After two weekends days at the Austin City Limits Festival, you may be thinking to yourself, ‘What just happened?’ In my opinion, everyone should take the Monday after the festival off to recuperate, but maybe that’s too much to ask. Now that it’s been a few days, I’ve had some time to gather my thoughts, look through my photo album, and can bring you some of the best things we saw, and ate, at ACL Festival..
Music is the reason we all head to Zilker Park for ACL, no matter the weather or how many pedicabs you’ll need to take to get to your destination. This year’s lineup had lots of changes; from the controversy over anti-LGBTQ comments to COVID fears. Overall, ACL brought the vibe back to its roots, which included some big names and many lesser-known artists that are up-and-coming.
Skip Marley: Yes, Skip is Bob Marley’s grandson, but his music is all his own. With the humidity in Austin, all you needed was a tiki drink and a palm tree to feel like you were on a Caribbean island. It was definitely a nice starter concert as we walked into the festival and got on island time.
Megan the Stallion: This is one of the shows I had been looking forward to since 2019. You might remember that Megan was set to perform weekend 2 of ACL but she was a no-show. Lots of disappointed fans came for her on social media but apparently that wasn’t enough to keep them away in 2021. Hot Girl Meg is arguably one of the hottest rappers out there right now, and she brought it. You didn’t see one soul out there who wasn’t shaking what their momma gave them.
Miley Cyrus: I came in kind of skeptical into this one. I’ve always liked her songs, but I felt like in the past she’s gone for that shock factor. Well, let me tell you that Ms. Miley is all grown up and can really put on a show. She had the whole crowd dancing and did not shy away from her earlier hits like Party in the U.S.A. She’s in the same slot as King George, who I will be seeing weekend 2, but she had a big crowd and lots of fans ready to belt out every tune.
Surfaces: You probably know them for their “Sunday Best” single since it’s been all over TikTok and Instagram for the last few months. To be honest, that’s what drew me to their stage, but I was surprised at what a great show they put together. It was one of those sets that you just magically vibe with and I definitely went down a YouTube blackhole afterwards, listening to all their music.
Doja Cat: This is one of the sets that I was truly looking forward to since they announced the lineup. I’ve been running to Doja Cat’s songs since COVID shut down all the gyms and I had to revive my old running playlist. Not only is she good on the radio, she also came to ACL with an amazing show. She had the set, dancers and visuals on lock. Yes, some people complained about her having a backing track, but almost all singers that have a highly choreographed set will do this. It’s not easy to twerk and get low while having to hit those low notes. Head to her stage on weekend 2 to be entrained for an hour.
Band of Horses: I won’t lie, I considered skipping all the early shows and rolling up late to the Sunday shows since I was so tired from the previous days. But I’m a big girl and big girls do what it takes to get it done and I’m so happy I did. Band of Horses really brought me back to past relationships, life events, even random memories of when I would listen to their songs in my beat-up VW Rabbit. I sang along to all their hits and even found some new songs to add to the chill playlist.
Karol G: Karol G was a late addition and I’m so glad that they added her to line up. The fans complained that there wasn’t enough Latinx artists, ACL decided to listen and brought one of the hottest performers in Latin America. Even if you don’t speak Spanish and don’t know what she’s saying, there’s no denying a good beat and great dance moves. If you listen to music in Spanish, you knew so many of her hits since she’s collaborating with some of the best out there.
Erykah Badu: This queen has been on my list of people I’ve always wanted to see live for decades. I repeat, decades! I was so happy when I saw her come on to the stage looking like a rainbow. The voice is still there people and it was so good that I may go back to see this set next weekend.
Other Music Highlights
Machine Gun Kelly