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ACL Season 45 Streaming Bonus: Epic Hour with Rock Supergroup The Raconteurs

Steady now: Austin City Limits turns up the volume with a fan-favorite highlight from this season: a streaming-only bonus installment of The Raconteurs’ acclaimed appearance, back by popular demand and amplified by previously unseen performances for a full, hour-long set. The return of powerhouse rockers The Raconteurs, the supergroup featuring Jack White, Brendan Benson, Patrick Keeler and Jack Lawrence, in their first appearance in over a decade was one of the most-watched broadcasts of Season 45.  The free webisode offers double The Raconteurs and will be available to music fans everywhere to stream online here beginning Wednesday, February 12, 3 pm CT at pbs.org/austincitylimits

The Raconteurs’ electrifying Season 45 broadcast earned raves from viewers and critics alike: “The Raconteurs Cut Loose with Face-Melting Austin City Limits Performance”Spin; “The Raconteurs Rock the Fuck Out on ACL TV”Consequence of Sound. The 11-song enhanced performance includes five additional songs from their 2019 Austin City Limits taping—more of the incomparable Jack White and his partners-in-crime, more blazing guitar solos, more iconic riffs and more swaggering hooks.

The Raconteurs return with a full-tilt romp featuring killer gems from the acclaimed HELP US STRANGER, their third studio LP and first album in more than a decade. Featuring both Jack White and Brendan Benson as lead singers/guitarists AND songwriters, with an ace rhythm section of Jack Lawrence (bass) and Patrick Keeler (drums), and augmented by multi-instrumentalist Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age) for this appearance, The Raconteurs deliver a love letter to classic rock in a performance for the ages. Fellow Detroit natives Benson and White trade-off lead vocals in a blistering 11-song set of pure rock and roll. Tearing into back-to-back STRANGER highlights including “Bored and Razed,” “Only Child,” “Sunday Driver” and “Help Me Stranger,” the energy is pushed to 11, as the band adds new classics to rock’s canon. The hard-driving combo dip back into 2008’s GRAMMY-winning Consolers of the Lonely for the searing “Old Enough” and “Top Yourself” anchored by White and Benson’s mighty guitar work, then nod to the Sixties with an ecstatic cover of Donovan’s 1965 classic “Hey Gyp (Dig the Slowness)”. With dazzling showmanship and guitars shredding in harmony, the band rips into the number that introduced The Raconteurs to the world,  “Steady, As She Goes,” from their 2006 debut Broken Boy Soldiers. White leads the crowd in call-and-response with the audience chanting “Are you steady now?” before the face-melting anthem erupts into an epic blitz of guitar bliss. Tying it all off is an extended version of “Carolina Drama,” The Raconteurs’ gothic American murder ballad. “If you want to know the truth of the tale,” howls White, with the Austin audience chanting the final, dramatic “Go and ask the milkman” line for a storybook ending and a standing ovation.

“As usual, The Raconteurs are doing what comes natural – reminding us that rock and roll is alive and well, and in Jack White’s hands the power of the guitar has no match,” said ACL executive producer Terry Lickona.

THE RACONTEURS SETLIST: *(additional songs not in original broadcast)

BORED AND RAZED*

ONLY CHILD*

NOW THAT YOU’RE GONE

SUNDAY DRIVER

HELP ME STRANGER

THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS*

OLD ENOUGH*

TOP YOURSELF

HEY GYP (DIG THE SLOWNESS)

STEADY, AS SHE GOES

CAROLINA DRAMA*

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Rosalía invigorates ACL’s season 45 finale

Austin City Limits closes out Season 45 with a spectacular full-hour performance showcasing celebrated Spanish singer-songwriter Rosalía in her ACL debut. The globally praised Flamenco-fusion artist has taken the music world by storm, winning her first Grammy Award and five Latin Grammys while also garnering the first-ever Best New Artist Grammy nomination for a principally Spanish language artist.

Catapulted to global stardom with chart-topping Spanish language hits, Rosalía lights up the ACL stage in an irresistible hour, filled with songs from her acclaimed 2020 Grammy-winning El Mal Querer album, which also led the field of winners at this year’s Latin Grammy Awards—including the first “Album of the Year” recognition in 13 years for a solo female artist. She dazzles in a stellar 16-song set that showcases her trailblazing fusion of classic flamenco, reggaetón, hip-hop and electronic beats. The captivating red-clad singer, flanked by dancers in sheer red outfits, opens the hour with “Pienso En Tu Mirá,” her emotive vocals augmented by double-time flamenco handclaps and exciting choreography. The 26-year-old Catalan, Spain native puts her hand to her heart as she reacts to enthusiastic cheers from the Austin audience, saying “It means so much to me to be here because I’m very far from where I am from.” Rosalía has revolutionized flamenco, making it accessible for a new generation, and thrills the rapt audience with a passionate, goosebump-inducing a capella version of an early 20th century flamenco classic, “Catalina.” A gifted, expressive singer and dancer, she tilts her head back to unleash her powerful vocal amid rhythmic handclaps and the audience erupts. Rosalía closes out a stunning set with back-to-back showstoppers including the smash international single, “Con Altura,” her chart-topping collaboration with reggaetón star J Balvin (which has racked up more than 1.2 billion views on YouTube, making it 2019’s most-viewed music video by a female artist) and the breakout single “Malamente” that started it all, earning six 2018 Latin Grammy nods, propelling Rosalía from Spanish pop star to international sensation.

