Homer Hiccolm & the Rocketboys

Friday, Sept. 14, Zilker park

ACL Music Fest Live Shots
Photo by Sandy Carson

Homer Hiccolm & the Rocketboys

Homer Hiccolm & the Rocketboys take their name from the unlikely success story of the West Virginia coal miner's son turned NASA engineer popularized by the film October Sky. That's fitting given the Abilene sextet found their way to ACL as winners of the inaugural Sound and the Jury competition. Besting more than 600 other artists in the battle-of-the-bands contest, the group took Friday's opening slot on the Dell stage with calm composure before a crowd that climaxed at several hundred. The band's piano and guitar-centered sound proved a mellow commencement, though the 45-minute set offered little variation from its grandiose, Keane-styled pop. Brandon Kinder's vocals were equally swelling, following the slow, anthemic rise of "Everything Ascending" from their upcoming EP, Thy Old Murkville Forest, with an affected falsetto-pitched croon. The music's continual slow builds to soft, soaring crescendos was predictable yet executed with impressive precision that validated their addition to the festival lineup.

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