One of the saving graces of the Austin City Limits Music Festival for people who don’t have $200 laying around is the fact that they usually have a chance to catch some of their favorite artists perform in real venues at official aftershows. For those without passes, picking and choosing which aftershows to go to is an event in itself. This morning, the festival revealed it’s official list for 2011, with shows scheduled around Austin from Sept. 15-18. While there were no huge announcements like the Strokes preshow last year, it is a solid list that should provide plenty of choice for those who want to get in on some of the action.
Perhaps the biggest of these shows will occur on Sunday night, when Iron & Wine plays the Paramount Theater with My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James’ alter ego Yim Yames. Given the success of both of these artists over the last several years, this one is guaranteed to sell out in a matter of days. Some of the other big names include Nas, who is confusingly opening for derivative electronic act PRETTY LIGHTS in a show before the festival at Austin Music Hall, Manu Chao at Stubb’s on Friday, and Bright Eyes with Kurt Vile and the Violators at Stubb’s on Saturday.
There are also several great shows from some of the festival’s smaller acts. For me, the most exciting of these shows is Wild Beasts performing with Telekinesis at the Parish on Saturday. The English quartet’s latest album, Smother, is easily in the running to be one of the top albums of 2011, and the fact that the festival is the only stop in Texas on their US tour is more than enough reason to see them. Unfortuneately, this means missing out on the chance to see the recently reunited Death From Above 1979, who play with much hyped UK band The Vaccines at Emo’s. However, it is likely they will be back in Austin again before Wild Beasts.
Friday night will probably see me at Emo’s for a stacked lineup that includes Twin Shadow with a DJ set from Cut Copy outside, and Theophilis London and Diamond Rings inside. This show marks the only chance to see Diamond Rings during the festival, as he is not part of the ACL lineup despite touring nationally with Twin Shadow. Another show that should not be missed on Friday night is Smith Westerns and Cults playing the Parish.
There is no doubt something for everyone this year, and it should give those who don’t have the means to pay for a three day pass a chance to feel a part of the festival. To see the full list, which includes Delta Spirit, The Head and the Heart, Fitz and the Tantrums and others, visit the festival’s official aftershow page.