ACL Music Fest 2014 Friday Listings

Blurbing Friday ACL

Young & Sick
Young & Sick

Young & Sick

11:30am, Miller Lite stage

Dutch artist Nick Van Hofwegen designed album art for Foster the People and Robin Thicke before launching his alter ego, Young & Sick, into music. After April's eponymous debut, the electro soul misfit put together a trio and hit the festival circuit, translating velvety smooth harmonies to a stripped-down live set. – Nina Hernandez

Asleep at the Wheel

12:15pm, Honda stage

The past year brought two major departures for Asleep at the Wheel, singer Elizabeth McQueen and fiddle maestro Jason Roberts both stepping out solo. Yet Austin's Western swing mainstays – perennial ACL Fest openers – ride strong into their 44th year behind bandleader Ray Benson and new talents Katie Holmes on fiddle and Emily Gimble extending her grandfather's legacy on keys and vocals. – Doug Freeman

The Preatures

Jones Family Singers
Jones Family Singers

1pm, Austin Ventures stage

In the Eighties, the Preatures would've ruled radio. The Sydney quintet's guitar pop goes for the melodic jugular with twin axes and Izzi Manfredi's charismatic larynx. The band made a splash in March at SXSW with earworms "Better Than It Ever Could Be" and "Is This How You Feel?" The Jim Eno-produced Blue Planet Eyes waits on deck. – Michael Toland


1:15pm, Miller Lite stage

Formed in 2012, this UK quartet revives an exquisite strain of British psych-pop on its debut Sun Structures. Lead salvo "Shelter Song" gets dosed by an archetypal 12-string riff likely to summon a beatific sway. Their moonlit performance at Austin Psych Fest this spring was stiff in spots, but a summer on the festival circuit will have ironed out such bumps. – Greg Beets

Jones Family Singers

1:15pm, Sculpture stage

After owning ACL's gospel tent for too many years to count, this Bay City family band has grown its flock far beyond state lines. They brought high-energy salvation to the front steps of New York's Lincoln Center this summer, and latest release The Spirit Speaks packs swinging arrangements that remind you where rock and soul music stem from. – Greg Beets

Robert Ellis

Childish Gambino
Childish Gambino

2pm, Austin Ventures stage

Robert Ellis knows that sometimes you need to leave to discover where you're from, and this year's The Lights From the Chemical Plant (New West), looks back on the Houston songwriter's move to Nashville. Ellis' third LP glows with memories from his Lone Star upbringing, while continuing to expand his eclectic take on Americana with touches of jazz, R&B, and pop melodicism behind his distinct nasal twang. – Doug Freeman

Lake Street Dive

3:15pm, Austin Ventures stage

February's Bad Self Portraits found these New England Conservatory graduates upgrade from technically proficient underdogs into a full-blown, TV-endorsed, blue-eyed soul rescue squad. Built on the depth of singer Rachael Price and bassist Bridget Kearney's upright bass, they're one of the most refined crews gigging. – Chase Hoffberger

J. Roddy Walston & the Business

5:15pm, Austin Ventures stage

A slovenly simulation of Jerry Lee Lewis bangs on the piano less throughout Essential Tremors, the 2013 disc that shot this Baltimore Business into the national picture. Their grated, strained namesake still struts nonetheless. That's especially true in the live arena, where the wild foursome's prone to improvising. – Chase Hoffberger

Childish Gambino

6:15pm, Honda stage

Childish Gambino destroys the convention of what you believe a rapper should look like, talk like, act like. Short of the authenticated drug dealer types, he may be the "realest" rapper out there. On sophomore major label release, last year's Because the Internet, working actor Donald Glover, who was recently cast to voice Spider-Man in the new Disney rendition, and his alter ego are closer to symbiotic unification than ever. – Kahron Spearman

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More ACL 2014
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