Taping recap: Sharon Van Etten

photo by Scott Newton

Sharon Van Etten had solidified her position as one of the queens of indie rock long before now. But her latest album Remind Me Tomorrow, with its sensual blend of folk, pop, new wave and electronics is rightly taking the singer/songwriter to a new plateau. We were happy to live stream her first-ever appearance on ACL, with Tomorrow as its centerpiece. 

Her four-piece band arrived onstage first, setting up the atmospheric intro of “Jupiter 4.” Wearing a sparkling silver suit, Van Etten took her place in front of the mic, opening her golden throat to give incandescent life to the lines “It’s true that everyone would like to have met a love so real.” Then drummer Jorge Balbi kicked out an insistent beat, part disco, part new wave, to signal the irrepressible RMT single “Comeback Kid,” as Van Etten rocked it like the love child of Patti Smith and the Motels’ Martha Davis. She brought similar gravitas to the throbbing “No One’s Easy to Love,” a tune driven by Devin Hoff’s insistent bass. Donning a Gibson hollowbody guitar, Van Etten mentioned that she and the band were happy to end their tour where it began, before strumming into “One Day,” an older tune that garnered enthusiastic cheers. She applied her powerful voice to the country-tinged “Tarifa,” imbuing it with smoldering power and ending with a quick strum of Charles Damski’s guitar. Van Etten replaced her guitar with a set of chimes, as Heather Woods Broderick’s buzzy synthesizer ushered in the moody “Memorial Day.” 

Electric guitar took center stage for the riff for the poppy “You Shadow,” though Van Etten’s voice easily pulled the spotlight. She stepped to the keyboard for the synth ‘n’ organ-heavy “Malibu,” which twisted California pop to her own darker purposes. On came another guitar as the band put the song through a grinding coda, with no pause before the intense, thudding rocker “Hands.” The band left the stage as she sat at the piano for a stunning solo rendition of Sinead O’Connor’s “Black Boys On Mopeds,” a song she noted “was made during another time of unrest, but is sadly still relevant today.” After that emotional powerhouse it was time for something more upbeat, delivered via the deceptive “Seventeen,” the poppy sheen of which was disrupted by Van Etten’s angry shouts, to the audience’s delight. She took a minute to praise and introduce her band and crew before going into the stately folk rocker “Everytime the Sun Comes Up,” another tune from Are We There. Van Etten and band ended the main set with the beautiful anthem “Stay,” to major applause. 

The crowd clearly hadn’t had enough, so the musicians came back, with Van Etten back at the piano for the elegant, emotionally fraught “I Told You Everything” (“no changing my mind”). She re-donned her guitar for the last song of the night, the pounding anthem “All I Can,” from her 2012 breakthrough Tramp. It was a fine way to cap a strong show, and we can’t wait for you to see it when it airs as early next year as part of our Season 45 on your PBS station. 

Taping recap: Cage the Elephant

photo by Scott Newton

Cage The Elephant are undeniably one of the hottest bands in America – maybe the hottest. The Nashville-based (but Bowling Green-born) septet was a success right out of the box, and has only gotten bigger, more powerful, and more sheer rock & roll since its 2008 hit “Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked” hit the airwaves. Now, following a string of festival dates, the GRAMMY®-winning band made its ACL debut in support of its acclaimed fifth album Social Cues, and it was a show we were lucky to live stream around the world. 

The band took the stage with piles of clothes, hats and masks scattered about, singer Matt Shultz in one of his signature homemade outfits, with blue tights and elbow length rubber gloves, sunglasses and t-shirt. He moved slowly to a beach chair placed on the stage, but once the musicians jumped into the new wave-heavy “Broken Boy,” he leaped up and stalked the stage. The energy level ratched up another notch with the garage rocking “Cry Baby,” the rock getting rockier, a toothbrush making an appearance and Shultz demonstrating an inability to stand still (or keep the same hat on for more than a minute at a time) in the classic Iggy Pop manner. He donned a mask for the crunching “Spiderhead,” then a yellow fisherman’s outfit and another mask (on top of the one he was currently wearing) for the power “ballad” “Too Late to Say Goodbye.” Still in his yellow outfit, Shultz went maskless for “Cold, Cold, Cold,” which sounded like a long-lost Nuggets cut, before taking his case directly to the people by joining the audience in their seats. He added tinfoil to his ensemble for “Ready to Let Go,” a midtempo song that served as a breath-catcher, and gave Shultz time to find a facemask to sing through. The band leapt directly into “Social Cues” before pausing just long enough for Shultz to note, “I lost my toothbrush. What if I want to brush my teeth?”

