Photo: Daniel Mendoza/Recording Academy
7 Texas Artists Who Turned Heads At Austin City Limits Festival
The Austin City Limits Festival brings together a wide variety of artists across many genres, styles and backgrounds for three days of Texas-sized fun every year. But for some performers, the stages of ACL are on home turf, making the heat and energy that come from the crowd that much sweeter. Let's take a look at seven artists who had a home-field advantage this weeked.
Austin-based singer/songwriter Jackie Venson blew her hometown away by performing songs from her album, Live at Strange Brew. Jackie played monstrous guitar solos between riffing on her band members’ names. She gave many shout-outs to Austin and Texas, but her biggest "Thank you" was to festival organizers C3 for not “forgetting about the locals.” Jackie had vowed to, “Never attend ACL unless I was playing... but I put a five-year limit on it,” she said. She kept her promise and delivered a scorching set for the audience with her first performance at the festival.
Brockhampton took the stage to showcase their No. 1 album Iridescence. Lighting up the stage with enough band members to start two basketball teams, backups and all, it was clear their chemistry as a group has not wavered at all. Hailing from San Marcos, Texas, the band has deep roots in the state. Besides growing up in Texas, band member Merlyn Woods even went to school at The University of Texas at Austin before leaving school to dedicate himself to the boy band.
Known for their eclectic style, Sailor Poon graced the ACL stage with their brand of hilarious punk rock. And nothing could be more Austin than an anime-inspired local punk band with comedic tendencies. If titles like "Daddy Issues," "The D***," and "Fap and Nap" don't tickle your fancy, then we may need to revoke your Austin citizenship.
Asleep At The Wheel
GRAMMY winners Asleep at the Wheel have been bringing roots country to ACL in style since the very beginning of the festival. Their unique take on traditional music could be heard across Zilker Park as they kicked off things at noon on Friday. Hot off a new album, New Routes, this band is anything but asleep at the wheel. Bandleader Ray Benson commented on playing ACL every year since the festival's inception, saying, “Obviously it's changed a bit but it's still one of the greatest music festivals in the world."
GRAMMY nominee Khalid gave shout-outs to his city of El Paso throughout his set. His backdrop was often graced with a cartoonish green road sign that spelled it's name out. The border town has always been happy to call Khalid one of its own, and he responds in kind. Like the star he's become, Khalid makes his location known.
Molly Burch released her sophomore album, First Flower, on day one of the festival and performed many of its already irresistible songs on the second morning on ACL's Barton Springs stage. Although not originally from Texas, Molly launched her start in Austin, saying the city has been “A really supportive, comforting place to start out.” With Burch’s lovely ballads and indy pop, in many ways, the Barton Springs stage was the perfect place to cool off from the higher-energy performers.
Dallas and Houston may have long-lasting beef, but GRAMMY nominee Travis Scott has come to neutral ground here in Austin. The land of hippies, cowboys, and weirdos is excited to be graced by one of the kings of trap rap. With Astroworld earning him another No. 1 album, Scott headlines the American Express stage both Sundays.