Friday ACL Fest Face-Off: Radiohead vs. Major Lazer

Who wins? C'mon now.

Photo by Gary Miller


8pm, Samsung stage

Government name(s): Thom Yorke (commander in chief), Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar, genius), Colin Greenwood (bass, genius' brother), Ed O'Brien (guitar), Phil Selway (percussion)

Active since: 1985

Hometown: Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK

Number of albums: Nine studio full-lengths

Musical influences: Neu!, R.E.M., Scott Walker, Miles Davis, Aphex Twin, Charles Mingus, Joy Division, Can

Precursor act: Pink Floyd, Steve Reich, Magazine

Secret weapon(s): cover artist Stanley Donwood and producer Nigel Godrich – basically a sixth member

Breakout moment: "Creep," and they hate you for it

Song they should play: "Reckoner"

Song they shouldn't play: "Creep"

Funny story: There's a 2005 Q magazine story about Green Day, wherein drummer Tre Cool recalls playing loud music at the Chateau Marmont, a swanky L.A. hotel. Phil Selway, who had been sleeping, asked Cool to lower the volume, to which he responded by playing a Radiohead album instead, and then trapped Selway in his room. Per Tre, Phil responded: "You let me out, you fucker! I'm telling Thom!"

Fun fact: Their first televised performance for American audiences was The Arsenio Hall Show

Stereotypical fan: Me, but whatever

Notable beefs: Their cold wars with U2, Oasis, and Travis (?)

Last show in Austin: Austin City Limits taping/Frank Erwin Center, 2012

Celebrity fans: In a 2008 Rolling Stone article, Chris Martin minced no words: "I would give my left ball to write anything as good as OK Computer."

Perceived engine of the group: Former mini-dictator Thom, who would "subvert everybody else's power at all costs," prior to the 2003 Hail to the Thief sessions

Actual engine of the group: Jonny, for his ability to work around Thom's tendencies

Most interesting non-musical thing about the group: In 2014, they made a game app called PolyFauna

Major Lazer

8:15pm, Honda Stage

Government name(s): Thomas Pentz (renowned DJ/producer Diplo), Christopher Leacock (Trinidadian DJ/producer Jillionaire), Leighton Walsh (Jamaican-American DJ/producer/rapper Walshy)

Active since: 2008

Hometown: Ultimately, Kingston, Jamaica

Number of albums: Three LPs, three EPs

Musical influences: Vybz Kartel, Elephant Man, Don Omar, Tego Calderon, Big Freedia, and Sandungueo music

Precursor act: Beenie Man, Sean Paul, Vybz Kartel, Don Omar, Baltimore Club DJ Rod Lee

Secret weapon(s): Diplo understands how to mold "outernational" sounds into festival-ready pop music

Breakout moment: Diplo had already broken out as a producer – for his other two collaborators

Song they should play: Justin Bieber-assisted "Cold Water"

Song they shouldn't play: "You're No Good" feat. Santigold

(Not so) funny story: Per ex-gf M.I.A., Diplo's jealousy issues

Fun fact: Major Lazer has its own animated TV series on FXX

Stereotypical fan: Tightly fitted throwback NBA jersey, short shorts, New Balance 991 or 992 sneakers

Notable beefs: Crazy Twitter beefs with Zedd, DeadMau5, rapper Azealia Banks

Last show in Austin: Emo's, October 2014

Celebrity fans: Fraternity presidents

Perceived engine of the group: Diplo

Actual engine of the group: Diplo's appropriation of the other members' authenticity to balance his mass appeal? Kidding.

Most interesting non-musical thing about the group: Diplo's actually a savvy investor, jumping in early for Snapchat and Tesla

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Radiohead, Major Lazer, ACL Fest 2016, Diplo

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