Float Fest 2017 is in the bag! Hands down, this festival deserves to be on your list amongst the top Texas festivals. Not to mention the $99 ticket price, it perfectly incorporates and embodies the Lone Star State to a T. With a line-up that impeccably fit the festival goer's moods, day two solidified it's prowess by filling the day with laid-back vibes that crescendoed in excellent fashion.
Sunday opened with local Austin band Los Coast, who can best be described as a beautiful blend of Wilson Pickett and Jerry Garcia. Their psych rock fell perfectly on the ears, and lead singer Trey Privott's soulful voice served to absolve the crowd of whatever sins they committed on Saturday night. Though the set was short, it was very sweet, and the congregation left feeling as if they didn't even skip out on Sunday church.
Many chose this day to float the river, and with some well deserved cloud cover cutting the temperature, Wild Child's adorable duo charm was the perfect medicine for the many festival goers who had lain on the grass. With slow and sweet melodies and charming interplay between the lead singers Kelsey Wilson and Alexander Beggins, those couples who did dance could do so at a leisurely pace.
After grabbing some grub from the food trucks, the crowd headed over to the other stage to catch Moon Taxi, a Tennessee based indie rock band. Continuing the trend of easy listening, they played a style of music that can lovingly be described as the ideal sea-side redneck soundtrack. Calling it like it is, when lead Trevor Terndrup would croon his rugged pipes it felt like Jesus from Nashville was leading his flock, albeit this time around his parish was a legion of screaming girls.
Up next was MGMT's warm brand of psych rock coaxing our re-entry into the atmosphere. The crowd knew the words to every classic and it was certainly the setting of some of the most touching moments of the day. Lovingly addressing the mic, front man Andrew VanWyngarden brought a heady sense of calm over the crowd, who were invited to get lost in the stellar visuals accompanying the performance. Hearing "The Youth" was especially poignant being that the attendees were composed mostly of those in question. Maybe not so poignant as when "Kids" came on as dusk approached, a perfect taunt to the tuckered out tubers.
With the sun down and the end of the festival drawing near, Cage the Elephant quickly did away with any fatigue with their top-notch energy and talent. Seeing them in person really and truly feels like watching a nu-age Rolling Stones, complete with a front-man who gyrates around the stage. Vocalist Matt Shultz has inspiringly high energy and he made no efforts to contain it, choosing to spend more time in front of the stage rather than on it. It's hard as hell not to dance recklessly when that type of spectacle is going on, but this was a welcome development as the mid-90's night-time Texas "chill" set in. Most impressive, maybe, was the fact that the solos at the end of the set were almost as well received as their famous wayward track, "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked."
After the raucous rock and roll came Weezer, the final performance of the festival. Not often seen in Austin, they closed out the weekend with an extended 90 minute set filled with all of the favorites we know and love. It was certainly the most packed performance of the evening and they sent the sunburnt masses off with hearts filled with joy.
Between the curation, the amenities, and the nature on offer, Float Fest is absolutely worth the price of admission. Few festivals capture the essence of an area so well, and honestly, the summer heat might made it even more fun. What better way to coax your attendees to enjoy the river culture than to bombard them with the intense summer Texas sun? That's not to say they left us out to dry, they even had the forethought to provide air conditioned bar tents to shelter the thirsty from the heat. We're sunburnt and exhausted from a long weekend out at the river ranch, but we're already telling our friends to make the trip out for next year!