Sunday ACL Fest 2018 Picks

Handicapping ACL's initial Sabbath plus a handful of locals

The Relatives

11:15am, Tito's stage; weekend one only
Founded by Rev. Gean West as the Seventies dawned, this fiery, Dallas-bred gospel combo deftly combined proto-funk and psychedelia on signature single "Don't Let Me Fail." Rediscovered by crate diggers years later, they reunited in 2009 without missing a musical step. West passed away during the recording of 2016's Goodbye World, but his son Cedric B. West continues the family business with soul-affirming energy. – Greg Beets

The Texas Gentlemen

12:15pm, Tito's stage; weekend one only
Leading the recent insurgency of Lone Star country funk, the studio conglomerates of the Texas Gentlemen have slapped their slinky grooves behind everyone from Leon Bridges to Paul Cauthen. The North Texas outfit offered up their own platter with last year's debut long-player TX Jelly, an underrated jam on the new Texas sound. – Doug Freeman

Flor de Toloache

2:15pm, Tito's stage
The future of mariachi is two X chromosomes, as proved by this all-female ensemble from NYC. Fusing traditional mariachi with stunning vocal harmonies and an eclectic stylistic mix from jazz to punk and rock & roll, they intersperse genre classics with covers of Nirvana and Bob Dylan. These chicas have the chops and charm to win over any crowd. – Thomas Fawcett

Elle King

3pm, HomeAway stage
Since brashly bursting on the scene with her 2012 debut EP, Elle King has polished her fierce sound into crossover pop without sacrificing her uncompromising attitude and style. Sophomore LP, Shake the Spirit unloads this fall as follow-up to breakout Love Stuff, the new tunes showcasing a powerful, soul-shaking turn in her post-divorce defiance. – Doug Freeman

Lisa Loeb

4pm, Austin Kiddie Limits stage; weekend one only
When this Dallas native's 1994 debut single, "Stay (I Missed You)" from the Reality Bites soundtrack, hit No. 1, Lisa Loeb ushered in a crush of Nineties female folk singers – Jewel, Joan Osborne, Natalie Imbruglia. Now she's become your kid's fave folkie, last year's Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs earning a Grammy. – Tim Stegall

Sylvan Esso

7:30pm, HomeAway stage
North Carolina duo Sylvan Esso have become ACL fan favorites. They're drawn in by Amelia Meath's idiosyncratic vox and quirky dance moves, but they stay for Nick Sanborn's high-octane beats. Go ahead, dance.  – Abby Johnston

Sunday Local Limits

Sailor Poon (Photo by Shelley Hiam)

Sailor Poon
(11:30am, Barton Springs stage; weekend one only) Charismatic garage punk man-eaters whose topical material ranges from profane ("Butt Gush") to profound ("White Male Meltdown").

School of Rock
(12:30pm, Austin Kiddie Limits stage) Showcasing the next crop of Austin musicians – before they become jaded and delusional.

Shakey Graves
(7pm, Barton Springs stage) Alejandro Rose-Garcia broke his own mold with new LP Can't Wake Up, spreading his increasingly complex characters over a panoramic indie rock sound. – Kevin Curtin

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Oct. 12, 2018

Playback: ACL Fest Spoilers
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As ACL’s second weekend dawns, here are the most unforgettable moments from week one

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