ACL 2011 Rumors: Ten Bands Who Could Make The Cut

Will ACL close with classic rock again, like with the Eagles last year? Neil Young?
Will ACL close with classic rock again, like with the Eagles last year? Neil Young?
Marco Torres

The Austin City Limits Music Festival's big 2011 lineup announcement is imminent, scheduled for May 17, and Rocks Off will surely be on top of the news after it hits. Last year we sat on the computer, constantly pushing "refresh" for what seemed like hours until the lineup was sent out earlier than we were told. Sneaky, sneaky C3 Presents.

This being ACL's tenth year, rumors are flying that the lineup will be the lineup to end all lineups, with the organizers pulling out mega-watt firepower to bring even more folks into Zilker Park September 16, 17 and 18. What we can tell you is that the industry rumors we have heard aren't as fantastical as years past.

Also, Cee-Lo Green has already let the cat out of the bag by leaking news of his appearance.

We did hear a few months back in Austin that the show was moved up from October, its setting the past three years, to accommodate a bigger act - namely Radiohead, who by then look to be knee-deep in festival dates. They have never played ACL, and are just the right fit to close one of the three nights in September.

Foo Fighters at ACL 2008
Foo Fighters at ACL 2008
Dawn Jones-Garcia

Now that this year's line-up for August's Lollapalooza in Chicago has been released, with Eminem, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Muse, My Morning Jacket, A Perfect Circle and Deadmau5 leading the list, we can start doing some speculation on this year's ACL. C3 runs both events, and many bands sign on to do both festivals.

As for that Lolla list, we see a few bands that could make that leap to Texas.

We have a hard time seeing Eminem playing ACL, but we wouldn't mind the surprise, and he's on somewhat of a victory lap after Recovery. The Foos played in 2008, making them a contender. They're an overt crowd-pleaser, and the routing through Austin would telegraph a Houston show.

Coldplay was there in 2005, and are working on a new album with producer Brian Eno, which should be finished by September after two years of work. Muse took over the abandoned White Stripes slot in 2007 and returned in 2010 triumphantly with a whole three years worth of new fans, but it seems way too soon for a return, plus there is no new product as of yet to hawk.

As well-known as they are in the States now, they still aren't quite popular enough in Texas to get away with playing all of 2001's Origin of Symmetry for its tenth anniversary.

Radiohead's last time in Texas: The Woodlands, May 2008
Radiohead's last time in Texas: The Woodlands, May 2008
Mark C. Austin

Radiohead: The band would make a smashing ACL debut at festival No. 10, and Lord knows that they are a massive draw, iffy album like The King of Limbs be damned. Let's call this a lock and if not, look for them on a national tour by the fall anyhow.

Beastie Boys: Canceled in 2009 due to Adam Yauch's cancer announcement. A new album is out in just days, plus they look to be upping their profile.

Buffalo Springfield: The band is back together and playing Bonnaroo, and planning a fall tour. Honestly, a Neil Young appearance has been in the cards the past few years, but this reunion would be a worthy Sunday-night closer.

Paul Simon: Making the festival rounds this year behind well-received new album So Beautiful or So What. Also playing the Hangout Festival in Alabama and Glastonbury across the pond in the UK. We want this partly because he keeps skipping Houston. But then again, he may decide to go back home after the summer to cool off before a winter trek.

Arcade Fire: This would be the band's third appearance, with the last being 2007's thrilling set on the Neon Bible tour. It's the tenth ACL, so it would tie the room up together.


TV On the Radio at House of Blues, October 2008
TV On the Radio at House of Blues, October 2008
Craig Hlavaty

TV On the Radio: The grieving band, which just lost bassist Gerard Smith to cancer, seems to be going ahead with shows to play through the pain. Their schedule is open after July.

Wilco: Keeping with the anniversary spirit, frequent ACL perfomers Wilco (though also not since '07) would be a decent fit either as a closer one night, or an early evening appetizer before something like Buffalo Springfield.

My Morning Jacket: Ditto for MMJ, who have their new Circuital coming at the end of May, and our playing most every big festival, including Bonnaroo and Lolla.

Red Hot Chilli Peppers: New album coming by August, says drummer Chad Smith, and they would be a safe party-party-party band on Friday or Saturday night, and also very Austin brah-friendly.

Death From Above 1979: Man, nothing is going to beat that show at SXSW with the horses, tasers, and pepper spray. Just don't see DFA1979's cokey energy happening at Zilker Park, unless they pack them on that hippie stage where all the gray hairs smoke up all day just to cause trouble.

Bands That Are Even Money or Locks: Mumford & Sons, Bright Eyes, Big Audio Dynamite, The Cars, Ween, Beirut, Flogging Molly, Mountain Goats, White Lies...

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