26 artists putting the Austin in the Austin City Limits music fest

Asleep at the Wheel | October 7th 1:00 – 1:45 | Honda Stage

If you think ACL Fest is getting up there in years, consider perennial festival kickoff kings AATW, now in their sixth decade as ambassadors to the miles and miles of Texas.

– Jeff McCord

“Take Me Back to Tulsa” (feat. George Strait and Willie Nelson)

THEBROSFRESH | October 7th 1:30 – 2:15 | Tito’s Stage

Since their 2018 EP Hereditary, Baton Rouge brothers Thurman and Torrence Thomas have balanced their instrumental, vocal, and production talents as THEBROSFRESH. Lately the Austin duo’s been describing their Shea butter-smooth sound as “GuitaR&B” (like a truncated two-man version of D’Angelo and the Vanguard), but a quick listen to their evolving discography reveals earlier elements of upbeat ’80s-esque synth-pop and unhurried, ’90s-style melody-driven hip-hop.

– Jack Anderson

THEBROSFRESH: “Consequence Remains”

Sarah and the Sundays | October 7th 5:00 – 6:00 | BMI Stage

Millions of streams and one pandemic later, the arch pop five-piece is “bored” no longer. “Vices” is the new single; after being shut-in, they’re itching to bring that and their new album, The Living End, to the ACL Fest stage.

– Jeff McCord

School of Rock | October 7th 2:30 – 3:00, October 9th 12:30 – 1:00, October 14th 12:30 – 1:00, October 16th 2:30 – 3:00 | Lifeway Kefir Stage

No, Jack Black is not on the faculty. But the instructors behind this longtime Austin organization exhibit no less zeal in crafting the next generation of rock stars. See alumni, grads and undergrads strut their stuff. – Jeff McCord

Adrian Quesadas Boleros Psicodelicos | October 8th 2:15 – 3:15 | Honda Stage

Mining the over-the-top melodrama of the psychedelic baladas that permeated late sixties Latin America, Quesada, the guitarist/producer/Black Pumas wunderkind, has made one of the year’s best albums, putting a modern spin on the classics with a variety of co-conspirators, and even writing some originals. The live recreation is not to be missed. 

– Jeff McCord

Mama Duke | October 8th 12:00 – 12:45 | Barton Springs Stage

Kori Roy, better known as Mama Duke, grew up in Palacios, Texas. Influenced by her mom’s love of Tejano and country bands, she started digging deeper and was inspired to write her own. In January of 2021, Mama Duke was named Artist of the Month by the Austin American Statesman and made her debut performance at SXSW as an official artist.  Mama Duke has won two Austin Hip-Hop Awards, including artist of the year and female artist of the year. 

– Miles Bloxson

Barton Hills Choir | October 8th 11:30 – 12:00, October 15th 11:30 – 12:00 | Lifeway Kefir Stage

If you’re wondering what an elementary school choir is doing at ACL Fest, you haven’t seen this guileless group of kids in action. Under the direction of Gavin Tabone, the choir takes on everything from Pink Floyd to the Flaming Lips to Belle and Sebastain, and has collaborated with many of them as well. An unexpected delight. Expect surprise guests.

– Jeff McCord

Barton Hills Choir
Photo Credit: Barton Hills Choir

SaulPaul | October 8th 4:45 – 5:15, October 9th 2:30 – 3:00 | Lifeway Kefir Stage

Also known as the “Musician with a Message”, Austin’s SaulPaul radiates inspiration. His mix of rap and folk guitar “moves people and creates movements” and has earned him attention due to his unique takes on freestyling. Prepare to bop with SaulPaul at ACL by checking out his latest single, “Graduation Bop,” and the album “Okay to Be Different.”

– Paisley Porter

Spoon | October 9th 4:00 – 5:00 | Honda Stage

Quick: name a band with a twenty-year career that has never released a weak album, and is still doing some of their most vital work. There’s one correct answer: Austin’s Spoon. The’ve been wowing audiences all over playing songs from their latest, Lucifer on the Sofa, while ripping into their back catalog and springing other surprises. 

– Jeff McCord

Eric Tessmer | October 9th 5:00 – 6:00 | BMI Stage

If you’ve spent a late night wandering Austin’s  W. 6th St. in the past 15 years, there is a good chance that Eric Tessmer’s dirty electric blues provided your soundtrack for a block or two. A ubiquitous presence at Austin’s live music venues, Tessmer proudly follows in the footsteps of Austin’s blues guitar legends, winning Austin Chronicle’s “Best Guitarist” award in 2017 & 2018. His Austin City Limits performance will be the perfect place to revisit the music that put Austin on the map.  

– Peter Babb

Darkbird | October 9th 1:15 – 2:00 | BMI Stage

With their transcendent sound of self-discovery, Darkbird has almost created their own music genre of “self-love rock” deep in the heart of Austin. Emerging from a Craigslist group, Darkbird became a home not only to the band members but also to their esteemed fans. Get ready to rock with Darkbird by checking out their brand new music video for “Heartbeat” from their “Ballad of a Junebug” EP released earlier this year!

– Paisley Porter

Primo the Alien | October 9th 12:45 – 1:30 | Tito’s Stage

Sending listeners on intergalactic hyper-sensual voyages are what Austin-based artist, Primo the Alien, does best. Her powerhouse vocals & supernatural synth bravado are only a taste of what this intergalactic beauty brings to the table… er well, interplanetary space shuttle. 

– Maile Carballo

Luna Luna | October 9th 11:45 – 12:30 | Barton Springs Stage

It’s breezy and 75° and Luna Luna just picked you up in their 1987 Thunderbird Coupe. The tape plays, you bite your lip and nod your head to the groove as palm trees pass through the sunroof like your worries in the rearview. If you’ve forgotten how music can make your problems disappear, we recommend Luna Luna, a new edition to the Austin Music Experience via Dallas. The Latinx retro synth-pop group kicks off ACL this Sunday on the Barton Springs stage. 