Smoke emerged from the stage and the lights went crazy for “Tokyo Smoke,” another new wavey tune from Social Cues that featured Shultz in tight white pants and a straw gardening hat. He pulled a lycra body suit on, giving the crowd time to cheer wildly for the opening riff of the radio hit “Mess Around.” Cage took on a folk rock air for “Trouble,” another crowd-pleaser with which the audience sang along. “Skin and Bones” also let the energy simmer for a few minutes, with Shultz concentrating on his singing and movement. Then a familiar slide guitar riff introduced the band’s breakthrough “Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked,” with the thrilled crowd once again treated to the snakehipped Shultz’s presence among them. Cage went back to the garage for the rocking “It’s Just Forever,” which ended in a flurry of improvisation, before entering dream territory for the psychedelic “Telescope.” After a brief Shultz sojourn atop a stool, the band ripped into the pounding “House of Glass,” with the singer entwining himself in the stool’s legs during the tune’s climax. 

As the show headed towards its end, it became a cavalcade of hits. Following a monologue in which Shultz thanked the crowd for the energy it was giving the band, Cage offered up the massive radio hit “Come a Little Closer,” once again earning singalong from the crowd. “My cup runneth over…with love,” Shultz enthused, before the arpeggio that opens “Shake Me Down” drove the audience wild. A volcanic performance followed, as befitting one of Cage’s signature songs. Then it was on to the anthemic folk rocker “Cigarette Daydreams,” another radio and fan favorite. That served as a palette cleanser for the full-on rock attack of “Teeth.” “Are you into the beat?” the song rhetorically asks, and it was clear that the audience certainly was, given the titanic roar that followed the song’s climax. Though most of the band quit the sage, Shultz didn’t make it off, instead stopping to choose a new outfit, then donning a guitar. Joined by keyboardist Matthan Minster and guitarist Nick Bockrath, Shultz continued the show with the tender and sad “Goodbye.” He ended the show with the even more lovely “Love’s the Only Way.” The audience cheered loudly as the members filed offstage. It was a remarkable show, unlike anything we’ve had before, and we can’t wait for you to see it when it airs early next year on your local PBS station. 

ACL to live stream tapings from Cage the Elephant and Sharon Van Etten

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Austin City Limits is excited to announce that we will be live streaming two highly-anticipated tapings: rock giants Cage the Elephant on 9/27 and indie rock queen Sharon Van Etten on 9/30. Each stream starts at 8 pm CT on our YouTube channel

Cage The Elephant is one of rock’s biggest live acts, and the band makes their ACL debut on the heels of their recently released fifth studio album Social Cues. Produced by John Hill (Santigold, Florence + The Machine, Portugal. The Man, tUnE-yArDs), Social Cues is the follow up to their 2015 GRAMMY®-winning Tell Me I’m Pretty for Best Rock Album.  The acclaimed Social Cues is garnering raves with Rolling Stone calling it “their best album yet” and The Chicago Sun-Times saying “the band has pushed their sonic boundaries further and created their most personal record to date.”  The majority of the material on Social Cues was written during the unraveling of frontman Matt Shultz’s marriage. In order to make sense of such a difficult experience, he explored the hidden recesses of his psyche, creating characters to tell different parts of his personal story. He explains, “when I’m creating, I try to put myself in a reactive state of improvisational thought. I let images just arise in my mind and wait for it to evoke an emotional response and then when it does, I know I’m on to something.” Deeply inspired by punk music, brothers Brad and Matt Shultz began playing music in their Bowling Green, KY high-school with fellow students Jared Champion and Daniel Tichenor. Shortly after forming the band, they made the bold move to London to launch their career. Their self-titled 2008 debut album generated international attention, catapulting them up the Billboard Alternative and Rock charts and achieving Platinum certification. Cage The Elephant has released three additional studio albums – 2011’s Thank You, Happy Birthday, the Gold-certified Melophobia in 2013 and 2015’s Tell Me I’m Pretty. They have had 7 Billboard #1 singles with 11 singles landing in the Billboard Top 10 and digitally have a combined 1.5 billion streams worldwide. Cage The Elephant is lead singer Matt Shultz, rhythm guitarist Brad Shultz, drummer Jared Champion, bassist Daniel Tichenor, lead guitarist Nick Bockrath and keyboardist Matthan Minster.  

