Two New Orleans acts take stage at Austin festival

ALEC HORTON
Editor-in-Chief

Weekend One of Austin City Limits Music Festival took place last weekend at Zilker Metropolitan Park in downtown Austin, Texas. Headliners include Jay-Z, Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Killers, all of whom will perform again during Weekend Two, starting Friday.

Artists from Louisiana performing in the festival are The Revivalists and Tank and the Bangas, both from New Orleans.

Tank and the Bangas found each other at an open mic night in 2011 and quickly organized into the 10-piece group they are today. Lead singer Tank Ball first gained notoriety in New Orleans as a slam poet, later bringing elements of spoken word into the band’s soulful sound with lyrics about everyday activities.

“Rollercoasters” from Tank and the Bangas’ 2013 debut album “Think Tank” exemplifies their original flare with poetry recitation during the verses and a sung chorus over light electric guitar accompaniment.

“When did feeling sick become equivalent to thrill?” Tank recites. “I’ve always wondered why people rode rollercoasters. And I remember, I remember when I did.”

When the chorus arrives, she begins to sing, “It’s the butterflies and the fireflies fighting in my stomach,” describing the feeling of being tossed around inside a rollercoaster car.

Among other accolades, the Bangas performed at the 2015 ESSENCE Festival and won this year’s NPR Tiny Desk Contest.

10-year-old group The Revivalists is closer to the genre mark big music festivals tend to strive for: alternative.

A turning point for this band was its Bonnaroo debut in 2013. After playing three sets and later signing with Wind-up Records that year, the band quickly became a music festival fixture. Other appearances have included Hangout, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage, Voodoo and Electric Forest. This year is their ACL Fest debut.

In response to the mass shooting at the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest festival, ACL Fest is offering refunds to people who decided not to attend for fear of safety – an offer few people have accepted. Local law enforcement agencies have developed safety measures with festival organizers to ensure maximum security at the venue.

Visit aclfestival.com for a full list of performers and information on Austin City Limits.

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