Saturday ACL Fest Picks


Chance the Rapper at JMBLYA Fest 2017 (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Pastor Cedric B. West & the Electrifying Relatives

11:15am, Tito’s stage
While the band formerly known simply as the Relatives has seen its name grow exponentially, the basic formula of praising Jesus through soul shouting, stirring harmonies, and a touch of psychedelic soul remains intact. Pastor Cedric B. West takes the reins from his late father, Rev. Gean West, who led the band in the early Seventies and for a late-life revival culminating in a stirring pair of recent comeback LPs. (weekend one only)Thomas Fawcett

Xavier Omär

11:30am, Barton Springs stage
Warm love notes characterize Xavier Omär's newest EP, The Everlasting Wave. Formerly known as SPZRKT, San Antonio's Omär is a true R&B artist, his silky croon lending itself to gospel and hip-hop elements throughout, with corresponding standout lyrics. Respect replaces the "bitches" and "ho's" of hip-hop. "It ain't about your body, it's about your being."Isabella Castro-Cota

Devon Gilfillian

11:30am, BMI stage
Nashville soul burner unloads a gospel and blues-infused sound as raw as it is righteous. Last year, Gilfillian's eponymous debut EP grooved behind his smooth croon, gritty rock riffs, and funk influence. His Philly roots glisten, from the low-down "Travelin' Blues" and "Shortcut" to soulful "Here and Now" and new swampy jam of "Hole." (weekend one only)Doug Freeman

Grace Vanderwaal

1pm, HomeAway stage
Science and logic can't explain this 13-year-old wunderkind. Ever since her 2016 America's Got Talent win, the New York native has stolen hearts with her bellowing, Björk-like vocals, breezy ukulele picking, and humble approach to newfound fame. 2017 is a big year for VanderWaal since her ACL performance kicks off a tour following the release of first studio album Just the Beginning.Lauren Modery

Car Seat Headrest

2pm, Honda stage
Will Toledo's slack-heavy outfit triumphed on last year's Teens of Denial LP, revving up from the Virginia native's previous lo-fi bedroom (er, backseat) recordings. The Seattle-based quartet rolls Pavement hooks and guitar jams into Toledo's ennui-drenched narratives, late-night streetlight anthems for a new generation of the cynically restless and bored slouching toward melodic escape. – Doug Freeman

A$AP Ferg

2pm, American Express stage
Atop chest-beating bravado and a sharp cadence, Harlem rapper Darold D. Brown Ferguson Jr. released sheer ferocity on hedonistic banger "Shabba" and the emotional expanse of "Hood Pope." While his lines still swim in A$AP Mob's staple paranoid and dark production, Still Striving gleams with vulnerability in family musings "Plain Jane" and "The Mattress Remix" with just enough swag posturing.Alejandra Ramirez

Joseph

3pm, Barton Springs stage
Sisters Allison, Meegan, and Natalie Closner unfurled intoxicating sibling harmonies across last year's breakout sophomore LP, I'm Alone, No You're Not, but the Oregon outfit's impulse toward heavy, swirling psych-folk and pulsing pop mesmerized beyond rising vocals. Freshly released EP Stay Awake settles more subtly, anchored by the gorgeously melancholic rework of "Everybody Wants to Rule the World." (weekend one only)Doug Freeman

Cody Jinks

4pm, Honda stage
A North Texas country kicker known as much for ripping live shows as sharp, baritone-laced ballads, Cody Jinks may be the closest inheritor to Waylon Jennings' outlaw aesthetic. Credit the guitar fury to his previous metal outfit, but the past decade has honed his perfect throwback country sound, culminating in last year's underrated LP I'm Not the Devil.– Doug Freeman

Angel Olsen

5pm, Miller Lite stage
Rare is a vocal capacity both stirring and serene. Rich, vintage tone wraps the Asheville songwriter's melodies in a dark enchantment reaching maturity on last year's bold My Woman. Non-self-deprecatingly examining womanhood as an existence rather than niche subject, Olsen's third LP ranged personal, romantic, and tender behind her timeless croon.Rachel Rascoe

Ice Cube

6pm, American Express stage
"Get me on the court and I'm trouble/ Last week fucked around and got a triple double." Like "It Was a Good Day," Ice Cube's present preoccupation is hoops. The 48-year-old gangsta rap legend just wrapped the inaugural season of his burgeoning 3-on-3 basketball league. While Cube has evolved from N.W.A to basketball CEO, the classic catalog that made him AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted remains as relevant and inflammatory as ever.Thomas Fawcett

Rüfüs du Sol

7pm, HomeAway stage
Unlike bombastic radio EDM, Rüfüs du Sol offers clean and crisp electronics rooted in nü disco, deep house, and accompanied by soulful rasped cadences. As evidenced by sophomore disc Bloom (2016), the Australian trio dissembles eclectic sounds ranging from uptempo club hits like "Until the Sun Needs to Rise" to spacious expanses in "Innerbloom."Alejandra Ramirez

Chance the Rapper

8pm, Honda stage
Born and raised in the West Chatham neighborhood of Chicago, Chancelor Bennett came up with fellow rapper Vic Mensa in their Save Money collective. The former gained recognition with his second mixtape, the vaunted Acid Rap. The MC then made his mainstream push with the gospel/trap/club-influenced Coloring Book, released in 2016.– Kahron Spearman

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