Sharon Van Etten’s fifth album, Remind Me Tomorrow, called her “most atmospheric, emotionally piercing album to date” (Pitchfork), comes four years after the acclaimed Are We There, and reckons with the life that gets lived when you put off the small and inevitable maintenance in favor of something more present. “I wrote this record while going to school, pregnant, and working on other music” says Van Etten. Throughout Remind Me Tomorrow, the singer-songwriter veers towards the driving, dark glimmer moods that have illuminated the edges of her music throughout her decade-long career and pursues them full force. With curling low vocals and brave intimacy, Remind Me Tomorrow is an ambitious album that provokes our most sensitive impulses: reckless affections, spirited nurturing, and tender courage. Rolling Stone raves the release “…ups her ambitions even further, pushing toward a grand, smoldering vision of pop.”  Recorded in Los Angeles, the songs on Remind Me Tomorrow have been transported from Van Etten’s original demos through producer John Congleton’s arrangement. Congleton (St. Vincent, David Byrne, Unknown Mortal Orchestra) helped flip the signature Sharon Van Etten ratio, making the album more energetic-upbeat than minimal-meditative. “I tracked two songs as a trial run with John,” she says. “I gave him Suicide, Portishead, and Nick Cave’s Skeleton Tree as references and he got excited. The songs are as resonating as ever, the themes are still an honest and subtle approach to love and longing, but Congleton has plucked out new idiosyncrasies from Van Etten’s sound. For Remind Me Tomorrow, Van Etten put down the guitar. The record shows this magnetism towards new instruments: piano keys that churn, deep drones, distinctive sharp drums. There are intense synths, a propulsive organ, a distorted harmonium.   The New York Times named the record’s first single “Comeback Kid” one of “The 25 Songs That Matter Right Now,” calling it “the song you want to raise up your fists and loosen your hips to.”

Van Etten is earning glowing reviews on her global tour, with high-profile slots at Glastonbury and Lollapalooza. NPR Music raves that her live show is “a grand and magnificent turning point for this talented performer and her band.”  We are thrilled to welcome Van Etten to our stage in her first-ever appearance.

Join us on Sept. 27 for Cage the Elephant here and on Sept. 30 for Sharon Van Etten here for sets by these great artists. The broadcast episodes will air later this year as part of our new Season 45 premiering October 5 on PBS.

New tapings: The Raconteurs, Billie Eilish and Rosalía

photo by David James Swanson

Austin City Limits announces new tapings of our Season 45, featuring a trio of originals who are highlights of our namesake ACL Festival this year.  We’re thrilled to welcome back GRAMMY® Award-winning rockers The Raconteurs on Oct. 3, returning to our stage for the first time in over a decade, and two breakout artists making ACL debuts: groundbreaking Spanish singer/songwriter Rosalía on Oct. 8 and global pop-phenom Billie Eilish on Oct. 11. 

