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ACL Grrrl Power

More female headliners, please, but we like these four acts

By Abby Johnston, 10:12AM, Fri. Oct. 12, 2012

First Aid Kit, Friday at ACL
First Aid Kit, Friday at ACL

While women slowly push their way toward equal representation on college campuses and in the work force, music festivals and the industry in general remains largely phallic. Of this year’s 10 ACL headliners, Florence + the Machine is the only feminine presence. Despite a dearth of talented women, the lineup still serves up some rocking feminists.

FIRST AID KIT (Fri., 1:15pm, Honda stage)

Swedish sweethearts Johanna and Klara Söderberg have two strikes against them in a male-dominated industry – their age (21 and 19, respectively) and their gender. The folked-out sisters have often noted perceived inferiority as women musicians, but opening European tour dates for Jack White has given them a glimpse of the respect they deserve.

METRIC (Sat., 4pm, AMD stage)

Leading lady Emily Haines has become a symbol for this generation’s crop of powerful women. Although she eschews the word feminist for its academic and extremist connotation, Haines purveys a message of gender equality through undeterred dominance and the vulnerability to belt a killer break-up anthem.

JACK WHITE (Sat., 8pm, AMD stage)

The former White Stripes frontman has stated that one of the industry’s greatest pitfalls is that he constantly works with the same demographic: white, male hipsters. Partnering with ex-wife (er, sister?), Meg for 14 years and six albums, he's demonstrated that women have a place in rock outside of the bass or lead vocals. Furthering this, White has played his latest tour dates with an all-female backing band.

CRYSTAL CASTLES (Sun., 7:30pm, Honda stage)

Alice Glass is a badass bitch. After two cases of rape were reported at 2010’s Latitude in Suffolk, the menacing frontwoman used part of her set to urge the crowd to find and castrate the perpetrator. With her cult-like following, I doubt he stuck around long. While the anarcho-electronic duo resides outside of political leanings, she’s still a symbol for women everywhere.

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