This year’s ACL lineup is so great that looking at it takes my breath away, but the terrible reality is that no matter how fast I run, no matter how well I plan, I cannot see every act I want. This is where you have to sit down and spend a day deeply contemplating the bands that you must see, any leftover time or energy is saved for the bands that don’t make the cut. So I’ve listened to 105 bands to decide the acts that I must see at all costs.
Bands to rock to: While listening you’ll be using your hands to air-guitar and head to bang and kill brain cells
Residual Kid - These dudes had SXSW sets, just opened up for King Tuff in early June, and have a record deal. You would never guess this three-piece still attend high school in Austin and started when they were 13. They may sound like angsty teens but that’s because they are. They shout angry lyrics and go off on guitar solos but manage to sound amazing and the furthest thing from amateur. While I can catch them anytime since these guys are from Austin, I want to see them play the big stage
Bands to sway to: The light music we listen to when planning our hippie festival wear
Glass Animals - Dark, soulful, and lightly electronic is how I would describe these guys. Their slow hypnotic sound is perfect to sway my flower crown-adorned head to.
Daughter - Tonra’s gorgeous and haunting voice is carried by her two band mates with full percussion and light guitar melodies.
Houndmouth - I am eventually going to be angry at either the over-priced food or a friend who ditches me and this is where Houndmouth will come in handy for a pick-me up. This band is just so refreshing and happy-go lucky with their lovely lyrics and catchy tunes.
Bands to dance to: No one can resist a heavy bass and pretty light shows
Flosstradamus - These guys like to go hard with deep bass and heavy beats. I can already see the insane laser show that is going to accompany this show.
Griz - Not as soft as Cherub but not as hard as Flosstradamus, Griz is the perfect medium. They keep it nicely in the middle with their jazz-influenced tech beats.
Bands to rap to: When we want to think we’re cool but realize we’re not when we can’t keep up
Run the Jewels - Run The Jewels is hot and will only get hotter. During SXSW their name was everywhere and crowds flocked to see them. While most can’t keep up with the rhymes there is always a nice deep tech beat to dance to and distract from my not-mad rap skills.
Drake - We have many things to thank Drake for: Degrassi, Y.O.L.O, and songs to listen to when crying about our ex. I’m ready to be surrounded by extremely drunk people passionately slurring every line off of his new album, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late.
Bands to cry to: Not a specific genre, but if it were it would be “stirs up too much emotion”
The Strokes - After being silent for years and denying us of a tour after their previous album, The Strokes have broken our heart. But they have redeemed themselves with an new album on the way and appearances at multiple festivals. Who knows if I’ll ever get to see The Strokes again? I’m still crying over the fact they’re showing up to my hometown. I may or may not have flown to New York just to see them perform at Govenor’s Ball and have Julian Casablancas’ signature tattooed on my thigh…
Alabama Shakes - It is perfectly acceptable to judge anyone who isn’t bawling during their performance. The raw and passionate voice of Brittany Howard is enough to stir up emotions in every single soul. The southern blues-rock will fit perfectly in the heart of Texas.
Father John Misty - Has there ever been a more beautiful soul than Father John Misty? Recently he performed at Stubbs BBQ in Austin and I swear the entire town was buzzing about him the next day because of the amazing show he gave. His voice is amazing and his beard is even greater, not sure if I’ll be okay at his performance.