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Calvin Harris packs lasers, hits into top shelf ACL dance party

Ramon Ramirez

Scottish DJ Calvin Harris became at least the weekend’s third ACL artist to treat crowds to Disclosure’s “Latch” Sunday night at the Honda Stage. Sam Smith handles vocals on that one and performed the smash during his densely populated set; Zedd’s DJ playlist used it to dramatic effect (in that it got the people going); and early into Harris’ performance the track helped curious dads and learned first-graders close the weekend with a toxin-releasing dance cleanse.

“I wanna see you jump this time,” Harris barked in hoarse, guttural fashion. That was basically all he said.

He spun other top 40 atoms that had been performed over the weekend during his blowout closing ceremony: Icona Pop’s genius “I Don’t Care,” Capital Cities’s “Safe and Sound.” Texas got a dap with Riff Raff’s “Tip Toe Wing in My Jawwdinz.”

It was sugar sweet vibes all around. A crowd surfer that landed over the barrier got a fist bump from security as he was escorted out of the pit, hobbling from an apparent blow to the lower back. He required no medical attention.

Breakout dancers included the charisma-oozing trio of interpretative translators for the hearing impaired that soaked in the constant spotlight with frenzied moves. I spotted several delirious Dallas Cowboys fans relishing Sunday’s victory over the Houston Texans. One Tony Romo did the worm on the Zilker sod by himself. One dude erected a Dez Bryant jersey on a stick. No less than 10 strangers offered up high fives (oh right, because I had on ‘Boys gear).

The Sea World after dark light show was unspectacular and droning. Was Harris musical? He reportedly tours with just a flash drive of requisite jams at the ready. But that doesn’t matter. The frequent shots of kids losing their minds with the enthusiasm of a maiden voyage concert left me staunchly pro Harris.

At the 30-minute mark he began to drop some of the mellow hits that have made Harris on of the business’ highest paid producers. “Sweet Nothing,” which features Florence Welch, is his most realized, swelling song and here he let it breathe–cutting the audio to let the audience carry the performance. Rihanna duet “Love In A Hopeless Place” enjoyed the same dramatic live fate. This summer’s failed, forced bid at song of the summer, “Summer,” played innocuous closer and many used it as a chance to dart off, head home when it began. It’s a school night, and besides we’re doing it again next week.