ACL Friday Top Picks

As usual, the most difficult part of Austin City Limits is deciding between all the amazing musical options every hour of the day. To help make your decisions a bit easier, Ginny’s Austin will be breaking down the top picks and recommendations for each day. Here are Friday’s picks! Who are you looking forward to seeing?

Austin City Limits for Friday, October 12
11:45 AM He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister – Barton Springs Stage: Mentioned here, this tap dancing, kick drum playing band’s soulful beats and injections of western swing regularly inspire crowds to break out in dance. Perfect way to start the festival off on a high note!

Austin EATS Break!

2:30 PM Tough head to head right off the bat with LP versus the War on Drugs.Since I caught the fantastic War on Drugs during SXSW, L.P. wins this match up.
L.P. – Austin Ventures Stage: After penning hits for many a chart topping pop star, L.P.’s debut album has finally launched her Into the WildHer powerful songwriting ability combined with her captivating vocals will be a set to remember.
War on Drugs – Bud Light Stage: Fans of Americana songwriting greats like Bob Dylan and Tom Petty will fall head over heels for indie rockers the War on Drugs. Should be a great set!
3:15 PM Ben Howard – Honda: British singer/songwriter’s cross genre sound and exceptional songwriting ability is a breath of fresh air and his originality should make for a great live set.

4:15 PM The Afghan Whigs – AMD: How can the reunited Afghan Whigs not make a ACL Top Pick list?

4:30 PM Tough Pick of the Day, Part II: The Family Feud Edition: After having to leave the Afghan Whigs a bit early, one now is faced with choosing between Canadian sister duo Tegan and Sara and brother/sister soulful rocksteady duo Wild Belle (mentioned here).

Tegan and Sara – Bud Light

Wild Belle – BMI Stage

While newbies Wild Belle have an addictively fresh sound, it is hard to pass up catching the cult favorite indie pop sisters Tegan and Sara. I’m taking a gamble and believing Wild Belle will be returning to Austin before Tegan and Sara, so the latter wins this battle. However, it should be noted: Tegan and Sara are playing at the Bud Light Stage, which is quite a trek from the Afghan Whigs at AMD…

5:00 PM Trampled in Turtles – Austin Ventures: Another SXSW favorite making their ACL debut!

5:30 PM Alabama Shakes – Barton Springs: 2012 has been very kind to the Alabama Shakes. Lead vocalist Brittnay Howard is electric on stage with a voice that consistently is compared to musical legends a la Janis and Aretha. Plus, the Alabama Shakes are playing the Barton Springs Stage, which is just a hop, skip and a jump away from Trampled by Turtles at the Austin Ventures before and Florence + Machine at Bud Light after.

However, if an Alabama Shakes/Florence + Machine combo doesn’t strike your fancy, check out Trampled by Turtles and grab a bite from Austin EATS before heading to Weezer. 6:15 PM – 6:30 PM

In what is probably the toughest decision of the day, Weezer takes the stage at 6:15 while Florence + the Machine goes on across the park 15 mins later.

6:15 PM Weezer – AMD: Alt rockers Weezer were frequent contributors to the soundtrack of my youth, and I would love to see them again live.

6:30 PM Florence + Machine – Bud Light Stage: Florence Welch’s soulful and transcendent vocals will certainly make for a showstopping performance, making this choice a coin toss!

6:15 PM The Black Lips – Austin Ventures Stage: Looking for more rock, less indie or pop? Check out the always magnetic and provocative Black Lips who return to the States fresh off a tour through the Middle East.

7:15 PM Thievery Corporation – Honda Stage: One of my favorite duos to see at ACL, and now returning in support of their recently released album Culture of Fear. It should be interesting to see how much the rise of in popularity of dubstep will play into their set.

7:30 PM – Another tough choice between M83 and M. Ward. My choice: M83

7:30 PM M. Ward – Austin Ventures: Folk singer/songwriter M. Ward, well known for his big name collaborations, is now on tour for his most recent solo album. M. Ward’s ability to write beautiful and catchy songs and perform them just as well will make this an excellent set.

7:30 PM M83 – Barton Springs – M83’s electronic, robotic sound combined with quiet, soothing vocals is dually new-age and rooted in the 80s will make a great live show. M83’s 2011 album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming was one of my favorites of last year. Conveniently, M83 is performing at the neighboring stage to headlining act The Black Keys.

8:30 PM The Black Keys – Bud Light Stage: Easy choice here! The Black Keys make a triumphant return to ACL as the Friday night headlining band.

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