Must-See Saturday Acts at ACL Music Festival

Including a handful of weekend-two exclusives

Denzel Curry (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Weekend Two Exclusive Acts

Vanessa Zamora

11:45am, BMI stage
The Tijuana-born singer quickly moved from humble beginnings as a YouTube cover artist to the studio magic of Tornaluna, where Zamora picnics off the path in the park of dreamland flora and pop. "Malas Amistades" walks the beat over Sixties Brit-rock, while the percussive drive of "Al Fondo de Mí" gradually builds with Oldfield bells, stiff disco guitar strums, and a pitch-shifted choir. – Rick Weaver

Denzel Curry

2pm, Honda stage
Native of Carol City, the rapper puts his relatively unknown South Florida hometown on the map with fourth studio album Zuu, released in May. Curry can scream with the best of them over deep bass, yet it's his ability to effortlessly convey his condition and surrounding environment that separates him from many of his South Florida contemporaries. – Derek Udensi

Chris Shiflett

5pm, BMI stage
Twenty years slinging strings in Foo Fighters would lead many to believe Chris Shiflett makes alt-rock like the Nineties never ended. Instead, the California singer/songwriter/guitarist finds a rocking middle ground between West Coast country rock and Midwestern power pop. Fourth album Hard Lessons showcases his most compelling argument yet for three chords and the truth. – Michael Toland


7pm, Vrbo stage
Though Emily Haines comes from an indie rock world thanks to membership in Broken Social Scene, her Toronto band Metric was born to play festivals and arenas. The 20-year-old quartet makes synth-frosted big rawk that shoots for the stars. The band's seventh LP, Art of Doubt, counts Beck bassist Justin Meldal-Johnsen as producer. – Michael Toland

Kali Uchis at Stubb's in 2018 (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Holdover Recommendations From Weekend One

Diamante Eléctrico

1:15pm, Vrbo stage
Diamante Eléctrico could be called the Colombian Muse. The bestselling trio makes rhythmically eclectic, progressively soaring rock that leans heavily on hooks and melody instead of technique. 2016's La Gran Oscilación won the Latin Grammy for Best Rock Album and new single "El Naufragio (Salvavidas)" features the Kills' Alison Mosshart. – Michael Toland

The Aquadolls

11:45am, Miller Lite stage
Seven years and two full-lengths in – 2013's Stoked on You and last November's The Dream and the Deception – Melissa Brooks leads the Aquadolls in fearlessly tearing up L.A. punk like only an all-female ensemble can. Donning multicolored hairstyles, each member of this surf-psych trio helps cohere the group with her own distinct style and mosh pit instigation. – Alyssa Quiles

Briston Maroney

3pm, Vrbo stage
The raw, lo-fi grip of Briston Maroney's vocals and spiking electric guitar have progressed across a string of EPs, capped this year by Indiana. The young Nashville rocker strafes against angst and ennui, with touches of tender, sad epiphanies emerging in his tourniquet ballads. New single "Steve's First Bruise" bleeds against jagged post-punk riffs. – Doug Freeman

Madison Ryann Ward

1:45pm, Tito’s stage
You're going to hear a lot of Madison Ryann Ward's voice over the coming year. The soulful recent OU grad upstaged both Jay-Z and Rick Rubin during a My Next Guest Needs No Introduction segment, and the four tracks on debut solo EP Beyond Me signal a talent beyond her years. She's already opened for Zac Brown Band, amassed admirers like Rubin, and cemented a passion for R&B. – Isa Jones


2pm, American Express stage
Following a hit in her native Norway, songwriter Sigrid Solbakk Raabe stormed the international stage with undeniable kiss-off "Don't Kill My Vibe." The takeoff anthem ushered in debut Sucker Punch on Island Records, tying up a pretty package of big vocal moments and efficient, unabashedly dramatic modern pop constructions. Slow buildup "Strangers" marks the 23-year-old's biggest track yet, finding catchy middle ground between Adele and Robyn. – Rachel Rascoe

Tierra Whack

3pm, T-Mobile stage
Philadelphia poet Tierra Helena Whack released a 15-track, 15-minute visual debut album last year celebrating her identity as a black woman. The fast-rhyming 2019 XXL Freshman returns after slaying at SXSW in March. Fellow Philly native Meek Mill co-signed her as the "best female rapper in the world." – Derek Udensi

Lauren Daigle

4pm, American Express stage
Behind last year's double-Grammy-grabbing third LP, Look Up Child, Lauren Daigle achieved a crossover success that rocketed beyond the contemporary Christian charts where she holds the record for most weeks at No. 1. Blessed with powerful, soulful vocals and a smoky pop sensibility, the Louisiana native earned apt comparisons to Adele, gracefully restrained but surging with emotional intensity. – Doug Freeman

Natalia Lafourcade

5pm, Vrbo stage
Rooted in Mexico City, Natalia Lafourcade draws from worldly lineages of Spanish classical flourishes and Brazilian samba while incorporating jazz and pop. From its disarming soprano in "Alma Mía" to a Lila Downs boom in "Un Derecho de Nacimiento," her voice expands on Musas (2018) and Disney's Coco single "Remember Me." – Alejandra Ramirez

Kali Uchis

5pm, Miller Lite stage
Born in Virginia, Karly-Marina Loaiza bounced between Colombia and the U.S. as a child. Now 25, she excels in hypnosis, luring listeners with infectious potions of R&B, neo-soul, and pop. Her raspy voice and unique fashion sense call back to eras of yore. – Derek Udensi


6pm, Tito’s stage
A completely improvised jam session that's racked up more than 150 million YouTube views, FKJ and Masego's "Tadow" begins on a simple guitar riff as the two multi-instrumentalists slide around a Paris studio looping a densely layered and deeply hypnotic groove. Behold what the Jamaica-born, Virginia-based Masego dubs "TrapHouseJazz." Born Micah Davis, the 26-year-old blows cool sax and sings sweet nothings on 2018 LP Lady Lady. – Thomas Fawcett

21 Savage

7pm, T-Mobile stage
Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph arrived as a frail, yet menacing figure whose depictions of violence felt 3D in nature. The Atlanta trap superstar, born in London, boasts a uniquely scratchy voice. Second LP I Am > I Was starred a more vulnerable Savage and an unforeseen ICE detention in February made him an unlikely folk hero. – Derek Udensi

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ACL Fest 2019, Denzel Curry, Metric, Chris Shiflett, Vanessa Zamora

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