CommonSense Blog

ACL’s 2013 Breakout Bands

By Aaron Strout | Oct 10, 2013

Yes, I do love my music. Old, new, borrowed and blue(s). To that end, I’m not particular to any genre although I can say that I don’t love pop country. As a result, I am like a little kid on Christmas when Austin City Limits (ACL) annual festival rolls into town. This year, we had the double bonus of stretching ACL across two weekends. And while I would be pushing my luck with my wife if I attended both weekends in their entirety (noon to 10 PM Friday, Saturday and Sunday), I was able to attend for a few hours last Saturday and will be taking my son for this upcoming weekend.

Before I get too far into this post and you wonder, “why the hell are you writing about music on a business blog, Aaron,” I’ll cut to the chase. Michael Westgate and several other esteemed colleagues rolled up their sleeves and put together not only a social ranking of all the ACL bands (top 20 depicted below) but recently updated the rankings with the biggest movers. Using these rankings, I’ve been able to discover some new artists I wouldn’t necessarily have been able to see. Obviously brands (and record companies/brand management companies) might want to pay attention to these rankings too because it provides some insight into who is being talked about in the socialsphere (both old and new).

Fortunately, I was able to see a few of the lesser known/highly ranked bands in the past. Three of the newer bands I saw thanks to the rankings were:

  • Portugal, The Man
  • Joy Formidable
  • Kendrick Lamar

Of course these three bands have enjoyed some ┬áradio play so they weren’t really “undiscovered” but I was blown away by how good they were in concert. And as a result of the social rankings, I’ve started to listening to more of all four via Spotify. Based on my early success with our W2O ACL Rankings, I’m planning on seeing several more new/less known artists this weekend including:

  • JD McPherson

  • Dana Falconberry

  • Eric Church
  • Arctic Monkeys (have seen once before opening for Kings of Leon – they were great)
  • Grimes
  • Kaskade
  • Neko Case
  • Fun.

I’ll also be checking out Muse, The Cure, Depeche Mode and Queens of the Stone Age but again, those three are pretty well known commodities.

How about you? Who are you checking out this weekend?