There are plenty of talented musicians and fans flocking to Austin, Texas in September for the 2008 Austin City Limits Festival, ready for three solid days of fun, music and sun. I have decided to give a little peek at the most notable performers in this year’s ACL lineup, so that all of you know exactly how much talent is going into this year’s festival. In my opinion, each act listed in the ACL schedule for 2008 is worthy of praise and recognition, but here are five of the biggest names in the biz for you to consider:
1. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss:
First of all, you have got to give props to (arguably) the world’s most notorious rock vocalist for pairing with one of the biggest names in country bluegrass. The pair is an inconceivable one, I admit, but only until you hear the beautiful soundscapes that emerge from the vocal instrumentation of each musician. Plant’s tremendous vocals, stemming from his legendary days as a scream machine in Led Zeppelin, blend ever so quaintly with the lush whispers of Krauss. This duo, with their new album Raising Sand, is revolutionizing the frontier of blues, rock-n-roll, folk and country western through their thoroughly momentous debut. You need to see these superstars. Period.
2. John Fogerty:
Wow, remember when this guy used to wail out classics such as “Midnight Special,” or “Fortunate Son?” Well, now that I think about it, these songs are some of the biggest staples in my “can’t get that song out of your head” repertoire. Fogerty’s tenure with the famous Creedence Clearwater Revival is enough convincing needed to park me on the lawn over at Zilker Park. Did I already mention Robert Plant was going to be at ACL too? Yes, I did. Legends, folks – these guys are the real deal.
3. Foo Fighters:
Since 1995, the Foo Fighter have dominated the alternative/pop scene. Dave Grohl, the band’s founder and frontman, moved on with his career almost immediately after the demise of his former band, Nirvana, which split up immediately after the tragic suicide of Kurt Cobain. Grohl, already famous for his percussion career with Nirvana, took his image and his sound to the corporate table. He recorded what would become Foo Fighter’s first album entirely by himself, and it boomed from there. Within six months after the release of the album, it went platinum, and the Foo Fighters were made. Their newest album, tentatively titled “Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace” is set to release in September. This band is one of few veterans that manages to re-create itself with each album, and extend its hold on the genre we all like to call rock-n-roll. You need to see them at ACL.
Beck has single-handedly revolutionized the modern music industry, starting with his cunning debut, Odelay! Beck wields his distinctive vocals on each album he has produced, interrupting the conventional genres of folk, pop and alternative. He turns them around, creating a frenzy of eclectic styles, musical mayhem, soft melodies and funky rhythms, essentially rendering his sound as genre-less and blindingly novel. I saw beck play at the Backyard in Austin, Texas almost two years ago, and it still ranks as one of the best shows I have experienced in my lifetime. You will be so impressed by his talent, that you just might go out and buy two turntables and a microphone.
5. Erykah Badu:
She is one of the leading African-American vocalists in the biz, and her style dictates her incredible feminine presence. Erykah Badu’s interpretations of jazz, hip-hop and soul still wrench my gut every time I hear her voice. Her indelible lyrics force you to recognize struggle, emotion, and experience – obviously much of her own. This hip-hop goddess is going to be right on the Capital of Texas’ front lawn, so you need to stop by and sample some of the her seriously heavy material – it might just change your life.
So, there they are. True, these are some obvious picks, and for obvious reasons – they’re the cream of the crop. Remember, 3-day ACL passes are selling quickly, so check our site for passes, because we will have them even after they are sold out. If you can’t make it out to ACL this year, please visit our site for tickets to see other rediculously awesome legends: Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffet, Madonna, Tom Petty and The Police.