Who to see Friday at ACL Fest: Our critics' picks
Here's who you should see at Austin City Limits Music Festival on Friday during Weekend One. Read all of our critics' picks for the whole weekend, too. Read all of our ACL Fest coverage at austin360.com/acl.
12:45 p.m. Asleep at the Wheel (Honda): You may have seen bandleader Ray Benson as an authoritative voice on the recent PBS “Country Music” series. The Wheel is the only band to have played every single ACL Fest.
12:30 p.m. Barton Hills Choir (Austin Kiddie Limits): The elementary school choir’s director, Gavin Tabone, tells us to expect covers by top-of-the-bill festival acts Guns N’ Roses, Tame Impala and the Cure.
2 p.m. NPR Music All Songs Considered with Stephen Thompson (Bonus Tracks): What’s the deal with this new podcast stage at the fest? Find out in this half-hour segment featuring one of NPR Music’s top editors and reviewers. They’ll do this each day at the same time; Friday’s kickoff will feature an interview with Jenny Lewis.
3:30 p.m. Tyler Childers (American Express): A rising star in Americana music who has been championed by John Prine (he got a spotlight during Prine’s “Austin City Limits” TV taping last year), Childers is riding high on the August release of his third album, “Country Squire.”
5 p.m. Weyes Blood (BMI): Singer Natalie Mering’s hauntingly beautiful voice and enchanting folk-pop songs attracted Sub Pop to release her latest album, “Titanic Rising,” which could well extend her audience beyond the indie realm.
6:30 p.m. Jenny Lewis (VRBO): Lewis played ACL Live this past spring, but the former Rilo Kiley singer’s ardent fans no doubt are happy to have her back so soon for another round of pop music that draws from both indie and Americana.
8:15 p.m. Tame Impala (Honda): New songs “Patience” and “Borderline” have whetted fans’ appetites for a fourth album by Kevin Parker’s rock/pop outfit from Western Australia. Here’s a chance to hear more, plus no doubt some favorites from their two previous Grammy-nominated records.
» Rock at ACL Fest 2019: Lots of Guns N’ Roses and lots more
DEBORAH SENGUPTA STITH
1:15 p.m. Alesia Lani (T-Mobile): For her ACL Fest debut, the standout Austin R&B singer is bringing a nine-piece band to orchestrate her simmering, soulful tunes.
2:45 p.m. Cherry Glazerr (Vrbo): Laying sugary vocals over reverb-laced guitar riffs, this L.A. crew is a leader of the post riot grrrl rock resurgence.
4 p.m. King Princess (Honda): With gauzy vocals that ache with emotion, the 20-year-old singer songwriter tugs at the heart while her poignant lyricism paints unshakeable word pictures.
5 p.m. Kaytranada (Miller Lite): The Haitian-Canadian trackmaster will cut the late afternoon heat with a sophisticated selection of chilled out electro funk dance jams.
5:30 p.m. The Comet Is Coming (Tito’s): Over the last several years, a streak of avant garde adventure has reshaped the U.K. jazz scene. This group pushes boundaries, unfurling sprawling compositions in a swirl of saxophone, pounding drums and electro fuzz.
6:30 p.m. Jenny Lewis (Vrbo): Lewis’ latest, “On the Line,” written in the aftermath of her mother’s death and the demise of a long-term relationship, is a rich collection of lilting laments with grandiose arrangements that lift her signature dry wit.
7:30 p.m. Guns ‘n’ Roses (American Express): Hey there casual fan, who’s not trying to hear 150 minutes of G’n’R, here’s the deal: If the band sticks to the set list they’ve been playing this year, “Welcome to the Jungle” should come about four songs in. Then, if you don’t mind missing Axl’s take on “Live and Let Die,” immortalized at ACL Fest last year by Sir Paul himself, and a selection of deep cuts, you can slip away and catch a full hour of Tame Impala before the band gets to “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “November Rain” late in the set.
1:45 p.m. Fidlar (American Express): Scuzzy punk from this Los Angeles band is a fine way to kick your fest off. This year’s “Almost Free” introduced some blues and funk sounds to their tunes, but I’d still bank on some songs like “No Waves” and “40oz. On Repeat,” which sound so much like a garage, they still have Penzoil on them.
4 p.m. King Princess (Honda): A SXSW standout from March, when I wrote that the NYC singer “gives off her own gravitational field. She uses her voice like she’s flexing muscles, and its warmth is narcotic.” Joyous queer vibes, too.
5 p.m. Kaytranada (Miller Lite): A Canadian DJ/producer with the summer afternoon jams you need. (No, it’s not really fall.)
6:30 p.m. Jenny Lewis (Vrbo): All hail the queen of indie rock! Lewis comes to town pretty often (she even namechecks Austin on the song “Party Clown” from new album “On the Line”), but it’s part of a good mental health regimen to check in with her every once and awhile. Fingers crossed for old faves. We could stand to “Rise Up With Fists!!”
8:15 p.m. Tame Impala (Honda): We all love a light show.
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