The Black Keys deliver a knockout show

photo by Scott Newton

Here at ACL we’re always pleased to see our alumni come back bigger and better than before, and that is certainly the case with the Black Keys, who returned to our stage for a knockout show. Since the Akron duo’s last visit in 2010, they’ve added a staggering number of radio hits, Grammy awards and arena tours to its arsenal.  Thus energized, the band delivered a charged performance that we also streamed live around the world.

Augmented by keyboardist John Clement Wood and bassist Richard Swift (last seen on our stage playing keyboards for the Shins), the powerhouse pair of guitarist/singer Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney launched into “Next Girl” with a squeal of feedback. The riffy rocker set the tone for the rest of the evening, as the band rarely let up. From the ripping “Strange Times” and the rumbling “She’s Long Gone” to the countrified “Gotta Get Away” and the stomping “Gold On the Ceiling,” the Keys kept the hooks flowing and the energy level burning. The band dipped into its first album for the rawboned “Leavin’ Trunk” and covered Scottish pop pioneer Edwin Collins’ hit “A Girl Like You.” The bluesy ballad “Too Afraid to Love You” provided slight respite, but it was just the pause to refresh. Soulful riffs and memorable rockers ruled, especially when the band essayed its patented blues/glam hybrids a la the devilishly catchy “Money Maker” and the smash hit “Lonely Boy,” which had the crowd dancing in the aisles.

Declining to leave the stage, the Keys went straight into the encore with a pair of psychedelic soul tunes from its latest LP Turn Blue. “Weight of Love” boasted a dreamy feel reminiscent of Pink Floyd, while “Turn Blue” itself could easily have fit onto a Philly soul comp. But the band really brought the house down with its final number. Auerbach provided an extended resonator guitar intro to “LIttle Black Submarines” before launching into the first verse, on which the audience joined him. Once the tune kicked into its electric half the place exploded, providing a perfect, powerful end.

The Black Keys have become rock stars the old-fashioned way: by earning it show by show. We can’t wait for you to see this one when it airs early next year as part of our milestone 40th season. Stay tuned.

Eric Church makes his ACL Season 40 debut

photo by Scott Newton

Austin City Limits proudly presents an hour with country sensation Eric Church. Church has blazed his own trail to superstardom and now makes his ACL debut with his signature brand of no-holds-barred country music.

Famous for a game-changing live show, Church performs songs from his critically-acclaimed, chart-topping 2014 album The Outsiders in his ACL debut.  The music rebel’s distinctively hard-rocking spin on country, influenced as much by AC/DC and Metallica as Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings, has earned him a huge audience outside the confines of country radio.  Church appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone this year and was named one of their “50 Greatest Live Acts Right Now.” NPR raves, “Eric Church is working on a level that few other country artists of his generation can touch.”

“This is gonna be fun,” says the North Carolina native, clearly enjoying his first visit to the ACL stage. Church’s appearance is a twelve-song tour-de-force that presents the performer at the top of his game. Delivering a host of hits in his trademark aviators, Church’s crowd-pleasing set is filled with anthems about youth, family and outliers that ignite through songwriting skill, powerful riffs and energetic vocals. Highlights include the rebellious “The Outsiders”, the autobiographical title track “Sinners Like Me” from his 2006 debut and the Grammy-nominated anthem “Springsteen” from his 2011 breakthrough Chief, with the Austin audience providing the “whoa-ohs” of the chorus. Church brings it all home solo, showcasing his softer side with the heartfelt set-closing ballad “A Man Who Was Gonna Die Young.”

“Eric and his band know how to rock harder than many rock ‘n roll bands,” says ACL executive producer Terry Lickona, “and his music and the words behind it have a way of reaching fans way beyond the usual borders of country music. He’s a perfect fit for ACL.”

photo by Scott Newton

Tune in this weekend for this episode, and, as always, check your local PBS listings for the broadcast time in your area. Go to the episode page for more info, and don’t forget to click over to our Facebook, Twitter and newsletter pages for more ACL info. Tune in next week as ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2014.

 

Giveaway: The Black Keys 11/17

photo by Danny Clinch

UPDATE: Giveaway is now over.

Austin City Limits will be taping a performance by The Black Keys on Monday, November 17th, at 8 pm at ACL Live at The Moody Theater (310 W. 2nd Street, Willie Nelson Blvd).  We will be giving away a limited number of space available passes to this taping. Enter your name and email address on the below form by 9 am on November 13th. Winners will be chosen at random and a photo ID will be required to pickup tickets. Winners will be notified by email. Passes are not transferable and cannot be sold. Standing may be required.

No photography, recording or cell phone use in the studio.

Live Stream our taping with The Black Keys on November 17th

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Austin City Limits is pleased to announce that we will be streaming our taping with The Black Keys live on Monday, November 17th, 8pm CT/9pm ET. The taping will webcast in its entirety via our YouTube channel.

The powerhouse rock duo of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney make their second appearance on the ACL stage following their recent release Turn Blue, which debuted at #1 on Billboard‘s album chart. The acclaimed rockers made an epic ACL debut in Season 36 showcasing their 2010 breakout albumBrothers. The six-time Grammy winners have since gone on to achieve worldwide critical and commercial success with the landmark 2011 release El Camino and have been unstoppable ever since.

Los Lobos and Thao & the Get Down Stay Down continue Season 40

photo by Scott Newton

Austin City Limits presents true American originals—the legendary Los Lobos and folk rock wonders Thao & The Get Down Stay Down. Los Lobos return to the ACL stage for their fifth appearance, while innovator Thao Nguyen and her band The Get Down Stay Down make their ACL debut. Music mavericks with far-reaching influences, both acts exemplify ACL’s outstanding legacy of “Great Music, No Limits.”

