Weekend Two Friday ACL Fest Picks

Where to be, by the hour

The Wombats

Kevin Devine & the Goddamn Band

11:30am, HomeAway stage
The system is rigged – and Kevin Devine put out a whole album about it back in 2013. Politically charged but cloaked in safe, unassuming pop-punk, Bubblegum remains sharp and critical of American sheeple. It serves as the definitive Devine disc, the Brooklynite having churned out albums cut from the same cloth as Manchester Orchestra and Brand New since 2002.
Libby Webster

Grace Mitchell

12:15pm, Samsung stage
Last year's "NoLo" was the best breakup anthem that slipped under your radar. Portland, Ore., native Grace Mitchell coolly asserted, "Think I gotta let you know that we were over the day that it started." No full-length follow-up yet, but 19-year-old Mitchell's controlled, low voice sailing smoothly over power-pop orchestrations promises big things.
Libby Webster

The Wombats

1pm, Miller Lite stage
Five decades after Beatlemania, Liverpool still produces perfect pop. Technically two Brits and a Norwegian, the trio's electro-pulsed pop tunes are rooted in the Eighties via twinkling synths and shimmering guitars. Last year's Glitterbug, album three, conquered UK alt-rock radio.
Michael Toland


1pm, HomeAway stage
Like Frank Ocean and Chance the Rapper, self-proclaimed indigo child Raury is helping usher in a new wave of avant R&B. There are echoes of Cody Chesnutt and Andre 3000 in the 20-year-old Atlanta suburbanite, who sings and raps with a decidedly bohemian bent. 2015 debut All We Need is full of "Forbidden Knowledge" and the "Devil's Whisper."
Thomas Fawcett

Daniel Ellsworth & the Great Lakes

2pm, BMI stage
This year's follow-up to 2014 sophomore LP Kid Tiger found Daniel Ellsworth retreating back to his Minnesota home to write in a secluded Bemidji cabin. The result is atypical folk balladry. The Nashville quartet's Bemidji EP jumps between raucous shots of percussive indie rock ("Always/Never," "Get Mine"), with Ellsworth's high, edgy vocals floating above emotive, crescendoing piano ballads ("The Surface").
Doug Freeman


3pm, Cirrus Logic stage
Brooklyn duo Chairlift now claim a decade-long career, but the ethereal pop debuted on 2008 single "Bruises," whose dancing falsettos and playful electronic backing became ubiquitous with modern twee (hello, Apple commercial), remains very much at play on 2016's Moth, third LP for the trendsetting outfit.
Abby Johnston

Flight Facilities

3pm, HomeAway stage
This Australian production duo culminated from years of consistency, a result of DIY Soundcloud days boasting sun-kissed disco like "Crave You" and "Clair De Lune." Now with their jet-set dreams fully realized, debut Down to Earth takes a round trip through deep-house minimalism, breakneck beats, dirty-dancing funk, and A-list cameos (Kylie Minogue).
Alejandra Ramirez

The Strumbellas

3pm, Miller Lite stage
Foot-stomping Toronto bluegrass? Get on board, because the Juno-award-winning sixpiece has perfected a delightful folkie sound over three albums. This year's Hope also manages not to pigeonhole itself into a totally roots-based genre, offering the kind of pop bridge the Lumineers perfected stateside.
Abby Johnston


4pm, Samsung stage
The English dance rockers' funky fourth LP, What Went Down, dropped last year, following the quintet's gig at Emo's. Greek frontman Yannis Philippakis, a former student of contemporary dance, now bears a penchant for crowdsurfing throughout the band's all-out live sets. The Oxford group caps its Weekend Two appearance with an Austin City Limits taping.
Neph Basedow

Cold War Kids

5pm, Cirrus Logic stage
So, where do last decade's hit emo and pop-punk acts go when they're put out to pasture? Judging by ACL's booking of this dozen-year-old Long Beach fivepiece, purveyors of floppy-hair-and-girl-jeans hits like "Audience" and "Something Is Not Right With Me," Zilker Parks across the country, bless 'em.
Tim Stegall

Tory Lanez

5pm, HomeAway stage
Canadian rapper Tory Lanez and his personal brand of "swavey" declined XXL's Freshmen cover because he saw himself greater than the likes of burgeoning superstars Anderson Paak, Desiigner, and Dave East. The rapper/singer's 2016 debut LP, I Told You, compounded contemporary mainstream rap/R&B radio frequencies, recalling Bryson Tiller and Drake.
Kahron Spearman

Corinne Bailey Rae

6pm, Tito's Handmade Vodka stage
It's been a decade since Corinne Bailey Rae burst on the scene with smash hit "Put Your Records On." That playful slice of nostalgia-dripping soul-pop still largely defines the British chanteuse fresh off third LP The Heart Speaks in Whispers, sleepy coffeehouse R&B.
Thomas Fawcett

Die Antwoord at ACL Festival Weekend One (photo by Shelley Hiam)

Die Antwoord

6pm, Honda stage
Easily the most divisive act at ACL, South African rap/rave duo Die Antwoord remain world-class plate spinners. Moving comfortably between progressive hardcore, outright appropriation, and blackface, they reached the top slot on Billboard's Dance Chart with 2014's faux gangsterish Donker Mag. They drop Mount Ninji and Da Nice Time Kid now.
Kahron Spearman

Flying Lotus

6pm, Samsung stage
Since 2014's fifth LP You're Dead, a digital masterpiece mashing up hip-hop and his great uncle John Coltrane, Steven Ellison has diversified his portfolio. He scored short film "A Portrait of Noomi Rapace," appeared on Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly, and was tapped by comedian Hannibal Buress to be his in-studio DJ for Why? With Hannibal Buress. Extending his label Brainfeeder into film production, the L.A. native made his film directorial debut with Royal.
– Kahron Spearman

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More ACL Fest 2016
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ACL Fest isn’t a pair of weekend-long sit-ins, it’s one two-week-long campaign

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ACL Fest 2016

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