Thanks to ACL, Zilker Park is currently the most fun — and least pristine — park in the country, strewn with cans of Texas Honey Cider and so much kicked up pollen in the air that allergists caution attendees to take their medication ahead of time.
If this is not your type of scene for music, then don’t worry because there are options beyond Zilker. ACL artists are offering late shows from this Thursday through Saturday, and some of them may even outshine the
Tove Lo (Thursday, Emo’s Austin)
The 29-year-old Swedish singer, who most of us recognize for her electropop hit “Habits (Stay High),” will appear both at Emo’s and at ACL on Saturday and bring more beats to dance to—straightforwardly given to us with her latest single “Disco T**s.”
Slated to open for Coldplay in their upcoming U.S. shows, Tove Lo’s profile will continue to climb. This makes the current ticket price, $27, a bargain. An added bonus is she may perform songs that have yet to be released from her upcoming November album, Blue Lips, which she described as a more stirring and emotive departure from her previous work. Her shows also host live musicians, usually a drummer and keyboardist, so audience members can expect more dynamism with the electronic aspects of her work. This show is open to all ages, though maybe it shouldn’t.
Louis the Child (Friday, Emo’s Austin)
The Chicago duo, a young yet fairly well-known name in the electronic dance music scene, will also perform an ACL Late Show on Sunday night. Their songs carry generally upbeat grooves, occasionally laden with wistful vocals such as those in “Love is Alive.”
Most stereotypes of EDM portray individuals hiding behind a booth and blaring lights, fraught with song drops meant to induce a heart attack, but Louis the Child carries more musicality than most. Their stage lights are also enjoyable. This show is recommended for UT students who seek a party that finally plays decent music. Open to ages 18+.
Spoon (Friday, Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater)
Spoon carries a local legacy that has grown national. The indie rock group was founded in Austin, released their debut EP in 1994 and went big in the early 2000s. They are one of Saturday’s most hyped acts at ACL, playing at the same time as Tove Lo. Thankfully, the ACL late shows provide the opportunity to see both acts. Their latest album, Hot Thoughts, hits a broader audience more than ever with its release at number 17 on the Billboard’s 200 to near critical acclaim. The album grooves well, with synths interlaced in funk-driven songs such as “Can I Sit Next to You.” The show is open to all ages, so bring a younger sibling who doesn’t remember growing up in the ‘90s — or its bands.
Songhoy Blues (Antone’s, Saturday)
Austin still appreciates the blues, and the Mali band Songhoy Blues are bringing them this weekend. Fleeing Islamist censorship in their home country, this band found a welcoming audience abroad and signed with Atlantic Records several years ago. Their music and cultural background brings guitar licks and bass, carried by soulful vocals that add new depth to a genre already taken through so many unique departures. This 18+ show promises to be truly a