It’s a set-your-watch tradition at this point, but no less inspiring for its regularity: When the few dozen grade-school voices of the Barton Hills Choir rise out of the ACL Fest’s tent stage on Friday morning, it’s a glorious way to start out a weekend filled with music in Zilker Park.
That’s partly because ringleader Gavin Tabone smartly chooses the material to fit the occasion. While he wasn’t able to duplicate last year’s feat of having a member of Belle & Sebastian join the choir for a few classic B&S songs, the kids still sounded great on a midset suite of several songs by Friday night headliner the Foo Fighters.
Getting Dave Grohl to show up in his cast before noon was probably too much to hope for. But the kids were alright without him — quite good, actually, running through Foo fare such as "Time Like These" and the pure pop nugget "Big Me" as if they’d been written for young voices to sing.
They wrapped things up with Simple Minds’ ’80s nugget "(Don’t You) Forget About Me," highlighted by one promising young choir member’s solo on the opening verse. And if they technically weren’t quite the kickoff of the event — across the field on the Austin Ventures stage, local band Calliope Musicals got out the first few notes of the weekend just a minute before BHC began — they were still the best way to start the day.