The first weekend of the Austin City Limits music festival begins Friday, Oct. 2, which means you are either skipping class Friday or are leaving as soon as the chapel speaker says, “You’re dismissed.” Huge mainstream artists like The Weeknd, Foo Fighters and Drake will be gracing the ACL stages, but here’s a list of some other musicians that are also worth the four-hour drive from Abilene to Austin.
The Fort Worth native is bringing soul back in a big way. Leon Bridges’ smooth-as-honey sound adapts classic soul for a modern audience. He cites legendary crooner Sam Cooke as an inspiration for his music. Bridges’ 2015 debut album Coming Home honors his inspiration and classic ’60s soul by incorporating doo-wops, ballads and love songs.
The San Francisco based band has a sound that is packed with funk, a tone similar to artists like the legendary James Brown and R&B icon Prince. The phrase Con Brio translates to a directional musical term meaning, “with vigor”, something this band is not lacking. The band’s experimental style will surely have the ACL crowd dancing.
Alejandro Rose-Garcia, who is professionally known as Shakey Graves, is an actor turned Americana singer. Rose-Garcia is recognized for his recurring role on the show Friday Night Lights but is now being recognized for his talent for being a one-man band. The Austin native’s sound has elements of folk and is similar to that of Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors who performed at ACU during Wildcat Week.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
A band with a different sound than the rest on this list is Unknown Mortal Orchestra. The band, whose sound is comparable to artists like Sly and the Family Stone, is bringing the genre of psychedelia into the 21st century. The band’s heavy-synth pop is trance inducing, something that will be quite a hit with Austin’s eclectic music scene.
Kurt Vile and The Violators
Kurt Vile is a veteran to the indie rock scene, having been a founding member of the band The War on Drugs. Vile’s solo work is indie rock at its core but contains anything from a harp to a synth every now and again. The rocker’s sound is inspired by artists like Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen.
Ashley Frangipane, better known as up-and-coming pop star Halsey, combines grunge and pop together to form a sound that is deceptively catchy but with an emotional element to it. Halsey’s meaningful lyrics and catchy melodies have captivated fans around the globe, and is surely to enchant more on-stage at ACL.