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ACL Fest review: Kodaline

Staff Writer
Austin 360

By Eric Pulsifer

Editor’s note: This article was originally published October 6, 2013

Irish four-piece Kodaline played their first U.S. festival set today to the largest noon crowd I’ve seen this weekend. Though the turnout could be due to the mild morning weather or the AMD Stage’s proximity to the Lady Bird Lake festival entrance, it would be wrong to not give some credit to the band’s immediately familar and likable heart-on-sleeve soft guitar rock anthems and piano power ballads.

“It’s probably not hot for yous right now, but I’m roasting up here. I’m sweating like I’m in a sauna,” singer Steve Garrigan said, drawing catcalls from the crowd and shouts of “take your shirt off.” This guy will be a fest pro in no time.

With its harmonica and mandolin intro, “Love Like This” proved to be clap-along bait — bait the early-bird audience was happy to take. Chorus, rinse, repeat, applause. The band closed with “All I Want,”one of their strongest tracks — a sappy song of longing that feels made for a rom-com trailer.

The Dublin quartet’s sentimental swelling folk-flavored rock could be compared to U2, Coldplay, Aqualung or Keane, if for nothing else but to show the mass appeal potential these four have. Their album, “In a Perfect World,” will get a stateside release later this month. Expect to see them again at future festivals — and I don’t mean next weekend. The band was in town for the first weekend of ACL Fest only.