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Fitz & the Tantrums, Dale Jr. Jr. + More Hang at ACL


At Austin City Limits, some 200,000 fans bounced around massive Zilker Park over three days, checking out everyone from the likes of Coldplay to Kanye West to Stevie Wonder to Arcade Fire. The festival’s Honda Stage played host to a bevy of buzzed-about acts, and SPIN camped out backstage to catch up with four of them: L.A. soul revivalists Fitz & the Tantrums, Detroit indie popsters Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., brother-sister folk-rock duo the Belle Brigade, and Brit-rockers Wild Beasts. Watch the footage below.

For Fitz & the Tantrums singer Noelle Scaggs, playing in Austin was wistful, as just two years ago, the band’s meteoric rise began when they signed their first record deal during South by Southwest. Plus, multi-instrumentalist James King was weaned on Stevie Wonder, and was chuffed to be sharing the same bill. Wild Beasts also waxed nostalgic about being back in Austin, as SXSW was also a big springboard for their career.

The lads of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. were clad in eye-popping, checkered neon jackets, and talked about how dressing alike affords them a team spirit, like a sports team. Meanwhile, the spirit in the Belle Brigade was familial: Ethan and Barbara Gruska talked about how they influenced each other as kids, and even admitted that elder sis Barbara passed down her Hanson and Spin Doctors records to Ethan.