Life & Arts staff writers and editors pick the best artists to see at ACL this weekend

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FRIDAY

Underrated band: Savages

Stage: Honda

Time: 1 p.m.

This young all-female post-punk quartet from London might be the most talented and electrifying act of the weekend.

 

Local band: Okkervil River

Stage: Honda

Time: 5 p.m.

It is easily one of the most accomplished folk groups of the last 10 years.

 

Headliner: Depeche Mode

Stage: AMD

Time: 8 p.m.

Why: Every popular indie band now sounds like them, and the chance to see them play all the hits cannot be missed.

 

Band to skip: fun.

Stage: AMD

Time: 4 p.m.

Does anyone really need to force themselves to listen to “Some Nights” again? 

 

SATURDAY

Underrated band: Parquet Courts

Stage: Bud Light

Time: 11:30 a.m.

This punk band is explosive and awesome live. 

 

Local band: The Bright Light Social Hour

Stage: Austin Ventures

Time: 7 p.m.

They’re highly energetic local favorites who have been consistently great for years.

 

Headliner: The Cure

Stage: AMD

Time: 8 p.m.

The Cure is one of the greatest bands of all time with a reputation for playing nearly all of their hits live. It would be foolish to miss this.

 

Band to skip: Kings of Leon

Stage: Samsung Galaxy

Time: 8 p.m.

They haven’t released a good album in at least 5 years and are playing at the same time as The Cure.

 

SUNDAY

Underrated band: Shuggie Otis

Stage: Zilker Tent

Time: 7:30 p.m.

This often forgotten legend put out some of the best psychedelic soul of the ‘60s. 

 

Local band: White Denim

Stage: Austin Ventures

Time: 5 p.m.

White Denim is one of the best psych bands around. 

 

Headliner: Phoenix

Stage: Bud Light

Time: 7 p.m.

Not technically a headliner, but this set should be more fun than either of the two acts closing out the night.

 

Band to skip: Eric Church

Stage: Samsung Galaxy

Time: 6 p.m.

He doesn’t really fit in with the lineup and plays the same time as both The National and Tame Impala, two of the best bands playing all weekend.

 

Hannah Smothers, associate editor

@hannahsmothers_

 

FRIDAY

Underrated band: Jimmy Eat World

Stage: Samsung Galaxy

Time: 2:30 p.m.

Maybe Jimmy Eat World isn’t really underrated, but the 17-year-old inside of me thinks this band deserves a much better time slot than the early afternoon. OK, the current 20-year-old also thinks this band deserves a much better time slot.

 

Local band: Asleep at the Wheel        

Stage: AMD

Time: 12 p.m.

Asleep at the Wheel has been the first band to open ACL every year since the festival began in 2002. Even for people who aren’t huge Texas swing fans, this is an unmissable tradition.

 

Headliner: Arctic Monkeys                

Stage: Samsung Galaxy

Time: 6:30 p.m.

The latest Arctic Monkeys album is fantastic, and front man Alex Turner is an absolute rock ’n’ roll sex god. 

 

SATURDAY

Underrated band: Lissie

Stage: Austin Ventures

Time: 3:15 p.m.

Lissie not only has a beautiful voice, but she has also been known to rap Kid Cudi covers during live performances. 

 

Local band: Max Frost

Stage: Austin Ventures    

Time: 12 p.m.

In a few years, Frost will be back at ACL on a bigger stage and the crowd of people who remember seeing him in 2013 in an early time slot on a small stage will have eternal bragging rights.

 

Band to skip: Portugal. The Man

Stage: AMD

Time: 4 p.m.

Portugal. The Man’s band name is a nightmare for grammar nerds and their music is the same blend of indie-alt-folk-rock-whatever that shows up at every single music festival. 

 

SUNDAY

Underrated band: Noah and the Whale

Stage: Honda    

Time: 2:30 p.m.

Just for the chance that the band plays “Blue Skies” or “The First Days of Spring.” If there’s an appropriate time to get emotional at ACL, it is at Noah and the Whale’s set.

 

Headliner: The National

Stage: AMD    

Time: 5:30 p.m.

The National is awesome. Matt Berninger’s baritone vocals sometimes dip so low I’m pretty sure only animals can hear them — and I mean that as a compliment. 

 

 

Kris Ohlendorf, staff writer

@krisohlendorf

 

FRIDAY

Underrated band: Purity Ring

Stage: Austin Ventures

Time: 7:45 p.m.

The band’s music is really trippy and addictive, lots of bass and synths everywhere. Seeing it at night will be an unmissable experience. Wub wub.

 

Headliner: Vampire Weekend

Stage: AMD

Time: 6:00 p.m.

It’s amazing to see the fame and exposure the group is starting to get with its newest album, which is also the best album the group has put out. 

 

Band to skip: Muse

Stage: Samsung Galaxy

Time: 8:30 p.m.

Just listen to OK Computer on the ride home instead.

 

 

SATURDAY

Underrated band: Grimes

Stage: Honda

Time: 5:00 p.m.

