Art Levy’s ACL Picks

David Byrne 

Friday, Oct. 5 and Friday, Oct 12 at 3:45 p.m. on the American Express Stage

So many bands stand completely still on stage and don’t consider the visual aspect to performance. Not so David Byrne. His latest tour features a completely wire-free backing band, which allows the entire ensemble to move in formation around the stage like a cross between a high school marching band and a street party. Plus, hearing all his hits change over time and still sound fresh gives me hope I’ll be as cool when I’m AARP age.

Recommended Track:  Talking Heads, “Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)”


Topaz Jones 

Friday, Oct. 5 at 11:15 a.m. on the HomeAway Stage

Topaz is one of those performers where you wonder, “how is this guy not headlining ACL Fest already?!” I saw him at a tiny club at SXSW 2017 and he was phenomenal at everything: rapping, singing, dancing, making you feel like an integral part of the performance.

Recommended Track: Topaz Jones, “Tropicana”


The Weather Station 

Friday, Oct. 5 at 2:15 p.m. on the Tito’s Stage

Quieter performers can suffer competing against the dreaded ACL stage bleed, but I’ve seen the Weather Station, ahem, weather quite worse before. The Canadian band is another SXSW alumni/survivor, somehow holding an ear-fatigued crowd in the palm of its hand with its transcendent folk-rock hybrid. This is a band that’s meant to be heard in the open-air, where it can truly stretch out with harmonies and atmospheric guitar.

Recommended Track: The Weather Station, “Thirty”

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