Fest Preview Friday: Frontmen Worth The Hype

One week! We’re one week away from another weekend of fun times, great tunes, tasty beverages and tastier foods at Austin City Limits 2018. Have you figured out which bag you’re going to take to comply with the new bag rules? Have you scoped out the list of food vendors so you know what local restaurant you’re gonna support when you stumble through a crowd of hungry people for the goods (hello, yes, I’ll take 8 orders of Kimchi fries plz)? Do you have appropriate rain shoes/gear on deck for when Zilker inevitably becomes a mudpit at the first drop of rain? No? Get to stepping, the time is almost here and to the best of my knowledge our Amazon overlords won’t be delivering to the fest via drone. On a musical note, I’ve got a preview for you today of some performances that I’m expecting to be dynamic and exciting not only because of the sweet tunes they’ll be playing, but because of the men and women who will be commanding the stage. Read after the jump for this lady’s hot take on which performance are must-see for weekend one.

DAVID BYRNE – Friday 10/5 – 3:45 @ American Express Stage

I feel like I shouldn’t have to explain this one, but I will, if somehow you need persuading. This is the closest I’m ever going to get to witnessing the magic that was The Talking Heads. This man gave you the brilliance of Stop Making Sense, or one of the most important and simply damn entertaining live concerts of all time. So I guess you could say he knows a thing or two about putting the party in a live show. Or if that wasn’t enough, how about the 40+ years this man has been turning out incredible music be it solo or in a band? Age be damned, catch me dancing real close to the stage for this Once In A Lifetime opportunity.

ST. VINCENT – Saturday 10/6 – 7:30 @ Miller Lite Stage

Having collaborated with Mr. David Byrne on a full album and a lengthy tour, Annie Clark knows a thing or two about putting on a killer show. Well, she knew that before hand, but on her Self-Titledtour, she began employing the same kind of choreography and mechanized dance moves, all with her own sinister spin that makes her sets hard to turn away from. She’ll be joined this time in Austin with a full backing band, which I missed when she came through town earlier this year. We’ll get a proper set, most likely filled with the wide eyed and totally insane stage personae of St. Vincent completely commanding the stage with her axe-like guitar. Are you gonna wait to hear your friends talk about this set for the rest of the weekend or are you gonna get your ass in front of the Miller Lite Stage?

THE NATIONAL – Friday 10/5 – 5:45 @ American Express

Now, I couldn’t do preview posts for ACL 2018 without including some hype for The National! Haters will say they’re old news, but frankly, I’ve seen this band 11 times and there’s a reason I keep coming back for another fix of Sad Dad Sorrow. That’s obviously not 100% due to frontman Matt Berninger, but a good portion of that is in part to his ability to take any set–day or night– and transform audiences to an intimate club show where the band is going on well after midnight. He’ll be well-lubricated and likely to join the crowd for a good shout or two. Who doesn’t like that?

AMEN DUNES – Sunday 10/7 – 1:00 @ Miller Lite

This is one of my most highly anticipated sets, as I’ve yet to see this band live, but footage of Damon McMahon and company playing some of the cuts from the most recent and utterly delightfulFreedomhave me super excited to see. From what it looks like, McMahon spends half the time dancing freely about the stage, his energy focused into a steady bob and his utterly striking voice. The other half, he’ll shred on guitar, so you get the best of both worlds. I’m most stoked for the full on forest fire that is “Skipping School.”

TWIN SHADOW – Sunday 10/7 – 2:00 @ American Express

George Lewis Jr. has been at the helm of Twin Shadow for a great deal of time, with several great albums under his belt. He’s no stranger to the live stage. We’re sure to get all the coolness of his new-wave aesthetic combined with the intensity of the tunes. While I’m not the biggest fan of his latest album, we’re still in for a set filled with loud and massive bangers like “Slow” and “Weekends.”

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