Austin City Limits Music Festival 2012 Preview

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The Austin City Limits Music Festival returns this weekend and it’s COMPLETELY SOLD OUT again (you might be able to snag a VIP or Platinum Pass but you’ll need a rather fat wallet for it). If you’re not going this weekend, you can catch over 40 of the artists’ sets on the YouTube webcast of the festival at For the rest of you who are going, here are some artists you’ll definitely want to see up close.

By Jackie Ruth


Los Campesinos!
12:30 pm, Bud Light Stage

This British indie band has been rocking out since 2006, and they would be an energetic start to your weekend at the Austin City Limits Festival. Their music is mostly loud and joyful-sounding, though their lyrics don’t always match that description. Los Campesinos! mixes classic strings and percussion with chaotic electronic sounds and lead vocalist Gareth David does nothing to hide his Welsh accent. All of the members of the band refer to their last names as Campesinos!, so they come off as an inseparable group. If you like dancing to dynamic indie pop tunes, you’ll definitely want to check out Los Campesinos!

Florence + the Machine
6:30 pm, Bud Light Stage

Since 2010, London’s Florence + the Machine has been gaining notoriety for their beautiful, catchy hits, such as “The Dog Days Are Over” and “Shake It Out.” Named for lead vocalist Florence Welch, this group is a mixture of indie pop and soul, and Welch’s powerful voice is like nothing else out there right now. They’ve performed on Saturday Night Live and won 18 awards from outlets in the United States and Europe, including an MTV Music Video Award. Seeing Florence + the Machine live will give you something to brag about for years.

M. Ward
7:30 pm, Austin Ventures Stage

If you want a more laid-back show, check out California’s M. Ward on the Austin Ventures Stage. The male counterpart from She & Him (the “she” is Zooey Deschanel) and a member of supergroup Monsters of Folk, M. Ward has been making music as a solo artist since 1999. He is a master guitarist and has a uniquely soothing voice. Although he doesn’t always consistently interact with his audience the way a lot of musicians do, it’s a treat to see him play the music that he loves with such skill. His mixture of indie rock, folk and alt-country makes him stand out from the crowd, and his music is a great way to unwind and enjoy yourself.

The Black Keys
8:30 pm, Bud Light Stage

This bluesy-rock duo from Ohio has also been climbing the ranks to stardom since 2010, when they had commercial success with their song “Tighten Up,” which won them a Grammy in 2011. Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have been making albums together as The Black Keys since 2001, and their newest album, El Camino, is heavily influenced by music genres that were popular in America from the 1950s to the 1970s. They’re the headliners for Friday night, so you definitely don’t want to miss out on what is sure to be an exciting show.

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