“‘Original’ is often a cliché when it’s applied to new music, but there’s no better way to describe Rosalía,” says ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “Her impact is profound – blurring all the boundaries between cultures, genres, and generations. She is the future, here today.”

As always, check your local PBS listings for the broadcast time in your area, and don’t forget to click over to our Facebook and Twitter pages or sign up for our newsletter for more ACL info. Join us next week for a special encore episode, featuring Americana superstar Brandi Carlile. 

ROSALÍA setlist:

PIENSO EN TU MIRÁ

BAREFOOT IN THE PARK

DE MADRUGÁ

CATALINA (a cappella)

DIO$ NO$ LIBRE DEL DINERO

A NINGÚN HOMBRE

DE AQUI NO SALES (PREGÓN)

DI MI NOMBRE

BAGDAD

BRILLO

PARRITA REMIX

SANTERÍA

YO X TI, TU X MI

CON ALTURA

AUTE CUTURE

MALAMENTE

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Billie Eilish reveals many dimensions on ACL’s Season 45

Austin City Limits spotlights newly minted five-time Grammy Award winner Billie Eilish in an epic hour.  The global pop phenomenon performs her off-kilter pop hits and songs from her acclaimed multi-platinum smash WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? 

18-year-old Los Angeles native Billie Eilish just swept the 2020 Grammy Awards, winning Best New Artist, Song, Record and Album of the Year, becoming only the second person in Grammy history to win all of the “Big Four” categories and the youngest person ever to win Album of the Year. 

Eilish’s celebrated debut album, 2019’s WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? is the centerpiece of her stunning ACL debut, and the striking neon-green clad teen commands the stage in an electrifying 14-song set, accompanied by her brother and collaborator FINNEAS, who earned his first Grammys as 2020 Producer of the Year for his sister’s debut.  

Sporting a shock of lime-green hair and an oversized t-shirt, Eilish playfully saunters onstage to the electronic pulse of her Grammy-winning, No. 1 megahit, the pop-noir smash “bad guy,” as her whisper-speak vocals lend a sinister edge to this tale of dark seduction. She thrills on the thorny world domination fantasy “you should see me in a crown,” directing the delirious crowd to “sing as loud as you possibly can.” The innately groundbreaking artist remakes pop iconography and gives voice to 21st century teen ennui with lacerating songs about Gen Z angst, recreational drug use, heartbreak and self-destruction. Eilish performs the early career highlights that launched her meteoric rise: the sparse, synthy 2016 viral hit ballad “ocean eyes” (that generated a massive online following), and the spellbinding, melancholy “idontwannabeyouanymore,” from her 2017 EP Don’t Smile At Me

A truly hypnotic performer, Eilish flaunts her range, singing with featherlight vocals and a lingering ache on the haunting heartbreak anthem “when the party’s over”—about going home angry and alone—before giving in to the sampled screams and grim impulses of the monster under the bed fever dream “bury a friend” for a riveting closer. The young star then descends into the rapt ACL audience, sweetly embracing her fans, enveloped in a screaming sea of hands and iPhones. 

photo by Scott Newton


“Whether you’re already a hardcore fan, or you were captivated by her mesmerizing Grammy performance, this is a rare opportunity to see the many dimensions of Billie Eilish live in concert,” says ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “An artist like Billie comes along once in a generation. Her Grammy sweep is historic; her ACL performance is historic.”

As always, check your local PBS listings for the broadcast time in your area, and don’t forget to click over to our Facebook and Twitter pages or sign up for our newsletter for more ACL info. Join us next week for another new episode, featuring Grammy-winning Spanish star Rosalía. 

BILLIE EILISH setlist:

bad guy

my strange addiction

you should see me in a crown

idontwannabeyouanymore

copycat

when i was older

wish you were gay

xanny

all the good girls go to hell

ilomilo

bellyache

ocean eyes

when the party’s over

bury a friend

goodbye (outro)

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Cage The Elephant and Tank and The Bangas galvanize ACL Season 45

Austin City Limits spotlights thrilling live bands in a new installment featuring rock giants Cage The Elephant, one of music’s biggest live acts. The hour also introduces a 2020 “Best New Artist” GRAMMY nominee, New Orleans breakout act Tank and the Bangas. 