– Ryan Wen

Wesley Bray and the Disciples of Joy | October 9th 11:45 – 12:30 | Tito’s Stage

Wesley Bray and his Disciples of Joy have been serving helpings of funk and soul-infused gospel to the Austin area for over a decade, with their regular appearances at Stubb’s BBQ Gospel Brunch. The band’s performance early Sunday is the best way to start your day at the festival with love and positive vibrations.

– Peter Babb

Buffalo Nichols | October 9th, October 16th 1:45 – 2:30 | Tito’s Stage

Without the blues, there is no American music. The blues are not an antique from another time, but a fundamental living part of the American soul. Every genre pulls in the blues in one way or another, but if you’re craving the real thing, find our former Artist of the Month Buffalo Nichols.

– Ryan Wen

The Huston-Tillotson University Jazz Collective | October 14th 1:30 – 2:15 | Tito’s Stage

The Huston-Tillotson University has a strong & renowned jazz program history available to all students interested in the art of musical improvisation. These college jazz musicians infuse melodic invention & instrumental personality into each performance. 

– Maile Carballo

Jake Lloyd | October 15th 12:00 – 12:45 | T-Mobile Stage

Unpredictable and multi-talented, Lloyd has become one of the city’s breakout artists by refusing to be pinned down. His seamless blend of r&b, hip-hop and pop and rock has yielded a string of great recordings, and his live show promises to be a festival highlight.

– Jeff McCord 

Como Las Movies | October 15th 12:45 – 1:30 | Honda Stage

Like a lot of musicians, the pandemic almost put a halt to this long-running project led by Austin’s Nelson Valente Aguilar, fusing synths and a modern take with traditional Latin grooves. Back in action with a new song, “Cafe”, the October KUTX Artists of the Month are primed for a reboot. 

– Jeff McCord

Como Las Movies new single “Cafe”

Lesly Reynaga | October 15th 12:00 – 12:45 | Barton Springs Stage

Having spent a good chunk of the pandemic hard at work on her debut full-length album, rising star Renega is more than ready to bring her big-hearted Latin pop dance beats and soaring melodies onto the ACL stage.

– Jeff McCord

Good Looks | October 15th 1:00 – 1:45 | Tito’s Stage

Sporting a fierce combination of a powerhouse band and unusually canny songwriting, their EP Bummer Year put this Austin band front and center on the city’s musical map. (Their “Vision Boards” may just be the song of the year.) Weathering some setbacks, the band is back in full force, and ready to take to the ACL stage. 

– Jeff McCord

J Soulja | October 15th 12:00 – 12:45 | Tito’s Stage

With a fiery devotion to his platform, J Soulja’s acute knack for charisma & lyrical genius are what help define this artist. His RnB & hip hop embraced messages are what his fans remember the most from his live performances. As a 3 time SXSW signature artist, he will be heading to ACL Fest this year as a local hip hop force to be reckoned with. 

– Maile Carballo

Me nd Adam | October 16th 12:45 – 1:30 | Tito’s Stage

 Me Nd Adam’s Vince Winik and Adam Walker channel power pop icons of yesteryear with hard-hitting party anthems forged in the crucible of New Orleans’ legendary nightlife. Unfortunately for the self-professed trashwave pioneers, the good times and their debut album American Drip Pt. 1, hit the unforeseen roadblock of a global pandemic. A couple of years and millions of streams later and the dynamic duo is back with a mixtape of new music just in time for their Austin City Limits Festival debut.

– Peter Babb

Caleb De Casper | October 9th 1:15 -2:00 | Miller Lite Stage

As Austin’s very own Dr. Frankenfurter, Caleb de Casper uses his classical training to the limits in his captivatingly theatrical live performances. The featured KUTX Studio 1A performer & NPR Tiny Desk favorite released his dark synth pop hit “Too Many Boys” this year, highlighting the life of being a queer man in 2022. It’s safe to say that listening to Caleb de Casper takes you on an eclectic, unorthodox, & expressive journey worth the while.

Maile Carballo

Urban Heat | October 16th 3:00 – 4:00 | BMI Stage

You don’t need combat boots to dance along with ATX darkwave trio Urban Heat, but after a set with Jonathon Horstman’s romantic baritone, you may find yourself lamenting the lack of fishnets and black eyeliner in your wardrobe. Bassy analog arpeggios, body-moving industrial beats, and 80’s post-punk swagger await you with our former Artist of the Month. 

Ryan Wen

Pleasure Venom | October 16th 11:45 – 12:30 | Barton Springs Stage

Fronted by fierce vocalist and unapologetic lyricist Audrey Campbell, Pleasure Venom’s been seeping its way into all the sub-genres of punk rock since their 2016 debut EP Hunt. The group landed a supporting spot on tour with ’90s rock icons Garbage. In fact, Garbage’s Shirley Manson is a fan. The band is currently a part of the Austin Music Foundation’s Artist Development Program and was recently featured in their ATX Gen Next: Adventures in Person record.

– KUTX Staff

Flora & Fawna | October 16th 11:45 a.m – 12:30 p.m | Miller Lite Stage

Flora & Fawna meld the creative talents of singer-songwriter Lili Hickman Waldon and producer, multi-instrumentalist Mason Ables into an effortlessly cool electro-pop sound. Ables played in a soul band and Hickman Waldon made folk music. They quickly discovered how Ables’ production suited Hickman Waldon’s vocals, releasing “Slow Burn” as Flora & Fawna’s first single in May 2019. The band recently released of a couple of new singles, “Never Mind” and “Long Shot.”

– Peter Babb

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