So many bands to see and so little time…
Weekend 1 of Austin City Limits 2015 is officially here! With 130-plus artists representing every genre of music performing throughout the festival, there are plenty of fantastic bands at every turn. Here are a few top picks to help decide which sets to catch!
Sunday, October 4, 2015
Daughter – Miller Lite – Though indie folk band Daughter can get a little too ambient for my own personal taste at times, that same moody sound will make for an easy, relaxed start to the day.
*Lord Huron – Samsung – I caught Lord Huron on tour for their second to last album and they blew me away, only to then follow it up with an even stronger album showcasing their folksy, indie rock sound and immense talent. Missed them in April, but heard it was an incredible show! Top pick of the fest for sure!
BORNS – Honda – Only because I am going to see Lord Huron at their after show on Monday will you find me at singer/songwriter BORNS, which is certainly not a bad place to be. He’s a unique talent with a genre-bending sound that drifts from folk to electronic and everywhere in between.
Years & Years – Austin Ventures – Electropop group Years & Years are a solid third option during this time slot. Filled with upbeat rhythms, it’s the type of music that is club dance floor ready.
*Sylvan Esso – Miller Lite – Hands down, one of the best shows I saw in 2014. While the duo first gained notoriety for the down tempo break up song Coffee, they really deliver with dance worthy electronic/indie pop songs that boast originality, interesting arrangements and catchy hooks.
Halsey – HomeAway – With a slew of Billboard singles rising the charts, Halsey’s radio friendly pop sound – combined with lyrics commenting on those crazy Millennial kids – will make for a buzzed about performance. She’s got lots of talent, but for something a little more original, see Sylvan Esso.
*Ben Howard – Samsung – Another excellent singer/songwriter, indie folk rocker Howard is known for his outstanding acoustic live shows and surfer vibe, but his most recent releases showcase an edgier sound with the addition of more percussions.
The Decemberists – Honda – A bit too angsty for my liking, but the rock group is known for putting on eclectic and memorable live sets with plenty of audience participation.
Chance the Rapper – Miller Lite – A rising star of hip-hop, Chance the Rapper has been known to create mayhem due to his high octane performances. Expect a fun, loud set that will likely capture lots of Sunday’s buzz.
Kurt Vile and the Violators – Austin Ventures – Former War on Drugs member Vile is classic American rock in its purest form. He’s very much at home on stage and should perform a solid set.
*Vance Joy – HomeAway – As a songwriter, Vance Joy has the ability to break your heart and fill you with hope all at the same time. As a singer, he’s easy on the ears, albeit not as memorable as some solo stars at this year’s fest, but the emotion and urgency in his voice makes him stand out. His 2014 album is a favorite of mine , and I can’t wait to see it live.
alt-J – Honda – One of the more original new bands to launch on the scene in recent years, alt-J moves between electronic, folk, and rock to create damn good music. A festival top pick for me, but since I am seeing them Saturday night, I’ll be elsewhere.
Muddy Magnolias – BMI – Though they have only been on the scene for a short time, these gals have quickly garnered plenty of buzz coming out of Nashville. The duo from Mississippi is known to bring down the house with their country sound infused with a little R&B and rock and roll.
*Of Monsters and Men – Samsung – One of my favorites that I have yet to see live, this five-piece indie folk group gained international acclaim with their breakout single Little Talks, but they are more than just a one hit wonder. Expect big instrumental numbers and upbeat, feet tapping rhythms that are hard to beat!
*Hozier – HomeAway – Though I should probably turn in my Texan card for choosing Hozier over Dwight Yoakum, his cancelation at last year’s festival still haunts me, and I won’t miss the opportunity to see him this year.
Dwight Yoakam – Austin Ventures – Fans of Texas country need no introduction to the one and only Dwight Yoakum. He’s honky tonk at its finest!
The Weeknd – Honda – Drake protégé The Weeknd has solidified his move from cult favorite hipster R&B artist to household name with his latest release The Hills, which received both critical and commercial success. While the Strokes are the official Weekend 1 headliner, Sunday night might actually belong to the Weeknd.
*The Strokes – Samsung – One of the biggest new American rock bands in the 2000s, the Strokes are credited with leading the garage rock revival movement that has influenced a number of bands that followed, including many playing this year’s fest. Should