Hailing from Kentucky, the Nashville-based six-piece Cage The Elephant perform tracks from their acclaimed fifth album Social Cues, alongside career highlights in a stellar, hit-filled set. Charismatic lead singer/live wire Matt Shultz takes the stage in a signature makeshift outfit: elbow-length blue gloves, blue tights adorned with women’s lace underwear, headphones and goggles. A wardrobe rack and a trunk filled with props sit onstage amidst the amplifiers, as the shape-shifting frontman changes outfits with each song. “It’s a lot of work wearing all these different personalities,” says Shultz, while seamlessly delivering a seven-song set of his ubiquitous alternative-rock hits. Opening with the new wave-heavy smash “Broken Boy,” Shultz, known for his wild antics, stalks the stage in a can’t-look-away performance. Reaching back to 2015’s GRAMMY-winning Tell Me I’m Pretty for “Cold Cold Cold,” Shultz changes into fluorescent yellow fishermen’s gear, and ventures into the audience, sprinting into the bleachers and sliding down the steps backward on his head. Without missing a beat, the hit parade continues with melodic charmer “Trouble,” as the crowd sings along with every word; an iconic slide guitar riff next signals the 2008 breakthrough hit “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked,” as Shultz dons a fishnet face mask and climbs onto the P.A. for the Cage classic. The band closes out with radio smash “Come a Little Closer,” turned into a raucous, audience participation anthem.

“Matt Shultz takes the prize for the most wardrobe changes in a single show in ACL history,” laughs ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “Who knew? Nobody knows quite what to expect from Cage The Elephant, and that’s a big part of why their fans love them so much.”

photo by Scott Newton

New Orleans five-piece R&B, funk and hip-hop outfit Tank and the Bangas shine in a radiant ACL debut featuring songs from the 2019 major label debut Green Balloon. A unit where jazz meets hip-hop, soul meets rock, and funk is the heartbeat of all they do, this versatile act came together in 2011 at a NOLA open mic event, and got propelled into the national limelight when they unanimously won NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest in 2017. The Big Easy band takes viewers on a handclapping, swaying, joyous ride through its world. Former slam poet and magnetic lead singer Tank Ball shifts from a lilting sing-song to deep and forceful rapping on set opener “Spaceships.” The Bangas keep the music rolling and solos flying as Tank unleashes her powerful vocal on “Ripperton Love,” in tribute to R&B legend Minnie Ripperton. On the soulful meditation “Hot Air Balloon,” Ball explores her elastic voice as the band provides an other-worldly soundscape building to a fiery sax solo. Set-closer “The Brady’s” has it all: sweet harmonies, crashing drums, rock guitar and relentless groove, anchored by Tank’s colorful vocal stylings.

“Tank and the Bangas radiate joy, and their set is nothing but a musical joy ride,” says Lickona. “The world needs Tank and the Bangas more now than ever.”

As always, check your local PBS listings for the broadcast time in your area, and don’t forget to click over to our Facebook and Twitter pages or sign up for our newsletter for more ACL info. Join us next week for another new episode, featuring Grammy-nominated pop newcomer Billie Eilish. 

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Mitski and Rainbow Kitten Surprise bring fresh sounds to ACL 45

Austin City Limits showcases a pair of innovators in a captivating double bill: acclaimed indie songwriter and performer Mitski in a rare television performance and eclectic alt-rockers Rainbow Kitten Surprise

Critically acclaimed as the vanguard of indie rock, Japanese-born American Mitski Miyawaki performs songs from her stunning fifth album Be the Cowboy alongside career highlights in her ACL debut. The singer-songwriter pulls the curtain back on her emotionally raw songs in a spellbinding 8-song set backed by her 4-piece band. The innovative artist has a singular performance style that plays out like conceptual art; the stage is set with a white wooden table and chair, basic props that are repurposed as a platform, a screen and a shield as the show unfolds. Wearing black shorts, knee pads and dance shoes, and armed with a stone-cold stare, Mitski moves slowly, deliberately, opening with the passionate, throbbing “I Will,” from her 2014 debut Bury Me At Makeout Creek, climbing atop the prop table victoriously at the song’s climax. With velvety tones and incisive poetry, she raises her voice on love and loneliness, coaxing the rapt audience to enter the darkest parts of her mind, to swirl in her insecurities, to stand at her side as she vanquishes residual longing from love gone wrong. On her knees on the table as guitarist (and longtime producer) Patrick Hyland strums the chords to the anthem “Your Best American Girl,” from her 2016 breakout Puberty 2, Mitski rides the gorgeous swells of sound, whipping her hair, before delivering a gut-wrenching performance of “I Bet on Losing Dogs” that leaves her curled in a fetal position on top of the table. The performance is a meticulously detailed exercise in vulnerability and cathartic release, for one of the most compelling performances ever on the ACL stage.

