ACL Top 10 Acts

ACL_top10_bannerSo we survived the weekend that was the dillo dirt sludge of ACL and we’re ready to provide a bit of reflections from our experience.  We’ll start things off with a quick recap of some of our favorite acts from the festival and who impressed us the most.  This is only our list and we based it on our time and taste so let us know if you saw something great we forgot about.  Follow the jump for our Top 10 acts of ACL.

Keep in mind that these aren’t in any sort of particular order.   Or are they…


avettbrothers10. Avett Brothers

These folk rockers from North Carolina were a nice surprise to the ATH crew. I’d expect them to be playing a later time slot in the future. Has anyone ever tried fusing punk rock with traditional folk rock?


9. Dirty Projectors

Vocal harmonies can really get no better and no more unique than the ladies and front man Dave Longstreth of this indie rock group. The rhythms can some times get a little crazy but the sounds created by Dirty Projectors were a welcome addition to the muddy Sunday afternoon.

suckers8. Suckers

We heard that this band was a live act we wouldn’t want to miss and they truly delivered. Another band sure to be playing later slots in years to come, Suckers just became our favorite new find from the weekend.


7. Dodos

One may think that a band with such a simple sound wouldn’t be able to fill the dead air at a festival, but that wasn’t the case. The Dodos entranced us with their simple yet full sound early in the day on Sunday. We even forgot about the sludge between our toes for a few seconds.


blitzentrapper6. Blitzen Trapper

Despite some faint popping and general muddiness of the sound on the Dell Stage, Blitzen Trapper managed to power through and kick off our festival right on Friday. The band mixed a few slow jams in with rocking electric guitar driven tunes to create the perfect set. We were also reminded that “Furr” has to be one of the best songs written in the last few years.


phoenix5. Phoenix

Do you believe the hype? Phoenix may have been the most sought after band of the weekend and boy did they prove us all right for believing in them. The new tracks sound great live and the old ones sound as good as ever. We believe the hype.


deadweather4. Dead Weather

We honestly weren’t too sure what to expect from Jack White’s new supergroup. Let’s just say that we were happy with what we saw and heard. Incredible bass playing from Jack Lawrence and the overall sexiness of Alisson Mosshart made for an unforgettable set by Dead Weather. Let’s hope this band helps her to rise to new levels of popularity.


yeahyeahyeahs3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Two words: Karen O. Damn.


themcrookedcvultures2. Them Crooked Vultures

We were blown away by the Them Crooked Vultures ACL taping on Wednesday and their set at ACL on Friday night left us in even more awe. Some said you really had to be a Queens of the Stone Age fan to enjoy this band, but how could you not rock along with Dave Grohl on drums and John Paul Jones on bass. Has their ever been a better rhythm section? Can’t wait to hear the recorded material.


pearljam1. Pearl Jam

Eddie Vedder is still hands down one of the best leading men in the game today. We couldn’t imagine a better headliner to close things down on Sunday night. Well played.


So what’s the verdict and how did we do? As you can see, Friday was hands down the best day of the weekend for musical and also weather related reasons. More to come on the sludge.

Photos used with permission from Eric Uhlir.


  • It was my first time to see Grizzly Bear. I think they were way less sleepy than advertised. And I liked the arrangement on the stage of all of them in one flat line, though they were pushed back a bit and had roadies setting up behind them.

    They were very sharp and stuck tight to the album versions, though Michael MacDonald was nowhere to be found.

    Probably #5 or #6 for me.

  • Totally agree with Them Crooked Vultures. I was star struck. It was definitely a fused sound from each man’s band, and that heavy beat kept me smiling the entire time. Did ya’ll see Raphael Saadiq? Second time to see him, whole band was great.

  • While listening to Dave Grohl on drums was awesome, I wasn’t impressed with the TCV songs. I’d put them at #5 or so.

    Dead Weather was my favorite act of the weekend, followed by Phoenix and Pearl Jam. YYY’s were great as always. My surprise act was Arctic Monkeys. Didn’t expect for them to bring it like they did. All in all, solid list, guys.

  • I’m not going to lie, while it was great to see Dave behind the drums again, Them Crooked Vultures just seemed like a water-downed version of Q of the Stone Age. I was underwhelmed. I’d also throw Bon Iver in there, but I won’t lie, I was just killing time til DMB.

  • Great list and pics from ACL! I agree with your line up, but what about The Walkmen? They kicked ass at Emo’s along with Blitzen Trapper on Thurs b4 ACL and then at ACL.Also walked by Stubb’s the same night and it was SUPER PACKED because ‘Them Crooked Vultures’ rocked the house! I took a few ACL pics and have them on twitter if ne1 wants to see:

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