Saturday ACL Fest 2018 Picks

Saturday, in the park, I don’t think it was the Fourth of July

Donna Missal

Donna Missal

12:45pm, Honda stage
Buoyed by echoed patters and soft percussion, Donna Missal voices a stiletto strut, transforming into barely whispered croons and rasped belts on opener "Girl" from Oct. 19 debut This Time. Over wax-dipped sexiness in "Keep Lying," reverb intimacy on "Skyline," and soul bravado for electronic warbler "Jupiter," the album kick-starts the Jersey native. – Alejandra Ramirez


1:30pm, Barton Springs stage
Self-proclaimed "urban-jazz," Diana Debrito makes that description sound almost contrived. Influenced by her Angolan background, the Manchester singer meshes trap and R&B over honeyed vocals balanced between rap and spoken word. She's able to soothe ("Azul") and club hop ("Ooo"). – Isabella Castro-Cota

Ikebe Shakedown

1:45pm, Tito's stage
Fans of Budos Band and Austin's Hard Proof will dig this horn-laden instrumental septet from NYC that heaps Seventies funk atop a bedrock of Nigerian-inspired Afrobeat. Ten years and three LPs deep, a band that poached its name from a rare Nigerian boogie single balances fiery funk burners with spacey atmospheric jams on last year's The Way Home. – Thomas Fawcett

The Wombats

2:15pm, American Express stage
2006-07: The Wombats emerge from Britain's post-Libertines guitar pop boom with scrappy, infectious singles "Moving to New York" and "Let's Dance to Joy Division," bursts of clanging guitars, bashy drums, and cheeky humor. 2018: The Wombats are Coldplay Jr., purveyors of earnest-yet-downbeat widescreen rock found on new single "Bee-Sting." – Tim Stegall

Mon Laferte

2:30pm, Honda stage
Norma Monserrat Bustamante Laferte is Mon Laferte, a 35-year-old Chilean bellowing torch songs in the styles of bolero, tango, cumbia, and ska. Mexico City-built from a thrash metal background and other early shades of alternative rock and punk, Laferte's current element is Latin folk. "Amárrame," featuring Juanes from this year's La Trenza, is cumbia for lovers. (Read review of Weekend One performance.)  – Christina Garcia


3:30pm, Miller Lite stage
Christopher Smith Jr. switches between soft-spoken R&B and flirty raps on his 2017 debut blkswn. Whistles, hums, and spoken word cradle themes of love, loss, and fame. Then his sharp and feathered flow fires them back up again. Features by theMIND ("Edgar Allen Poe'd Up"), Ravyn Lenae ("Glass Flows"), and Jay2 ("Blkoscars") break the routine by amplifying the St. Louis, Mo., rapper's gravelly bravado. – Isabella Castro-Cota


4:30pm, Tito's stage
Mike Milosh's dulcet tones prove far from the typical, bass-laden festival fare, but the Canadian singer reiterates you don't need volume to make an impact. For the better part of this year, he's worked second album Blood, captivating live audiences with a delicate mix of pop aesthetics and R&B stylings. – Abby Johnston


5:15pm, HomeAway stage
Become a part of a Snapchat filter, and you'll likely become famous. Just ask Andrew Bazzi. After twinkling single "Mine" went viral, the Michigan R&B crooner's April debut Cosmic peaked on the Billboard Hot 100. For the 21-year-old, sex and lust remains his songwriting cynosure, but his voice soars over pop on electro ballad "Honest," trap bed-burner "Changed," and synth delicate "BRB." – Alejandra Ramirez


6pm, American Express stage
The gritty rage metal of Disturbed seems like it should have a limited audience, but they remain a consistently platinum act. Credit the Chicago quartet's many hits with knowing how to mold downtuned riffs into hooks and emphasizing frontman David Draiman's charismatic growl. Evolution, the group's seventh studio album, drops the week after ACL Fest. – Michael Toland

Chvrches (photo by John Anderson)


6:30pm, Honda stage
By this point, Glasgow trio Chvrches are almost old guard in the electronic pop scene. They helped usher in the wave on their 2013 debut, led by the pint-sized, energetic Lauren Mayberry. In May, they dropped third album Love Is Dead and hit the road with a now-perfected blend of ominous and unabashedly joyous cuts. – Abby Johnston

Sylvan Esso

7:30pm, Miller Lite stage
North Carolina duo Sylvan Esso have become ACL fan favorites. They're drawn in by Amelia Meath's idiosyncratic vox and quirky dance moves, but they stay for Nick Sanborn's high-octane beats. Go ahead, dance.  – Abby Johnston


7:30pm, Barton Springs stage
Half of tenacious rap group Calle 13 ("Atrevete-te-te"), Puerto Rican singer René Juan Pérez Joglar branched out on his own last year with a multifaceted, politically charged, and hauntingly beautiful self-titled debut. "Guerra" relays peace through a war title, "Milo" drips tangible love for his son, and "Desencuentro" features French singer Soko maneuvering the timeliness of romance. (Read review of Weekend One performance.)  – Isabella Castro-Cota


8:30pm, Honda stage
Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay burst through electro banality behind bouncy hit single "D.A.N.C.E.," a critically acclaimed 2007 full-length debut, and a Grammy Award-winning remix of MGMT's "Electric Feel." The French duo then became a top dance/festival act. 2011's Audio, Video, Disco features a chill approach, but 2016's bright and joyous Woman picks up the energy. – Kahron Spearman

The 2021-2022 Austin Music Awards Music Poll is underway. Vote now for your favorite bands, venues, and music until January 31.

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Donna Missal, Rhye, Disturbed, ACL Fest 2018, ACL Music Fest 2018

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