The Nashville-based Raconteurs—featuring Jack White and Brendan Benson as dual frontmen/guitarists/lead singers/songwriters, and ace rhythm section of Jack Lawrence on bass and Patrick Keeler on drums—return with their acclaimed third studio LP and first new album in more than a decade, HELP US STRANGER (Third Man Records).  The chart-topping album debuted at #1 on the SoundScan/Billboard 200 — the band’s first-ever #1 and their third trip to the top 10. Featuring a cadre of killer songs, HELP US STRANGER sees the mighty Raconteurs reassembled, stronger and even more vital than ever before as they continue to push rock ‘n’ roll forward into its future, bonding prodigious riffs, blues power, sinewy psychedelia, Detroit funk, and Nashville soul via Benson and White’s uncompromising songcraft and the band’s steadfast musical muscle. With HELP US STRANGER, The Raconteurs have returned right when they are needed most, unified and invigorated with boundless ambition, infinite energy and a collectivist spirit operating at the peak of its considerable powers, once again creating a sound and fury only possible when all four of its members come together. The band burst onto the scene in 2006 with their now-classic debut album, BROKEN BOY SOLDIERS, winning worldwide acclaim, Grammy® nominations for Best Rock Album and Best Rock Performance and a chart-topping smash single in “Steady, As She Goes,” followed by 2008’s Grammy®-winning CONSOLERS OF THE LONELYHELP US STRANGER is earning numerous shout-outs from national press: “The Raconteurs have made an album of what are, relatively, straight-up bangers…With tune after tune, this third Raconteurs outing is a blast” (The Guardian);  “HELP US STRANGER is Jack White and Brendan Benson’s love letter to classic rock” (Q); “the group’s richest batch of songs to date” (Spin).  Recorded at Third Man Studios in Nashville, TN, the record is proof positive a combo with chemistry like The Raconteurs has no rust to shake off. They are as scrappy, current, steadfast, and captivating as they were when they first joined forces, and their joy of creating together is satisfyingly palpable. Earning raves for their first live shows in eight years, the band return to our stage in the middle of an epic world tour, and we’re thrilled to welcome them back.

17-year-old Billie Eilish has fast become one of the biggest stars to emerge since the 2017 release of her debut single “ocean eyes,” and continues to shatter the ceiling of music with her genre-defying sound. Fast forward from her humble breakout, Billie’s record-breaking double platinum debut studio album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? debuted at #1 in the Billboard 200 in the U.S, as well as in the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Finland and many more. It is now the biggest North American debut of the decade (male, female or group), shifting 313,000 units in the first week and has already hit Number 1 in the Billboard 200 album charts an additional two times since its release in March, earning Billie more than 17 billion combined streams worldwide to date.  The LA native recently topped the Billboard Hot 100 with her single “bad guy”, becoming the first number one artist born this millennium. Billie received nine 2019 MTV Video Music Awards nominations and won three including Best New Artist at this year’s VMAs. Billie is the October cover star of Elle, and recently graced the covers of Rolling Stone, Billboard and V Magazine’s 20th Anniversary issue. Earning raves for her powerful live performances with breakthrough slots at 2019’s biggest music festivals, including Coachella, Glastonbury and our upcoming namesake ACL Festival, Billie is currently on her sold-out headlining WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP WORLD TOUR and we are excited to welcome her to our stage in her ACL debut.

Catalonian singer Rosalía’s landmark album EL MAL QUERER was released in 2018 to immediate critical and commercial success. The album’s groundbreaking fusion of classic Flamenco with R&B and electronic beats, coupled with 26-year-old Rosalía’s nod to the visual arts, fashion and choreography was strongly embraced by fans across the globe. The music industry at large took note, with the album’s breakout single “Malamente” garnering six 2018 Latin Grammy nominations, and taking home awards for Best Alternative Song and Best Urban Fusion Performance2019 has seen the groundbreaking Spanish star continue her meteoric ascent to Global stardom with an appearance alongside James Blake on his single “Barefoot in the Park,” and three smash singles of her own with the recent double track “Milionària & “Dio$ No$ Libre Del Dinero,” “Aute Cuture” and her widely-acclaimed, and frequent ‘Song of the Summer’ pick “Con Altura” with Reggaeton superstar J Balvin and featuring El Guincho. The video for “Con Altura” recently earned two MTV Video Music Awards wins including Best Latin Video and is 2019’s most-watched video from a female lead artist (now over 800 million views), reaching #1 on YouTube’s Global music video chart.  An equal factor in Rosalía’s worldwide embrace is her unique and starmaking live performances on her sold out “El Mal Querer Tour,” and across 2019’s top Global festivals – including Coachella, Primavera Sound, Glastonbury, Lollapalooza and many more. The reaction to her live show was best summarized by the UK’s NME in a FIVE STAR live review of her Glastonbury set declaring: “Rosalia put on the show of a lifetime…If you haven’t listened to Rosalia—or seen her live – you need to. ASAP.”  We’re thrilled to welcome her to our stage in her ACL debut. 

