Feels: ACL Is Reviving Rock Culture
Amidst the rapid increase in new hip-hop and R&B, a myth was circulating around many conversations via social media, that rock, as a genre, was dying. I’d noticed the trend in mainstream radio, that little blip of folk revival that happened from 2010 to 2012 (think Mumford or Of Monsters & Men), also seeming to simmer down. Those same conversations had made me believe that the genre was starting to see its end days.
That was until, on October 9th of 2015, I saw The Foo Fighters live at ACL. Although now considered a classic rock band, it made me realize that the genre was merely taking a nap.
The ACL Music Festival has always done a fantastic job of representing a diverse spread of musicians in the past. It just so happened that the world of fast paced vocals and even faster guitar solos had been dormant for a little bit. When I saw ACL’s lineup for 2016 for the first time, I was frankly astonished. Rock bands that had the classic setup (Vocals, guitar, bass, and drums), were headlining the weekend – a complete contrast from 2015’s lineup. A stellar example of that is of Young The Giant.
The genre of rock is extremely dynamic. However, that old setup is leading to new and creative innovation from many emerging artists who thrive on the art of performance. As Austin has been dubbed the live music capital, ACL facilitates for artists who want to be different on stage. Even if that means being a one-man-band, tapping a drum machine with one hand, and performing a guitar solo with the other, like Jack Garratt.
In the end, rock is going to be kept alive by performance and its loyal fanbase. To whomever started rumors about its death, you were terribly wrong. Fortunately, we live in an era where sharing music like the above is done with ease over the internet. Both Garratt, Young The Giant, and many other talented musicians will be in Austin this coming October. If you’ve heard something you like in this article, check out this companion ACL Rock Revival Spotify playlist, on us. Until then, rock on.