“Performance is as much a part of Mitski’s show as the songs are – maybe even more so,” said ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “I guarantee that if you’re a longtime fan of ACL,  you’ve neve seen anything quite like this.”

Nashville-based five-piece Rainbow Kitten Surprise formed at Appalachian State University in 2013 and make their ACL debut drawing heavily from their acclaimed third album How To: Friend, Love, Freefall.  Opening with the fan-favorite “Hide,” the song is amplified by singer Sam Melo’s soulful vocals and bitter cries of “You better hide your love!” The high-spirited alt-rockers deliver a blissed-out free-for-all, with charismatic frontman Melo engaging in unpredictable bursts of physical expression, from high kicks to swirling twirls to near-leaps into the crowd and bassist/sparkplug Charlie Holt often mirroring his jumps and dips. This joyful vitality and powerful camaraderie infuse the music’s kaleidoscopic sonic palette with inventive arrangements and indelible melody. Set highlights include “Cocaine Jesus,” augmented by a cappella harmonies and “When It Lands,” an ambitious, multi-movement composition that showcases each member’s talents. Melo is behind the piano as he croons the intro to the dramatic “Holy War,” before retaking the mic at center stage for the tumbling folk of set-closer “Painkillers.” 

photo by Scott Newton

“If you haven’t experienced seeing Rainbow Kitten Surprise, you are missing something in your life,” said Lickona. “The combo of jump kicks, their original electro-folk sound and ghostly harmonies will carry you away to psychedelic Neverland.”

As always, check your local PBS listings for the broadcast time in your area, and don’t forget to click over to our Facebook and Twitter pages or sign up for our newsletter for more ACL info. Join us next week for another new episode, featuring wild-eyed rockers Cage the Elephant and eclectic R&B ensemble Tank & The Bangas. 

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The Raconteurs and Black Pumas rock ACL Season 45

Austin City Limits presents a Season 45 highlight: the return of powerhouse rockers The Raconteurs, the supergroup featuring Jack White, Brendan Benson, Patrick Keeler and Jack Lawrence making their first appearance in over a decade in a must-see new installment. The hour also introduces one of the 2020 GRAMMY® “Best New Artist” nominees, Austin breakout duo Black Pumas

The Raconteurs return with a full-tilt romp featuring killer gems from the acclaimed HELP US STRANGER, their third studio LP and first album in more than a decade. Featuring both Jack White and Brendan Benson as lead singers/guitarists AND songwriters, with an ace rhythm section of Jack Lawrence (bass) and Patrick Keeler (drums), The Raconteurs deliver a love letter to classic rock in a performance for the ages. Fellow Detroit natives Benson and White trade-off lead vocals in a blistering six-song set of pure rock and roll. The hard-driving combo dip back into 2008’s GRAMMY®-winning Consolers of the Lonely for the searing “Top Yourself” anchored by White’s mighty guitar work, then a nod to the Sixties with an ecstatic cover of Donovan’s 1965 classic “Hey Gyp (Dig the Slowness)”. With dazzling showmanship and guitars shredding in harmony, the band tears into the number that introduced The Raconteurs to the world, “Steady, As She Goes,” from their 2006 debut Broken Boy Soldiers. White leads the crowd in call-and-response with the audience chanting “Are you steady now?” before the face-melting anthem erupts into an epic blitz of guitar bliss. 

“As usual, Jack White is doing what comes natural – reminding us that rock and roll is alive and well, and in his hands the power of the guitar has no match,” said ACL executive producer Terry Lickona.

Fast-rising Austin act Black Pumas, a collaboration between former L.A. street musician Eric Burton and GRAMMY®-winning guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada, cap an explosive breakout year with a luminous debut on the ACL stage. Described as “Wu-Tang meets James Brown” by KCRW, the soul-funk duo locked down their reputation for thrilling live shows with non-stop gigs, winning Best New Band at the 2019 Austin Music Awards. Fresh off their nomination for the 2020 GRAMMY® Awards prestigious “Best New Artist” honor, Black Pumas showcase highlights from their acclaimed 2019 self-titled debut. Singer Burton radiates soul on scorching opener “Know You Better” and the singles “Colors” and “Black Moon Rising.” Accompanied by powerhouse back-up singers, and the smoking guitar of Quesada, the Pumas bring an irresistible, simmering groove to the Austin City Limits stage. 

photo by Scott Newton

“Black Pumas started as a fun idea in the studio, then took off like a rocket and spread their love and high-octane energy around the globe,” added Lickona. “They truly are Austin’s newest musical ambassadors to the rest of the world.”

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. Join us next week for another new episode, featuring the sophisticated art pop of singer/songwriter Mitski and the exuberant indie rock of Rainbow Kitten Surprise.