Want to be part of our audience? We will post information on how to get free passes about a week before each taping. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for notice of postings. The broadcast episodes will air later this year as part of ACL’s upcoming milestone Season 45 which premieres October 5 on PBS.

Taping recap: Colter Wall

photo by Scott Newton

Innovation is awesome, and music would be dead in the water without it. But innovation grows out of tradition, so it’s important for young artists to come along and keep tradition alive. What makes 24-year-old Colter Wall special is his ability to stay within traditional music stylings, while sounding fresh and contemporary, rather than stale and reactionary. That’s what the Canadian C&W artist does on his widely-acclaimed second album Songs of the Plains, and that’s what he did for his first ACL taping, which we live streamed around the world. 

Following Terry Lickona’s introduction, Wall and his four-piece backing group took the stage. Singing and picking alone, Wall opened the show with “Thirteen Silver Dollars,” essentially a folk song that became country when the band kicked in. He then reached back into Canadian musical history for the rodeo honky-tonker “Calgary Round-Up,” penned by Nova Scotian Wilf Carter (AKA Montana Slim in the States), Canada’s first country star and the father of Canadian country music. With a midtempo take on Johnny Cash’s “boom-chicka-boom,” Wall went back to his catalog of originals with “Saskatchewan in 1881,” highlighted by Jake Groves’ harmonica solo. He and the band then laid out a classic tear-in-your-beer two-stepper with “Thinkin’ On a Woman,” a perfect vehicle for his craggy baritone. Wall followed that with a brand new song, the folky cowboy tune “Happy Reunion,” penned by his songwriter friend Mike Beck and recently recorded in Texas. Straight from that new take on the cowboy tradition, he went to another song from the past: the waltzing “Cowpoke,” written by Elton Britt and recorded by a host of luminaries, including Eddy Arnold, Hank Williams, Jr., Riders in the Sky, Glen Campbell and Austin’s own Don Walser. Again, without pause, he essayed the next tune, and it was another old classic: Marty Robbins’ murder ballad “Big Iron,” which garnered immediate cheers at the first line. 

With the crowd in the palm of his hand, Wall then gifted us with another brand new song entitled “Western Swing and Waltzes,” a danceable honky-tonker with the air of a future setlist staple. Ditto “Hoolihans,” another unrecorded tune that dips into the tradition of songs about being on the road a little too long and using cowboy roping shots to stave off boredom. Itt took on extra poignancy stripped to just Wall and steel guitarist Patrick Lyons on dobro, to the crowd’s delight. That was followed by an older original, the witty, two-stepping “Motorcycle.” He paid more tribute to the Canadian C&W tradition with “The Coyote and the Cowboy,” taken from the catalog of British Colombian legend Ian Tyson. Then it was back to his own songs with the waltz “Plain to See a Plainsman,” a song Wall explained just “poured itself out” – Groves’ harmonica break earned enthusiastic cheers. Wall ended the set with “Sleeping On the Blacktop,” a fan favorite with dueling dobro and harmonica and a palpable sense of menace. It was a fine, stirring end to the show, and the audience clearly loved Wall’s earnest revival of old-school country & western. We can’t wait for you to see it when it airs this fall on your local PBS station.     

Taping recap: Black Pumas

photo by Scott Newton

While we at Austin City Limits cast our musical net far and wide, we have a special place in our hearts for hometown talent. So we were thrilled to present the fast-rising Austin act Black Pumas, led by singer Eric Burton and guitarist Adrian Quesada, who’s no stranger to our stage due to his work with Grupo Fantasma. Joined by a five-piece band, the duo gave us a burning hot set (which we live streamed around the world) of rock, funk and soul.

