9th Annual Austin City Limits Music Festival 2010
The Austin City Limits Music Festival takes place from October 8th to the 10th at Zilker Park in Austin Texas. This absolute monster of a music festival is ACLs 9th annual and appears to be its largest with well over 130 major bands playing on 8 stages across the 3-day period, with more than 65,000 concert goers expected each day. Austin City Limits, the television program that inspired the festival, has been running on PBS since 1976 and is American televisions longest-running concert music program. In 2003 Austin City Limits was awarded the National Medal of Arts and it is the only television show that has ever been given this award. The show is taped on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin which makes perfect sense because Austin, Texas has self-proclaimed itself the “Live Music Capital of the World”. Usually I would just shrug this off as more music marketing but when you take a look at the schedule for this 3 day festival you see how serious Austin is about living up to that name.
This years big headliners are:
The Eagles, Muse, M.I.A., The Strokes, Flaming Lips, and Phish. But were not going to talk about any of them because while those bands might be the reason you bought your 3 day pass its my job to tell you about the stellar bands you will want to get to ACL earlier in the day for to round out your experience.
- The worlds pre-eminent country swing act Asleep at the Wheel plays at 12pm on the AMD stage
- The Verve Pipe plays a childrens song set on the Austin Kiddie Limits stage at 1:30pm (No, Im not kidding. If that show isnt a YouTube hit I dont know what will be.)
- Then, Blues Traveler at 2pm on the AMD stage
- The Band of Heathens at 4:45pm on the Austin Ventures stage. The last time I ran into The Band of Heathens was at the Bluebird Theater in Denver last December when it was negative 8 degrees outside and the Colorado highways were basically an action scene from a Bruckheimer film. These Austin, Texas natives performed to a small huddled band of extreme cold survivors and the only 2 media people stupid enough to even be outside at that point let alone be an hour from home. Yep, Stu Kennedy the photographer and me. The Band of Heathens set was amazing that night and I cant even imagine how good they would perform when they arent fearing for their lives especially in their warm home town of Austin.
- Sonic Youth plays at 7pm on the Honda stage
- Vampire Weekend plays at 7pm on the ZYNC card stage (I dont make these stage names up.) Which is like an indie rock cage match for peoples attention and I just gotta say I would not want to be Vampire Weekend. Go see Sonic Youth. Its Sonic Youth for freaks sake.
- Start your day out with the “New Linda Ronstadt” Caitlin Rose at 11:15 on the BMI stage.
- then head over to the Austin Ventures stage at 1:20 for the hip-poppers with punk attitude Ninjasonik who will for sure put on a show that will stoke you up a notch or three
- At 2:30 theres a tough call between Lucero who is the “what cowpunk sounds like when it grows up and gets a mortgage” band and the indie rock darlings The Gaslight Anthem. Im leaning slightly towards Lucero on this one but check out both bands tunes and see what is best for you.
- Silversun Pickups playing at 4:30 on the Budweiser stage (The last time I saw these guys was in April and they played for a sold out crowd of 5,000. Insanely good show.)
- Gogol Bordello, the best Gypsy-punk ensemble on the planet, plays at 6:30 on the AMD stage.
- Haul yourself over to the ZYNC card stage for the electronica wunderkind that is Deadmau5 at 7:30.
- Start out with some incredible R&B Gospel with Buddy & the Straight Way Travelers on the Clear 4G stage at 11:30,
- The impressive folk-pop band Blind Pilot who have come out of nowhere onto the national stage this past year plays ze “˜ol ZYNC card stage at 1:15
- As far as my brain can understand it Gayngs is a supergroup of rotating players that at any given time could have anyone in the band but the music stays the same and its always rockin. They play at 3:00 and with this being ACL Im sure theres going to be some pretty cool surprise peeps in the band.
- The Henry Clay People play at 4:40 on the BMI stage. They are also getting a ton of mainstream national TV coverage in the next few weeks so see them now before the super stardom thing sets in.
- Next up Im going with one of San Diegos finest rock band exports Switchfoot. These guys have been putting out great tunes for a decade now and their latest album is simply awesome. Plus they work with several charities like Habitat for Humanity and their own charity called BroAm which is a surfing/music event and auction hosted by Switchfoot benefitting StandUp for Kids.
- Before you head on over to watch The Eagles go check out Cage The Elephant. The music that they are creating is bluesy rock and alley funk with lots of punk problems thrown in. They are one of my new favorite bands. One last little note. There are several after parties, and pre-parties, and signings that are all available to attendees of the ACL Music Festival.
Much like the band line up there are way too many to list here. Please check out the site so you dont miss any of the fun.