Austin City Limits Music Festival quickly went from how it should have been – perfect weather, a blissful green stomping ground for some of the biggest fans of some of the best bands around today. Day two marked the uncomfortable transformation to the worst swamp any of us had ever seen. When we think of ACL this year, we think of trench foot, waterboarding, gangrene and the muddy slip and slide that became Zilker Park’s brand new grassy acres. We think of drummers shrouded in plastic tarps, and expensive camera gear getting duped. Day three, the rain subsided and the blue skies broke free, only the mud and resulting humidity were left to provide any discomfort. People left, sure, but the amount of fans that stuck through the muck was unbelievable. Highlights: Them Crooked Vultures, the Dead Weather, Pearl Jam, Heartless Bastards, Dr. Dog, Blitzen Trapper, Grizzly Bear, Phoenix, Bon Iver, Levon Helms Band. Not: John Legend, the B-52s, the Dave Matthews Band, Girl Talk. The ratio of great bands to only mediocre or terrible did, however, make all the pruny fingers and hours of God’s waterboarding torture worth it.