Two Fall Weekends
For weeks now, music fanatics have been guessing — and rather accurately, at that — who would headline the 2013 edition of Austin City Limits Festival. But the official ACL 2013 lineup finally surfaced early Tuesday morning.
With so many acts and so little time — unless you plan to attend both weekends of the newly expanded festival — we've broken down the lineup into who's who of artists, from bona fide icons to unknown(ish) bands with a lot of buzz.
One of the most talked about SXSW shows of the year, Depeche Mode wowed an audience of 1,000 with an intimate show. Now, the 30-years-strong group will treat the masses to "Strangelove" and "Just Can't Get Enough."
The legendary goth rock band fronted by Robert Smith might be the most awe-inducing of all headliners. Iconic and enduring, The Cure arrives stateside after a tour of Latin America and summer spent on the European festival circuit.
Atoms for Peace
This experimental supergroup features a gaggle of ACL veterans, including Radiohead's Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich, Flea and Mauro Refosco of Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Joey Waronker of REM.
With their new album Bankrupt! hot off the press, Phoenix reminds us that they're not ones to stray too far from their tried-and-true French rock pop formula — and it always works.
There's always at least one act that makes you scratch your head, and this year it's Lionel Richie. That said, his addition to the bill adds a much-needed dose of soul and R&B to a festival that runs heavy in folk and rock. Also, are you aware that Richie is somewhat of a phenomenon in the Arab world?
Australian psych rock gods Tame Impala wrap back around the globe after a February Austin appearance to hypnotize the ACL Festival audience.
West Coast hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar began by releasing mixtapes online at 16. Now, at 25 years old, he's collaborated with Dr. Dre, Young Jeezy, Game, Drake and Talib Kweli, and he was recently deemed the "Hottest MC in the the Game" by MTV.
The guys won a Grammy for the most overplayed song in the universe ("We are Young"), and they are sure to be a hit with the younger set at ACL with superbly saccharine pop.
The Joy Formidable
This Welsh group takes crowds by surprise with consistently loud, robust live performances. With several stops in Austin over the past few years, they've developed a strong Texas fan base.
Just this Sunday, The National made headlines for playing their track "Sorrow" live, on loop, for six hours at New York City museum PS1. They'll surely be glad to get their hands on a more diversified set list.
Jose Gonzalez's side project might have been best described as "aural wallpaper: music for making dinner or babies" — but that doesn't mean it's not spectacular in its ability to blend serenity with Spanish guitar and straightforward, powerful ballads.
The Shouting Matches
Always tinkering with something new, be it a collaboration with Kanye West or Polica's Channy Leaneagh, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver returns to Austin with his Southern-influenced three-piece blues outfit.
After appearing in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2007, Wilco hits Austin for its fifth experimental roots-rock performance atop an ACL stage.
Muse said earlier this year "they've still got loads of touring to do" before finalizing their seventh studio album. Luckily, one of the stops includes a third performance at ACL.
Kings of Leon
The mainstream Kings of Leon of today could not be further from the Kings of Leon that first played ACL in 2003 (followed by performances in 2006 and 2009), covered in gnarly beards and emanating gritty Southern rock. Still, they cause a riot onstage and have morphed into somewhat of fashion/rock/arena heartthrobs.
Ivy League-bred and -born Vampire Weekend — who sound a bit like Paul Simon — return for their third performance at the festival.
Queens of the Stone Age
Heavy "desert rock" (the group hails from Palm Desert, California) band fronted by Josh Homme just leaked a sneak peek to its upcoming studio album, ...Like Clockwork, which features wildly imagined collaborations with the likes of Elton John, Trent Reznor and Billy Gibbons. (Okay, Gibbons was on Lullabies to Paralyze, but we couldn't not include him.)
Big buzz, little band
During SXSW, Haim proved they were more than a novelty act of cute, young rock-strong sisters. Rather, they're serious musicians who, at times, have toured with established artists like Jenny Lewis and Julian Casablacas.
Foxygen's '70s-inspired indie rock packed Mohawk to capacity during their February appearance, seemingly overshadowing headliners Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
Post-punk party music that commands audience attention is sure to set a smaller stage afire.
This Canadian duo has found recent indie fame with dark electronic music that's lifted and lightened by the angelic voice of singer Megan James.
The Bright Light Social Hour, The Black Angels, Shakey Graves, Court Yard Hounds, True Believers, My Jerusalem, Okkervil River.
Other acts on the lineup
Grimes, Shovels & Rope, Savages, Portugal The Man, Passion Pit, Arctic Monkeys, Kaskade, D'Angelo, Local Natives and many, many more.
But here's the thing: Even if you can't cough up the money for a festival pass, these bands will be in Austin all week between the two ACL weekends, and many of them will come through Dallas either before or after the festival. In other words, there will be ample opportunity to catch a ton of these acts at one-off shows. That might be the most exciting side effect of the festival's expansion.
Austin City Limits Festival runs October 4-6 and 11-13 in Zilker Park in Austin. See the full festival lineup and purchase tickets online.