She came all the way down from Canada to grace us with her presence, and is pretty much the most awesome person not named Kanye West.

 

Local band: The Warrior Gospel Band

Stage: Zilker Tent

Time: 11:30 a.m.

A talented local group that does pre-Civil War era gospel tunes.

 

Headliner: Kendrick Lamar

Stage: Honda

Time: 7:00 p.m.

good kid, m.A.A.d city was the best album to come out last year. I’ve gone through it probably 50 times; it never gets old.

 

SUNDAY

Underrated band: Tame Impala

Stage: Honda

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Its last album Lonerism is amazing, and should be heard by everyone. 

 

Local band: Peterson Brothers Band

Stage: BMI

Time: 4:00 p.m.

A duo of talented brothers, one shreds guitar and the other slaps a bass. Their live shows are bluesy and full of energy; they seem like cool guys too.

 

Headliner: Atoms for Peace

Stage: AMD

Time: 7:40 p.m.

It’s 2+2=5 of Radiohead. Amok was good, but my hope is they’ll play something from Kid A just for me.

 

Band to skip: The Mowgli’s

Stage: Bud Light

Time: 1:00 p.m.

There are eight band members, and they aren’t named Arcade Fire.

 

Sarah-Grace Sweeney, editor

@sarahgrace317

 

FRIDAY

Underrated band: Smith Westerns

Stage: Honda Stage

Time: 3 p.m.

This dreamy indie pop is the way to ease into a busy ACL weekend.  

 

Local band: Dana Falconberry

Stage: Austin Ventures

Time: 12:20 p.m.

It’s early, but Dana Falconberry’s music sounds like a fairy fantasy land.

 

SATURDAY

Underrated band: Hundred Waters

Stage: Honda Stage

Time: 11:30 a.m.

This folky electronica from Florida is for indie kid head-bopping and dancing. 

 

Headliner: Wilco

Stage: Samsung Galaxy Stage

Time:  6 p.m.

Wilco just happen to be my folk heroes — and probably everyone’s dad’s folk heroes too. 

 

Band to skip: Passion Pit

Stage: AMD Stage

Time: 6 p.m.

Aren’t people tired of all these over produced songs that sound exactly the same, yet?  

 

SUNDAY

Underrated band: Foxygen

Stage: Samsung Galaxy Stage

Time: 12 a.m.

Foxygen is a perfect combination of classic rock and indie pop.  

 

Headliner: Neko Case

Stage: Austin Ventures Stage

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Neko Case just released a stellar album and this is a great chance to hear the songs live. 

 

Band to skip: Atoms for Peace

Stage: AMD Stage

Time: 7:40 p.m.

Why would anyone see Thom Yorke if it wasn’t with Radiohead? 

 

by Shane Miller

@shanearthurmill

 

FRIDAY

Underrated band: Pinback

Stage: Bud Light

Time: 3:30 p.m. 

Ever since 1999’s This is a Pinback CD, Pinback’s indie rock has been mellow, progressive and impressive enough to put it in its own category. 

 

Headliner: Local Natives

Stage: Samsung Galaxy

Time: 4:30 p.m.

Local Natives is the best indie band out there to eat, pray and love to.  

 

SATURDAY

Local band: Shakey Graves

Stage: BMI

Time: 4:30 p.m. 

This one-man band is easily one of Austin’s most talented musicians, so support him and hopefully be able to say “I saw Shakey Graves at ACL before he was cool.” 

 

Band to skip: Silversun Pickups 

Stage: Samsung Galaxy

Time: 4 p.m. 

“Lazy Eye” is the only one worth listening to.

 

SUNDAY

Underrated band: Toro Y Moi

Stage: Bud Light

Time: 5 p.m. 

This dude, Chaz, is a fantastic producer and perfect for hipsters, and wannabe hipsters like myself, to steal fashion ideas from. 

 

Band to skip: Grouplove

Stage: AMD

Time: 3:30 p.m.

I’d rather be at your best friend’s house.  

    

Sam Hays, staff writer

@samingtonhays

 

FRIDAY 

Local band: The Black Angels    

Stage: Honda    

Time: 5 p.m.

Why: The Black Angels’ psychadelic rock sound sounds like a polished rendition of the Austin garage bands of the ‘80s and ‘90s. 

 

Headliner: Muse

Stage: Samsung Galaxy

Time: 8:30 p.m.

Why: Though the later half of their discography is forgettable, they haven’t forgotten how to put on a brilliant show full of lasers, lights and high energy.

 

SATURDAY

Band to Skip: Kendrick Lamar

Stage: Honda

Time: 7 p.m.

Why: Kendrick is always in town. Why would you pass up an opportunity to see Justin Vernon for a rapper who will probably be here in the next few months anyway.

 

SUNDAY

Local band: Divine Fits

Stage: Honda

Time: 4:30 p.m.

Why: Divine Fits is the side-project for Britt Daniels, the lead singer of Spoon. The two bands are very similar in sound, but Divine Fits is definitely less refined and more festival appropriate.