SXSW is in full swing, showcasing some of the hottest musicians of 2016. Whether you've scoped out every artist you want see or you have no clue where to start, this list is for you. Here are seven big-name acts that have everyone worked up. Catch them while you can.
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down have been an act worth paying attention to since 2008's We Brave Bee Stings And All, but this year they're rolling into Austin with a new album, A Man Alive, that's louder, groovier, and more accessible than anything they've done. Combine that with a live show that's always been a highlight, and you have an act that's a must-see at SXSW.
March 16 at Parish
The 22-year-old Vince Staples became an undeniable critical darling with last year's Summertime '06. Whether you're a fan of hip-hop or not, he should be on your list of can't-miss artists at this year's festival. Show up early if his name is on the lineup — everyone else is going to be there to see him too.
March 16 at Stubb's
Last year it seemed like Austin rockers White Denim might cease to exist. Frontman James Petralli took a break to release a solo project under his Bop English moniker, while members Austin Jenkins and Joshua Block left to work with Leon Bridges. Instead of crumbling, the band bounced back stronger than ever. Now sporting Jonathan Horne on guitar and Jeff Olson on drums (Petralli and bassist Steve Terebecki still make up the core of the group), White Denim is heading into SXSW full of enthusiasm and packing a slew of new songs off their anticipated album Stiff.
March 17 at Clive Bar
Garage rockers Bleached have put out three singles in anticipation of their sophomore LP, Welcome The Worms, and every single one of them has been great. Festival attendees will be clamoring to see them, and you should definitely join in on the fun.
March 17 at Barracuda
Late last year when veteran synth-poppers Chairlift (who've previously worked with Beyoncé) released "Ch-Ching" — an infectious, slick banger of a single — it immediately made their planned presence at SXSW noteworthy. Now Chairlift have let loose of their album Moth, and its full-on positive reception means that they're a can't-miss experience at the festival.
March 16 at the Bud Light Factory
When you're not sure you can go on any longer, count on the Nashville six-piece with the bizarre name to pick you up by your free swag bag and provide enough rock 'n' roll swagger to get across the finish line. Also, they have four guitarists, and that's just rad.
March 16 at Bungalow
Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals
One of the more versatile artists at this year’s festival is Anderson .Paak. The rapper/singer/songwriter/producer from the West Coast just released a new album, Malibu, in January, and it's already being hailed as one of 2016's best efforts. Someone somewhere is probably already in line to see him.
March 17 at Mohawk