Thursday, October 11, 2012

ACL Festival Preview: Locals Only

Like SXSW, ACL Festival receives complaints about not having enough local bands featured. While, I understand this complaint, I also understand the need to book headline-grabbing names for a music festival. While ACL Festival does take place in Austin, it is truly a national festival in the sense that it has to compete with Coachella, Bonnaroo and all of the rest of the big summer festivals. C3 Presents has to be able to draw a crowd to Austin from other parts of the country and/or world. Generally, the festival sells-out before the bands are even announced, which means if they don't book bands that excited their audience they would face some major backlash.

With that all being said, they do make an effort to book bands whom they consider to be up-and-coming local acts. There have been some local sets in the past that have been considered legendary, anyone who caught Ghostland Observatory at ACL Fest can attest to that. Below the break, I have highlighted some of my favorite Austin bands playing the fest this year.

Wild Child - Pillow Talk video via YouTube

Wild Child is a band I've championed for quite some time. They have a pleasant folk-rock sounds with lovely harmonies and radio-ready tunes. You can catch them on the Austin Ventures stage at noon on Saturday.

The Eastern Sea is one of Austin's buzziest bands of 2012 and rightly so. They're also the most different band on this list. While the other three bands play some form of American-roots and/or folk. The Eastern Sea is more experimental, nuanced and indie-rock-oriented. Their latest record Plague is one of the best local releases of 2012. You can be sure that you'll see it on many year-end lists. If you want to see The Eastern Sea at ACL Festival, they'll be on the Austin Ventures stage at 11:20am on Sunday morning.

The Eastern Sea - A Lie video via YouTube

Quiet Company probably has the biggest profile of all of the bands on this list. I have been writing about them nearly as long as I've been writing this blog. They do uber-catchy power-pop about love and life. Their ACL performance will be their last local show before they head on a nation-wide tour. They play the Austin Ventures stage at 11:15am on Saturday.

Quiet Company - You, Me and the Boatman video via YouTube

Wheeler Brothers have been generating a lot of attention in Austin and the rest of the country. They have opened for many of the best American-roots-music bands touring the country today and they are on their way to becoming one such band. You can see them on the Austin Ventures stage at 1:00pm on Saturday of ACL Fest.

Wheeler Brothers - Spent Time video via YouTube