Austin City Limits began as one of the most important television programs spotlighting the greatest music the world had to offer. So the fact it shares its name with one of the biggest music festivals on the planet tells you all you need to know about the magnitude and excellence of Texas’s biggest music festival.
ACL turns 15 this year with one of its biggest and most eclectic lineups ever. Having grown so big over a decade and a half the Texas festival now takes place over two weekends. The lineup is relatively the same with only a few lower billed bands playing different weekends.
The headliners show the variety of music ACL offers. With Radiohead, Kendrick Lamar, Mumford and Sons and LCD Soundsystem, there is truly something for everyone. It is arguably one of the greatest rock bands, hip hop artists, bluegrass bands and electronic music bands of all time all on one bill.
It may just prove to be the biggest and best Austin City Limits Festival ever.
Here is a list of some of the sets we are most looking forward to.
Kendrick Lamar is perhaps the best thing going on in hip-hop right now. With the release of Good Kid/M.A.A.D City back in 2012, Kendrick exploded onto the scene and made quite the name for himself in the hip-hop community. But it was the release of To Pimp a Butterfly that cemented Lamar as a superstar rapper. Lamar, with his undeniable talent and incredible live show shows he deserves to be on the same level as Jay-Z, Kanye West and Nas and every other hip-hop headliner.
Lamar will surely light up the stage Saturday night.
Radiohead has been just about everywhere this Summer headlining festivals all over the world. They will close out their latest world tour with their headlining set on Friday night. Radiohead has been providing some incredible moments this year which even included bringing “Creep” out of retirement and shocking several crowds.
On weekend two their headlining set will be their last show for an indefinite amount of time. It makes one wonder what Radiohead will do to close out their tour. Maybe another rendition of “Creep”? Maybe another surprise? Who knows, but it definitely makes their show even more worth anticipating.
Australia’s own mega producer has owned 2016. Playing massive festivals and attracting even bigger crowds Flume is breaking through U.S. radio airwaves and gaining massive notoriety. Flume will take the stage Friday night just before Radiohead and there is very little doubt he is going to get everyone in Austin Texas on their feet and jumping up and down.
Australia’s thriving music scene is going to have a big splash in Austin on Friday night as this outstanding electronic duo makes its ACL debut. “Crave You” and “Clair De Lune” are going to provide the perfect soundtrack to an afternoon in Austin’s greatest park. Just hours before Flume takes the same stage, Flight Facilities will be the perfect warmup.
My favorite act of 2016 will be playing another festival and is my early favorite to provide the best show of the weekend. Slowly but surely Garratt is winning over everyone that comes to his his incredible live show. Garratt is a superstar and a musical genius. His one-man-band show is as entertaining as anything going today. There is nothing like it and Garratt is truly something not to be missed.
Cage The Elephant
Cage The Elephant’s live shows are a flashback to 90’s grunge. A band that has been on the radar for the past decade has grown into one of the best alternative rock bands of today. But it is their live show that truly makes them worth every bit of acclaim. Lead singer Matthew Schultz is a force to be reckoned with on stage and brings to mind Eddie Vedder and Kurt Cobain in his ability to command an audience and never shy away from jumping on to them. Cage will surely rock their Saturday evening pre-headliner slot.
Mumford and Sons
Mumford and Sons will get the distinct honor of closing out the festival Sunday night and there is zero doubt they will go out with a bang. Their evolution from their first two albums to Wilder Mind comes to life and blows the doors off their past tours. They have found a wonderful balance of mixing their bluegrass folk roots with their recent urge to slay on their electric guitars and let Marcus go crazy on the drums.
Where they have developed the most is their undeniable presence on stage. This is a true rock band. Their ability to connect with their crowds, their music and the moment make their shows roller coaster rides of banjo solos, foot stomping beats and screaming “Ahhh” into the night.
Mumford and Sons are a guarantee to close out the 15th Austin City Limits Festival perfectly.
Make sure to check back Oct 7th-9th, as I will provide daily recaps of the best moments, highlights and bands of Austin City Limits.