Austin City Limits Music Festival
Zilker Park, Austin, TX
Weekend 1 (Oct 5-7), Weekend 2 (Oct 12-14)
We finally have a chance to check out the lineup for each day of ACL. We're gonna analyze each one and decide which day we feel is the best overall!
Friday (Day 1)
Headliners: Paul McCartney and ODESZA.
The headliners of Day 1 are pretty solid, though we believe the undercard of the headliners is vastly superior to the main card (no disrespect to Paul McCartney and ODESZA), but having both The National and Father John Misty on one ticket is just too good to miss. Not to mention that the undercard of headliners also features alt-faves Manchester Orchestra, Greta Van Fleet, David Byrne, and BØRNS. Not to mention that per the usual, ACL blends genres with the inclusion of Khalid (R&B/Alt) and Brockhampton (hip-hop).
In the next tier we have a solid group of alt artists that include Lily Allen (as a weekend 1 exclusive), Jungle, Bishop Briggs, and Sir Sly. With Lily Allen, you get a great alt-vocalist and lyricist that few can rival. Jungle have been taking the alt-scene by storm lately. Bishop Briggs has also blown-up the alt scene with her unique sound that meshes alt, folk, and electronic music. Recent breakout Alice Merton will be featured as well as Natalie Prass! Solid Australian indie four-piece Gang of Youths will also be featured (as a weekend 1 exclusive). Day 1 will also feature Lewis Capaldi and his heart wrenching vocals (that we think puts Ed Sheeran's to shame, no offense). Also, alt-music darlings lovelytheband will play Day 1 as well. Finally, we want to be sure to touch on on Ravyn Lenae, who's unique style blends alt and R&B in a way that is difficult to find elsewhere.
Saturday (Day 2)
Headliners: Metallica and Travis Scott.
The headliners of Day 2 for alternative purposes are a hot mess. We've seen Metallica live, and while they put on a good show, we just aren't angry enough at our Dad anymore to really enjoy it properly. Travis Scott is definitely blowing up on the hip-hop scene, but you'll also notice he's on the headliner undercard for Day 3 in Week 1. So for our alt purposes, we're a little disappointed to say the least with the top of the card for Day 2.
The undercard of the headliners of Day 2 far exceeds the top two artists on the lineup. CHVRCHES should have been considered for the top billing, but nevertheless we are glad they are here. St. Vincent is also a welcome addition, along with indie/dance-pop/alt group Justice, we even are cool with Deftones (though they are only a weekend 1 exclusive). However, Disturbed (weekend 2 exclusive) being listed so high on the card is a bit of surprise, as they are listed above other acts that we feel are superior and more relevant such as The Wombats, Brandi Carlile, Highly Suspect, The Breeders, Sharon Van Etten, and Japanese Breakfast. While we are not fans of many bands listed at the top of the card on Day 2, there are enough great acts in the middle of the card (that should be listed higher) that will tear the house down.
Saturday (Day 3)
Headliners: Childish Gambino and Arctic Monkeys.
The main headliners of Day 3 for ACL definitely bring the heat with Childish Gambino for the fans of hip-hop and Arctic Monkeys for the alt-fans. Both of these acts have had new releases and are currently on fire, it was a great choice to close with these two.
The undercard of the headliners for Day 3 includes hip hop offerings Travis Scott (weekend 1 exclusive) and pop offerings Shawn Mendes (weekend 2 exclusive) and Camila Cabello (weekend 1 exclusive). The alt offerings really pick up with one of our favorites, Austin's own Shakey Graves as well as Sylvan Esso. Day 3 also features some big time movers and shakers such as Houndmouth and Mt. Joy. Finally, we wanted to throw out a special mention that Day 3 will feature friends of the site Wilderado (weekend 1 exclusive).
Ranking the days of ACL is an extremely tough task, that we are regretting putting on ourselves. It is mainly the undercard (including undercard headliners) that make this such a tough task, there is so much quality there. But, we're going to be true to our word, so here we go. We would say it would have to go Day 1, Day 3, Day 2, but it was very close.
FMI on ACL visit: https://www.aclfestival.com/