The audience extended these hometown heroes a warm welcome as they came onstage, setting a level of excitement as the band dived into the simmering soul groove of “Next to You,” with Burton showing off his husky pipes and slinky dance moves. The singer donned a guitar for “Colors,” a midtempo charmer from the group’s self-titled debut, highlighted by nifty solos from Quesada and keyboardist JaRon Marshall. New song “Black Cat” followed, blending a sixties-derived melody with a modern rock feel – a sound that moved Burton to join the crowd on the floor, to their delight. “Old Man” segued into seventies funk with a smoky descending groove anchored by a Latin bridge, while “Know You Better” charged into moodier territory while still keeping the rhythm alive. “Black Moon Rising,” the Pumas’ original calling card, stayed with the same groove without losing steam or heat. 

Some louder guitar licks signaled another new tune: the funky “I Am Ready,” accented by more Burton dance moves. He re-donned his guitar for the undulating “Stay Gold,” an anthem for positivity and good will. The former Congress Ave. busker then gave thanks to both Quesada and the crowd for his current career position, before jumping right into the hard-grooving “Fire.” An insistent electric piano lick and more Burton steps powered the sinuous “More Than a Love Song,” while the singer’s powerful voice and Quesada’s psychedelic solos made the ballad “Confines” soar into lighterwaving territory. The group brought back that soulful, brooding seethe for “OCT 33,” whose mystery came wrapped in a lush package. The Pumas ended the set with the explosive “Etta James,” with Burton paying tribute to the R&B great while Quesada smoked on guitar. 

The audience applauded rapturously, but of course that wasn’t the final tune. The band came back, with Burton leaping into the crowd for high-fives, with a surprising cover choice. The Pumas deftly transformed the Beatles’ string-quartet masterpiece “Eleanor Rigby” into a snarling soul rocker, paying tribute to Ray Charles’ radical rearrangement more than the original. Quesada ripped up his fretboard, while Burton and backup singers Angela Miller and Lauren Horsby anchored the song in the church mentioned in the lyrics. The audience cheered the Austin homeboys wildly, as well they should have. It was a great showcase for the power of Austin music, and we’re excited for you to see it early next year on your local PBS station.  

Taping recap: Vampire Weekend

photo by Scott Newton

Six years is a long time in popular music. For Vampire Weekend, that means six years since the band’s last album and six since the last time they were on Austin City Limits. But the success of their fourth album Father of the Bride – which is also their third #1 on the Billboard album chart – proves that six years is nothing to a fanbase as loyal and enthusiastic as theirs. To say the crowd was excited for Vampire Weekend’s return – which we live streamed around the world – is an understatement. 

The audience yelled their appreciation loudly as the seven-piece band took the stage with the double drummer groove of “Sympathy,” from Bride. The group then dipped into their landmark Modern Vampires of the City, for the jangly “Unbelievers.” A cheer went up at the opening, African-tinged chords of “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,” a canny update of American worldbeat experiments, followed by the eight-and-a-half minute “Stoneflower,” a more jamming multi sectional version of the new record’s “Sunflower” highlighted by dual guitar action and a dizzying solo from axe person Brian Roberts. If dual guitars are good, triple are better, as leader Ezra Koenig, bassist Chris Balo and Roberts harmonized the intro to the Afrobeat-loving “White Sky.” Bride’s “Bambina” followed, working a delightful pop atmosphere all VW’s own. That led into another epic tour-de-force, as “2021” went from ethereal ballad to bombastic lighter-waver, all of it laced with Koenig’s subtle talk box. The crowd loved it. 

Something lighter was clearly required, and the sweet psych pop of “Step” provided it. “My Mistake” got even quieter, its strain of sixties pop melody made all the more acute by its demand for close attention. Breath sufficiently caught, the band launched into “New Dorp New York,” Koenig’s collaboration with EDM producer SBTRKT, transformed into a Vampire Weekend funk rock epic. “This Life” took the band back to jangle pop, but Koenig’s jones for catchy melody really flowered on the masterful “Harmony Hall,” a clear audience favorite. VW followed that triumph with the radio hit “Diane Young,” its original faux-rockabilly stylings replaced by more forthright rock & roll. The group revisited second LP Contra for the spiky “Cousins,” but that was just a warm-up for “A-Punk,” the band’s breakthrough tune which brought the crowd to its feet to sing along. 

