The Guide to Winning ACL
by Andi Haughton
Local Austinite Starlight Jones aka Tameca Jones is a stellar singing sensation with great energy and a kick ass band. This slot will set your day off on the right foot…the dancing one.
Meg Myers is a singer-songwriter (or better put – the young melter of faces) that is hard to put into a genre. Her dark lyrics, soaring vocals, grunge-femme-rock passion somehow transform her pop-esque songs into her own strain of bad ass bitch on the block. She puts on an incredible show.
Whist park trudging, grab a refreshing juice from Juiceland (spiking optional).
London’s The Maccabees put out solid rock jams the first weekend. I like their recorded music well enough, but their live show managed to transcend indie rock to straight up rock and roll. They play against Son Little, who could not be more different and certainly no less talented. The singer of nu-soul with synth-y blues is a great show for a slower pace.
From rock to rock, I go. The UK’s Royal Blood put on a great show last week. Upbeat and suprisingy exciting, the two-man show far exceeds the sum of its parts. Complete with droning harmonics, Royal Blood delivers an exceptional rock set featuring songs from their self-titled album. Catch these guys while they are small-ish, the band only started recording demos three years ago and their show is light years ahead of other acts with more wear on their tires.
The 3 p.m. block is the least exciting of the day (i.e. a good time to get food, hit up bathrooms and bar and Camelbak stations). Having seen Cherub something like 10 times, I will be skipping them in lieu of catching Wolf Alice – a well regarded grunge-rock rock band out of London. Or, if you dig The Strokes, catch front man Albert Hammond Jr.
If you are taking a feeding break about now (and you should because it is basically your last chance, hit up East Side King for a brussel sprout salad and chicken karage. Or grab an infamous Mighty Cone (chicken and avocado is the way to go).
Leon Bridges is up next. He delivers a soul-touching performance so far advanced beyond his 25 years that you have to pinch yourself. His vocals shine in an upbeat and uplifting nearly entrancing soulful musical melody. I honestly danced so much, I barely saw him during last Friday’s show, but he nearly brought down Moody theatre on Thursday night and I’m excited to [try and] watch this time around.
Before Leon wraps up his set, you’ll notice (well, depending on how many beverages you’ve consumed) nearly 75,000 festers descending upon the Miller Lite stage for Run The Jewels. I’ve seen these guys eight times and every show is absolutely explosive. Killer Mike flashes a smile you can see clear across the park – the rapping duo gets its energy from the crowd and the crowd, in return, goes bonkers. It’s a do not miss show/experience (unless you hate crowds, then check out Moon Taxi who has the unfortunate circumstance of being set against RTJ and who also delivers an amazing, dance-worthy performance).
Brandon Flowers is [unfortunately] not back this weekend (le sigh…he was one of my favorites of last weekend). On the bright side (couldn’t help it), Aussie rockers Tame Impala are the must see this weekend. Expect long buildups with psychedelic bursts with a sprinkling of synthy-soul from the new album Currents.
One of the perks of being from Austin is having grown up watching Gary Clark Jr. destroy guitar – in the best way possible. This hometown hero is a must no matter the number of shows you’ve been lucky enough to see. He will melt your face, bend your brain and leave you wondering if you just entered Narnia…or Heaven.
Here is the real travesty of the night. Disclosure versus Foo Fighters. Foo Fighters deliver a good, straight up rock show. No frills, just bad assery musicing for two hours (despite front man Dave Grohl’s broken foot). Disclosure – an electronic duo – is upbeat, appealing to the EDMers more than the rock crowd. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with either show. Having seen both numerous times, I will be seeing Disclosure (saw Foo last weekend) before heading to Band of Horses late night at Stubb’s – a walk completed by the sounds of Foo rocking away in tune with my footsteps on the trail.
That’s a wrap on day one (except I’m totally making a pot pie with beef stew when I get home).
Rise. Rinse. Replenish. Repeat…