By Natalie Berry
Let’s be real: ACL weekend is exhausting and expensive to do yearly. When you’re five feet tall and can’t even physically see most of the performances, it’s especially not worth it; after two consecutive years of engaging in the Austin City Limits festival grind, I decided that enough was enough. For those of us who love the music but hate everything else, ACL fortunately organizes these neat little shows every night of the two weeks of the festival, aptly named ACL Late Night Shows. Tickets range from $20 to $50 to see one performer’s full set, a significant discount from ACL Festival tickets. I purchased tickets to Portugal. The Man and Vulfpeck, only to realize that I would miss the excitement of picking out ACL outfits. So, I channeled that energy into my Late Night looks and had a little bit of fun with friends having photo-shoots before the concerts. As it turns out, ACL Late Night fashion can be just as fun as festival fashion.
Portugal. The Man
This past Saturday night, Portugal. The Man played inside Stubb’s amphitheater for their ACL Late Night. Inspired by the rougher, southwestern nature of Stubb’s, I put a reptilian twist on a typical concert outfit. After all, how often can you wear a belt with a giant silver lizard as the buckle? A girl’s got to take the chances she can get. Most people wear darker colors to concerts, and since this didn’t feel like the right venue or artist to stray from that, I decided to play with textures instead. The snakeskin texture in my top and belt, in addition to the pop of color on my lips, was enough to make the outfit stand out without being untrue to the occasion.
I also jumped on the slip-dress-over-sweater trend that I’ve seen around the internet. This simple black dress is something everyone has in their closets, but I don’t see many people layering it in this way. I’ll admit that my top isn’t exactly a sweater, but its velvet feel made it heavier and more sweater-esque. To finish off, I chose black heeled booties that were sturdy enough to stand in for hours yet complemented the look, and I chose to forego a bag for the sake of convenience.
Outfit details: Top (Vintage), Dress (Thrifted), Belt (Vintage, Buffalo Exchange), Booties (Dolce Vita), Lipcolor (Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Aria)
I went into this situation not being super familiar with Portugal. The Man, and I feel like this show changed my perception of the band. They began the set with a long Metallica medley that shook Stubb’s wooden walls, and the energy didn’t wane for the rest of the concert. It was truly one of the most tireless concerts I’ve attended and that energy was reciprocated by the crowd. Because of that, it created the ideal concert audience environment – save for the drunk girl in front of me who stepped on my foot at least 10 times.
That being said, the concert was almost too loud, so loud that you couldn’t hear or appreciate the lead vocalist, whose pipes are seriously unique. Combine that with the fact that their most popularized hit “Feel It Still” was played three times, and I left a little disappointed. The concert was good but not great. At least my outfit was a hit.
To contextualize this outfit, I have to say that Vulfpeck is one of the most funky modern bands that I’ve listened to. It’s absolutely impossible to hear their music and not want to dance, sing and maybe even scream – to truly understand, I insist you go and listen. I channeled these funky vibes with a rich, jewel-toned, 70s-inspired outfit.
I’ll admit, I’ve worn this outfit out to dinner once before, but that occasion didn’t feel right. If I was to define Vulfpeck with one outfit, this would be it: retro, daring, vibrant, fun and straight-up pleasing to all of the senses. So, naturally, I had to be an outfit repeater.
Since the colors and pattern of the jumpsuit were so bold, I chose to keep the jewelry more minimal, opting for thin hoops and a gold pseudo-choker. My black and gold woven clutch was just the right amount of pop, practicality and sophistication. The cherry-on-top of this outfit has to be the green velvet heeled sandals, which unexpectedly peeped out of the slits of the jumpsuit and served my short self well when it came concert time. Any boost of height is welcome in a crowd.
Outfit details: Jumpsuit (Monteau), Shoes (River Island), Hoops (HLCollection, via Etsy), Choker (Vanessa Mooney), Clutch (Vintage, via Top Drawer Thrift)
This was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to, and I say that even though I had an exam the next morning and a seven foot man decided to stand right in front of me: nothing could dim Vulfpeck’s glow. They played at Emo’s on Monday and covered Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind & Fire – two of my favorites – and led the crowd through silly, guided meditations. It was all over the place, and yet it felt so true to Vulfpeck.
The crowd at Vulfpeck was obviously full of music enthusiasts, which made the interactive parts of the show even better. We ooo’d and ah’d over the incredible vocals of Theo Katzman – Animal Spirits seriously impressed – and Antwuan Stanley, whose voice is actually more rich in person. Most stunning was the fact that almost all of the band members rotated between keyboard, drums and guitar, depending on the song. Each of the members could hold his own.
I also have to give a special mention to the opener, Joey Dosik, a young jazz musician and singer from Los Angeles. His voice, smooth and strong, entertained the early crowd more than any opener I’ve seen. Vulfpeck also incorporated Dosik’s skills into their show, allowing him to play keyboard, saxophone and sing for several songs.
I walked away from that concert almost forgetting about my exam the next morning.
Natalie Berry is a third year Advertising major from Cypress, Texas. This is her second semester with Spark, but her first semester being a dedicated blog writer.