After that breathless five-song rush, it was time for another ballad, and the group obliged with the lovely “Hannah Hunt.” VW ended the main set with “Jerusalem, New York, Berlin,” which started slowly and gently, before building up into a drum-driven epic. The audience went wild. Of course, the band came back, bearing a surprising and faithful cover of Crowded House’s guitar pop standard “Don’t Dream It’s Over.” Following retakes of “2021” and “This Life” (which their fans didn’t mind at all), Vampire Weekend ended the show with the power popping “Walcott,” a fan favorite given a turbocharged reading here. It was an excellent show, and we can’t wait for you to see it when it airs this fall on your local PBS station.

ACL announces live streams for Vampire Weekend, Black Pumas and Colter Wall

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Austin City Limits is thrilled to announce that we will be live streaming a trio of upcoming tapings, with indie rock kings Vampire Weekend on 8/22, Austin psych soul band Black Pumas on 8/28 and Canadian Folk & Western singer Colter Wall on 8/30. Each stream starts at 8 pm CT on our YouTube channel

Vampire Weekend returns to Austin City Limits for their highly-anticipated second ACL appearance.  Ending months of fevered anticipation punctuated by three brilliant double-A-side singles and a slew of over-the-top positive early reviews, Vampire Weekend’s long-awaited fourth album Father of the Bride was released earlier this year, landing the #1 spot on the U.S. charts in its debut.  The album was released to rapturous reviews: GQ says “One of the most important bands of the 21st century…With Father of the Bride, their fourth album, the group has expanded itself and the conception of what a band can be”;  Stereogum hails Father of the Bride, “Quite possibly their magnum opus”; USA Today raves “Vampire Weekend returns as the best indie band of their generation.” The third Vampire Weekend album in a row to reach #1 on the Billboard 200, Father of the Bride’s first week tally of 138,000 is both the year’s biggest sales week for a rock act and the highest single week sales of the Grammy-winning band’s career. Vampire Weekend recently made their first television appearance in five years and kicked off their Father of the Bride North American Tour with sold-out dates throughout 2019. Watch the Vampire Weekend live stream on Aug. 22 here

Black Pumas, the collaboration between former L.A. street musician Eric Burton and guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada, the Grammy-winning founder of Austin’s Latin-funk powerhouse Grupo Fantasma, is having a banner year.  The buzzed-about act just released an acclaimed self-titled debut and won Best New Band at this year’s 2019 Austin Music Awards. Described as “Wu-Tang Clan meets James Brown” by KCRW, they locked down their reputation for thrilling live shows during a 2018 residency at the C-Boys venue in Austin that overnight became the hottest party in town.  The group’s 2019 South by Southwest appearance earned them numerous shout-outs from national press, with NPR hailing them “the breakout band of 2019” and Rolling Stone naming Black Pumas one of the festival’s best acts, saying “Few artists seem to tap the collective unease of the national moment quite like Austin’s Black Pumas…never missing a beat is the tireless, charismatic energy of singer Eric Burton.”  Austin-American Statesman raves “In an era of widespread despair, the band makes rock songs that feel like prayers.” Watch the Black Pumas live stream on Aug. 28 here

After two years of nonstop touring, Colter Wall wanted to make an album about home. Drawing on the stories of his native Saskatchewan, the young songwriter’s corner of the world takes shape throughout his second full-length album, Songs of the Plains. Produced by GRAMMY® Award-winning Dave Cobb in Nashville’s Studio A, the project combines striking original folk songs, well-chosen outside cuts, and a couple of traditional songs that reflect the 24-year-old’s roots growing up in a small town in Western Canada.   The New Yorker declared, “Wall is among the most reflective young country singers of his generation… His ace in the hole is his showstopping voice: a resonant, husky baritone, wounded and vulnerable.” “Wall pushes in close against the untenanted space of the middle provinces, filling their geographic gaps with an intoxicating rasp,” notes Pitchfork. “He sings with a serrated edge, his voice digging crevices rich with heartbreak, homeland, and heritage.” Noisey calls Songs of the Plains “ a heartbroken triumph, a statement suggesting that all that’s missing is perhaps not forever lost.” Watch the Colter Wall live stream on Aug. 30 here

Join us in August here for sets by these great artists. The broadcast episodes will air on PBS later this year as part of our upcoming Season 45.