More than forty years into their run, Los Lobos are one of America’s great rock ‘n roll bands. The influential and enduring East L.A. band return to the ACL stage celebrating their recent 40th anniversary alongside ACL’s. “Los Lobos are still one of America’s best, bravest, and most satisfying bands, and their skills and their instincts remain razor-sharp,” raves AllMusic. After four decades together the beloved band continue to create music that resonates with audiences around the world, and the three-time GRAMMY winning group will be honored this year with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Latin Recording Academy. Opening their ACL set with the fan favorite “La Pistola y el Corazon”, the group perform highlights from their vast catalog. The crowd-pleasing performance displays their world-class musicianship, as the veteran rockers perform their signature style of “Chicano rock” with an eclectic set of rock ‘n roll, country, folk, R&B, blues and norteño music. The group close out the masterful set with “Mas y Mas”, joined by Austin’s own Grupo Fantasma on horns, showing great music is universal.

“Los Lobos and ACL have always felt like kindred spirits,” says ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “We share the same impulse towards originality, experimentation and fun with music. They’re still one of the best rock ‘n’ roll bands in America!”

photo by Scott Newton

Led by enigmatic singer-songwriter Thao Nguyen, the San Francisco-based Thao & the Get Down Stay Down have built a devoted following based on their spirited live shows and their catalog of smart, genre-blending indie rock. The band’s ACL debut features them performing songs from their 2013 release We the Common. The group’s blend of rhythms and Thao’s folk-influenced fingerpicking give the band a distinctive sound that truly makes it stand out from the pack. Bandleader Thao’s natural exuberance and wide-ranging songwriting acumen make for a joyful, must-see ACL appearance. The band close out the scorching set with the singalong folk pop of “We the Common,” with the Austin crowd happy to oblige.

“Thao is a true artist for the 21st century,” says Lickona. “Her influences are wide-ranging, and her live performances are mesmerizing and infectious!”

Tune in this weekend for this episode, and, as always, check your local PBS listings for the broadcast time in your area. Go to the episode page for more info, and don’t forget to click over to our Facebook, Twitter and newsletter pages for more ACL info. Next week: Eric Church.

 

Austin City Limits featured on Sonic Highways!

Foo Fighters © Ringo

The Foo Fighters’ critically-acclaimed HBO series Sonic Highways documents the band’s process of recording its new album in different cities across the country, with a focus on each city’s music scene. We hope you’ll tune in this Friday for the fourth installment, which features not only Austin but our own Austin City Limits – the band recorded a track in the historic Studio 6A and Dave Grohl sat down with ACL executive producer Terry Lickona for an extensive interview. The hourlong episode also features Austin favorites and ACL veterans including Willie Nelson, Jimmie Vaughan and Gary Clark Jr.  Grohl describes the series as a “Love Letter to American Music” and this episode is clearly a love letter to our beloved Austin—we’re thrilled to offer this exclusive clip from the upcoming program:

Tune-in Friday, November 8th at 11pm for this must-see broadcast!

 

Ticket Giveaway: Foo Fighters 11/7

photo by Steve Gullick

UPDATE: The giveaway is now over

Austin City Limits will be taping a performance by Foo Fighters on Friday, November 7th, at 8 pm at ACL Live at The Moody Theater (310 W. 2nd Street, Willie Nelson Blvd). This event will also feature a preview screening of the Austin episode of the HBO show Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways.

We will be giving away a limited number of space available passes to this taping. Enter your name and email address on the below form by 9 am on Thursday, November 6th. Winners will be chosen at random and a photo ID will be required to pickup tickets. Winners will be notified by email. Passes are not transferable and cannot be sold. Standing may be required.

No photography, recording or cell phone use in the studio.

New taping: Foo Fighters 11/20

photo by Steve Gullick

UPDATED POST:
Due to a family matter, Foo Fighters regrettably must postpone Friday’s appearance in Austin for their Sonic Highways screening and Austin City Limits taping.

The band sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience and promises to make it up when they return to Austin on Thursday, November 20th, 2014.  All passes for the original engagement will be honored.

Tonight’s Sonic Highways preview screening will go on as scheduled. 

Note: post is updated with new date

Austin City Limits is thrilled to announce a new taping for Season 40, featuring the return of the Foo Fighters on Thursday, November 20th.

Foo Fighters have been busy since they last appeared on ACL in Season 34. Releasing the still-charting Greatest Hits in 2009, the band recorded and released the international #1 album Wasting Light in 2011, featuring the hits “Rope,” “Walk” and “These Days” and earning five Grammy Awards, including their fourth for Best Rock Album. FF founder Dave Grohl followed up that triumph by directing the acclaimed documentary Sound City. For the band’s eighth album, Sonic Highways, the band’s music and Grohl’s directorial skills resulted in both an amazing new album and the acclaimed HBO series, Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways, each episode featuring Grohl and bandmates Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett and Pat Smear recording a song in one of eight U.S. music capitals and featuring luminaries from each city’s music scene. Austin was one of the cities, of course, with the Foos recording a track in ACL’s original Studio 6A (also the source of “Two Headed Dog [Red Temple Prayer],” the Roky Erickson cover the band contributed to our 40th anniversary special). We’re sure to hear new highlights from Sonic Highways and more when the Foo Fighters return to ACL once again.

As a special treat, we’ll present a preview screening of the Austin episode of Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways, which premiers this week on HBO, before the taping begins.

Want to be part of our audience? Sign up in our upcoming tapings section