be struck by your electric love, baby, your electric love.” His first full-length album is set to release Oct. 16.
Update (4:05 p.m.):
Will Eldrige (left) and Charlie Greulich, Rice University students
“It’s a tradition for our dorm to wear them to one event every year, but we wear them to concerts too. We get a lot of people asking us to do the banana dance. People are just happy to see you. There was one person who told us she hates bananas. She was like 'I’m so scared of them, I’m glad you’re not real, but I hate bananas.' When we do it with our dorm there’s like ten to twenty bananas, so it’s more expected. You have to get your own and rep it. It’s one of the best investments I’ve made in college honestly." (Will Eldrige)
— Cat Cardenas
Update (3:15 p.m.):
Tim Letendre. People’s Pharmacy Manager
"We run into people who are at a very interesting point in their festival experience. We’ve had a booth for 10 years, I’ve been doing it for nine. I’m a big live music festival person so it was a way for me to get into the scene and it’s really nice to see that people can spend three dollars on an Advil and save their whole festival. By the end of the evening, people tend to find this as a nice safe haven. We supply basically everything you forgot from sunscreen to tampons to ponchos. These two weekends have been the biggest, most crowded. [The festival] basically lists me as one of their services so it’s nice to be recognized as more than just a vendor."
— Marisa Charpentier
Update (2:30 p.m.): As the stars rock out on stage, festival-goers from all walks of life cover the park. Check in periodically throughout the weekend to see who they're listening to and what their stories are with our series ACL Off-Stage.
“This is Milky Joe. Everybody brings tall sticks so you can find each other and I tend to go off by myself and everyone tends to wonder where I am, so I made Milky Joe. [He’s from] a BBC show about these guys that got stranded on an island and they made Milky Joe as one of their friends. They actually made more coconut heads as girlfriends so I got the idea from that show. [My] girls are teenagers and they like a little bit different music than I do. They’re having lunch and I’m ready to go. Joe’s keeping me company until they catch up with me. Joe doesn’t argue back, he doesn’t tell me no and everyone wants to stop and meet him. Everyone’s curious about Joe. The kids like him, some of them are afraid and he likes to photobomb.”
Update (12:30 p.m.): Day three is commencing, and we’re ready to close out the festival with all of you. Be sure to follow our team’s Twitter accounts to stay tuned into what’s going on! Find us at: @catcardenas8, @marisacharp21
Here’s our schedule for today:
- 2:30 p.m. — Børns at at Honda
- 4:30 p.m. — The Decemberists at Honda
- 5:30 p.m. — Vance Joy at HomeAway
- 6:30 p.m. — Of Monsters and Men at Samsung
- 8:30 p.m. — Florence + The Machine
Update (12:00 p.m.): Good afternoon everyone! Today’s weather is set to be bright and sunny with a high of 93 degrees until around 8 p.m. when it’ll cool down to 84 degrees. Be sure to keep hydrated and use lots of sunscreen.
Over the course of this weekend, we'll be live-blogging Austin City Limits Weekend Two. Let’s see which artists out-do their performances last weekend and which ones bring something new to the festival. Follow Daily Texan reporters, photographers and editors as we post the highlights of our work here. For minute-to-minute coverage of the best and the worst that ACL has to offer, follow us on Twitter at @thedailytexan.