Texas boasts musical clout proportional to its geographical footprint – it’s huge. Google search “live music capital of the world” and links to Austin, Texas and its music scene fill the results page. If you call yourself a music-lover and have never made it out to Austin for the annual Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Fest, I don’t know you sleep at night. I’ve attended a few festivals since they first kicked off back in 2001, which has empowered me with experiences that allow me to hold my own with any live music aficionado. I don’t often see live music unless it’s at a music festival – you just get so much more bang for your buck. The first music fest I went to was Bonnaroo ’08 – one of the most unique and exhilarating experiences of my life. If you live in the U.S.A., I feel it’s a must to go to one of these things. We are truly, exceptionally lucky to have such cultural richness shown so boldly and shared in such great numbers (Bonnaroo 2008 had roughly 80,000 attendees).
But back to ACL, this year’s line-up includes a few of my all-time favorite bands – Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Black Keys – many bands I’m quite fond of, and numerous up-and-comers who desperately need to catch your ears. The line-up, found here, is always eclectic so every music palette is satisfied. For the old-timers and true aficionados, Neil Young and Crazy Horse will be playing as one of the headliners. Neil’s presence alone makes it worth the trip. You can rightfully brag about seeing that guy perform. For your hipper listeners, Florence + The Machine, Two Door Cinema Club will be at Zilker Park to play for you. Rap-fanatics’ appetites will be satisfied with both Childish Gambino and Big K.R.I.T. – the likes of whom have received the blessings of critics. Randy Rogers will be there showing out for all the Texas Country fans (and I know there are a lot at Texas A&M University). The Roots, now permanently employed by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and legendary in their own right, will be making an appearance. Jack White of The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, and The Dead Weather, will be there [as usual].
\Cool story – last time I was in Austin for ACL, I was eating at locally famous burger joint and just happened to be seated across the table from ole Jack. I didn’t shake his hand as he wasn’t very approachable but I thought it was cool nonetheless. So you might just bump into a favorite artist of yours while there!
Something like a hundred less-known bands will be there some of whom I’ve heard of heard of and many more I have not. About the smaller bands, they are very good. It they weren’t good, they wouldn’t be playing at ACL. So give the underdogs a chance and you might just leave the festival with a new favorite band! I must admit I have discovered many great artists there.
I don’t want to ramble on anymore – I’d rather leave you time to do some research on who’s who at ACL 2012. So check it out if you can this year and if you can’t, there’s always ACL 2013!