The Austin City Limits Music Festival 2018, headlined by Paul McCartney, Metallica and Childish Gambino, takes place October 5-7 and 12-14 at Zilker Park. Festival organizers released the hourly schedule on Friday and sure, it’s a little early to be nailing down exactly where we plan to be when, but these are some of the tough choices we’re facing.
2:45 p.m. Alvvays (Miller Lite) vs. Noname (HomeAway). Sonically speaking, there’s a fairly vast gulf between the jazzy spoken word/hip-hop stylings of Chicago artist Noname and the dreamy pop cadences of Toronto’s Alvvays. But both acts feature strong female leads and indulge in sentimental emotional swells and we suspect there’s a fair amount of crossover in their crowds.
6:45 p.m. Father John Misty (Barton Springs) vs. Hozier (Homeaway). This is s showdown of thoughtful male singer-songwriters that will likely confound many fest-goers. Here’s the $265 question: Do you prefer your dudes ironic or sincere? Father John will wrap his melodic entreaties in thorny witticisms. Hozier will aim straight for your heart. (If you like your dudes less singer-songwriter-y altogether, head over to the Miller Lite stage where the best hip-hop boy band in America, Brockhampton, will throw down).
3:30 p.m. Japanese Breakfast (Barton Springs) vs. the Breeders (Homeaway) vs. Sweet Spirit (weekend one only, BMI). As the New York Times declared last year, “Rock’s not dead, it’s ruled by women.” This is an amazing time slot for folks who like lady rockers. That is, if you can clone yourself. Twice. The tough call for most folks who are into strong front-women will be whether to take in the expressive indie rock of Japanese Breakfast or the fuzzed-out post-grunge of the Breeders. But we’d like to throw in a vote for the home team here. Sabrina Ellis’ glam pop explosion Sweet Spirit is one of the best rock bands in the country right now. Don’t sleep!
7:30 p.m. Nelly (weekend one only, Homeaway) vs. Residente (Barton Springs). Look, it will almost certainly be “Hot in Herre” as R&B rap crooner Nelly takes the stage, but with the blazing new single “Sexo” burning up the charts, we’re confident that Puerto Rican rapper Residente will also drop a steamy set.
6 p.m. Camilla Cabello (American Express, weekend one only) vs. Travis Scott (Honda). These artists inhabit different sonic universes, so this might not be a conflict for aggro-rap diehards and, you know, anyone over 30. But both artists are dialed into a youth movement that makes them superstars. We suspect a lot of teenage girls (and those of us who are teenage girls at heart) will struggle with which side of the field to stake out.