2013 marks the first year that the Austin City Limits Music Festival -- Texas' other large outdoor music festival, never to be confused with Houston's own Free Press Summer Fest -- expands to two consecutive weekends with identical lineups. At this point the lineup for the festival, scheduled for October 4-6 and October 11-13, is weeks away from being announced.
The annual ACL announcement is always a big deal for Texas festival-heads. Granted, it's not as rich in flavorful band reunions and bearded, tattooed folk like Fun Fun Fun Fest, or weirdo corporate gigs like SXSW, but what it does offer is mainstream spectacle.
Last year's Iggy & the Stooges set was probably as "dangerous" as ACL has ever ventured, beyond that one time when it scheduled Wilco up against My Morning Jacket in 2007.
If Bruce Springsteen and his fleet aren't back in hibernation by October, they could be a great get too. Houston didn't even get a date with the Boss this past year, so yeah.
Having major musical acts tethered to Austin for two weeks straight would also be grand for cities like Houston, Dallas and New Orleans, and pretty much most of the Southwest.
Daft Punk is every ACL fanboy's wet dream, since the Internet was "cheated" out of a surprise gig in front of the state capitol during SXSW that was never ever going to happen, ever. Alas, the robots have already denied over and over again that they will be playing any shows in 2013.
Nobody listens, though.
And please, no more Jack White appearances for at least three years, or when his EDM project is fully functional.
Over at the Spacelab festival site, people are asking for everyone from 311 to Nine Inch Nails to play ACL. Nearly everyone is begging for Mumford And Sons and Bon Iver, if that tells you anything about the board's granola-tivity.
Let's indulge in some more speculation, shall we?
Atoms For Peace This isn't too terribly crazy, though it would finally bring Thom Yorke to ACL, but not with Radiohead. The supergroup has a handful of dates in October in the States nestled around ACL that would make a great fit.
Fun. The band is playing dates scheduled around ACL in New Orleans, Atlanta, Starkville, Mississippi, and of course Houston (Cynthia Woods) on October 6.
Mumford & Sons They've never headlined the festival and would fit riiiiight in with the sandals-and-bikini crowds.
Jimmy Buffett If Buffett's camp shrewdly decides to position him as the original Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, and (insert favorite mainstreamish "indie" singer-songwriter here) Buffett would be a noble fit to close Saturday or Sunday evening at ACL.
With a new album reportedly in the works, and a built-in following of Texas parrotheads, Buffett could bring in the crowd that came out in massive flocks (HA) to see the Eagles a few years back.
Arcade Fire AF's Régine Chassagne is "very pregnant," according to this Spinner piece from late February. Would the band have their new album completed and tour-ready for two straight weekends in October? Possibly.
Kings of Leon The Followills are back playing festivals after some time off to take a breather, drink a few beers, and have some kids. Hopefully they are sober enough to sequence that new album.
Phoenix The French act has nothing scheduled after late September, and the closest they get to Austin is a May 4 set at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and a spot on EdgeFest in Frisco, Texas on April 27 that isn't on their own website as of yet.
Tame Impala The Impalas are playing Leeds, Reading, Coachella, Fuji Rock, and Bonnaroo. ACL wouldn't hurt, now would it? Could give them the option of hitting up a bigger venue here in Houston too, since Fitz was a sellout in February.
Lumineers Their smaller stage set created a giant bottleneck last time around, and they keep building steam behind just one album of songs, so this is a no-brainer unless they shove off to record or something. Much like Tame Impala, they are playing nearly every 2013 festival imaginable.
Depeche Mode DM is skipping Austin during their mid-September swing through Texas, hitting only Houston and Dallas. They have only one other October show scheduled on their site, an October 8 date in Phoenix. That means they could be on a short leash in the South to play two shows at ACL, or are really into sunshine.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis If they close out a night, it gives you a jump on leaving for your hotel or your friend's house to eat, shower and slather yourself in aloe.
Django Django That one band from satellite radio.
John Fogerty Fogerty killed at SXSW, playing a headlining date at ACL Live with Bobby Bare Sr. and the True Believers. He has a new album Wrote a Song For Everyone coming in May, and he's already played ACL once before in 2008. His crowd-pleasing live show is one Creedence Clearwater Revival hit after the next, and would bring in an older demo.
Black Sabbath ACL went pretty aggressive last year with the Stooges, but would Sabbath be too aggressive? Sabbath did play Lollapalooza last year, so they aren't averse to "normal" festival dates, though Perry Farrell probably greased the wheels for that.
Queens of the Stone Age QOTSA hasn't played ACL since 2007 while touring behind Era Vulgaris, while a new album due in June, Like Clockwork, would give them reason to play festivals. But at this point Fun Fun Fun Fest seems a better for Josh Homme and company. Personally, I would rather see a tour with just the Queens and another act or two on the bill.
Some EDM act I have no clue about... Sure, they should definitely play. All the kids love them and the stage show is supposed to be excellent.
Rolling Stones Seems to me that the Stones would make the rest of this lineup pretty moot if they were booked for ACL. Though let's be honest, the Stones can and have commanded Zilker Park on their own before. Have mercy...
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Other "Locks": Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The xx, Jim James, Flume, Passion Pit, Imagine Dragons, Of Monsters and Men, Walk the Moon, Brandon Boyd, etc.