Austin City Limits Preview

Those familiar with the national festival circuit might get a sense of déjà vu when looking at the lineup for Austin City Limits.  No matter – there are plenty of quality jams to go around the fest’s eight stages, and we have our recommended itinerary ready for you.

Austin City Limits Music Festival
September 26-28
: Zilker Park, Austin, TX

Friday, Sept. 26

A few over-hyped groups perform early on Friday, but the party starts when Del the Funky Homosapien takes the AT&T Blue Stage at 3:30pm.  The steady, unique cadence of the Hieroglyphics founder should get your blood flowing before Gypsy punks Gogol Bordello begin on the regular AT&T stage.  You may have to hoof it to catch both, because Gogol Bordello starts just as Del wraps up at 4:30.

Once Gogol Bordello’s raucous live show comes to a close, consider grabbing a bite to eat before funky Brooklyn Afrobeat collective Antibalas plays at 7:15 and shows up everyone that previously played the WaMu stage.  From there, enjoy the Mars Volta‘s progressive fusion from 8:15-9:30 to close out the night.

Saturday, Sept. 27

Day 2 presents more great back-to-back sets in the mid-afternoon.  First, Sharon Jones‘ soulful intonations cover the carefully constructed grooves of her Dap Kings from 2:30-3:30.  Then, with a sound that is quite divergent from that of Jones, Philadelphia five-piece Man Man plays from 3:30-4:30 with a mad mix of Tom Waits-inspired circus-rock tunes.

The Nachito Herrera All Stars make the early evening a fine time to get your Latin jazz fix, but if you prefer softer, emotive, self-reflective music, you’ll likely be catching Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band at 6:30 and Iron & Wine at 7:30.  Identity-shifting radio favorite Beck ends the night’s festivities, but psych-rock forebear Roky Erickson my turn in its most memorable performance.

Sunday, Sept. 28

With the best anti-war song to ever use the Secretary of State’s name as a refrain, protest punks Against Me! provide one of the festival’s most politically charged sets at 3:30.  Concertgoers will later have a tough choice at 6:30, as the soul hop of Gnarls Barkley competes with the twangy garage rock of The Raconteurs.

If you can’t decide on one, head over to see the jazzy grooves of Galactic at 7.  At that point, you’ll likely be ready for more rock, so get a good spot to see The Foo Fighters at 8:30 and lobby Dave Grohl to play “Monkey Wrench,” “Everlong,” “In Your Honor,” and “Watershed.”