Last year at La Villita, Maverick Music gave San Antonio its first real music festival as defined by the 21st Century behemoths cultivated in Austin, Tennessee and Southern California. Now in its third year, Maverick Music Festival returns to the historic though tourist-heavy spot, boasting a strong lineup of rock 'n' roll, hip-hop and everything in between.
Below, we've addressed each artist on the main stage – the big, booming podium set up in La Villita's main plaza. On the next page, we've scouted our favorite picks for the Juarez and Arneson River Theatre stages, pointing out a few of the 34 South Texas artists on tap for Friday and Saturday.
The Bolos / 5:15 p.m.
Named after the braided leather tie, this San Antonio quartet rocks the Southwestern essential with the posture of John Travolta in Pulp Fiction — slurring, fast-moving Elvis men in a world of vice and guitar distortion.
Heartless Bastards / 6 p.m.
Behind the androgynous hum of singer Erika Wennerstrom, Heartless Bastards are a perfect act for the twilight slot of outdoor festivals, gravitationally pulling listeners toward their showered-and-shaved garage rock.
Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath / 7:05 p.m.
It all started as a one-off. Having set up residency at Austin's premier hotdog themed venue Frank, Brownout were looking for ways to spice up their live set beyond their tried and true blend of latin funk.
When the band started kicking around possibilities for classic rock, someone pitched a Black Sabbath cover night. "We threw the idea around, didn't take it too seriously," bassist Greg Gonzales told the San Antonio Current. "But then soon enough, the gig was coming up, and we were just like 'Alright, I guess we've got to commit to it.' That show ended up being the biggest turnout of the month."
It has been almost a year since Brownout first transformed into Brown Sabbath, and they haven't looked back since. Their 2014 record of latin funk-infused Sabbath covers Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath was picked up by NPR as one of the top 50 releases of the year, going on to be the most high-profile release in the band's decade-deep catalog. Their subsequent tour, which took the band all across the country, further widened the Brown Sabbath appeal and gained momentum for further performances, including their slot on Maverick's main stage and at Bonnaroo later in the summer.
Beyond the approval of metal heads, the band also scored the biggest Sabbath endorsement of all: "Even Ozzy has chimed in and said he really likes what we're doing, which is wild," said Gonzalez. — J.D. Swerzenski
Toadies / 8:20 p.m.
Like horn-rimmed glasses in the 2010s or fondue in the 1970s, Fort Worth's Toadies struck a cultural nerve with their 1994 debut Rubberneck. Reaching platinum status within two years, the Texas band provided its own undercurrent to the massive wave of alt-rock washing over the nation. With an elliptical treatment of sexual violence and dark fantasy, Rubberneck is a record imagined by the narrator of Nirvana's "Polly," emerging from his basement, plugging in and winking at the horrid things of his past.
Portugal. The Man / 9:45 p.m.
John Baldwin Gourley and Zachary Carothers of Portugal. The Man began gigging together at Wasilla High School in Alaska (most famous alum: Sarah Palin) before heading south to Portland for a more career-friendly setting. In their 11 years in action, the band has also taken a great adventure in sound, shifting from guitar psych to big-dreaming keyboard pop.
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