Looking Back and Looking Forward: ACL W1 Recap & W2 Preview
Today’s the day! It’s officially day one of Weekend Two of Austin City Limits 2019! Last weekend, we endured a ridiculous amount of heat and humidity to see some great bands deliver wonderful performances. Lucky for you, Weekend Two goer, you have the chance to see essentially the same lineup (with a few wonderful additions) with far superior weather. Yes, it may look like rain is in the forecast this morning and it’s likely Zilker will turn into a bit of a mud pit (rain boots may be your friends), but the great news is you will not sweat merely by existing. You can view the full schedule here, and if you’re a fan of the hard paper copy, I would suggest printing one out at home, as there is no fold out maps / schedules this year. Read more for my thoughts from Weekend 1 and suggestions for Weekend 2.
Must Sees and Heads Ups
Lizzo – This came as no surprise, but Lizzo won ACL Weekend One for me. With her incredible charisma, killer pipes, and ridiculously fun dancers, the crowd ate every moment of the set up. Be advised though: Lizzo is on the Miller Lite stage, which is not a big stage, so if you’re looking to get anywhere near her set, I would suggest getting your spot a bit earlier than normal. There was a massive surge of people trying to see post Kacey Musgraves on the opposite side of the park, and most couldn’t see or really hear anything. Worth showing up early.
IDLES – This band brings so much energy to their rambunctious post-punk
live act that you’ll forget you’re at a music festival. Antics, sure, like many members taking turns heading straight into the crowd and playing guitar or screaming along with fans, or frontman, Joe Talbot, attempting full splits in tight pants. But IDLES’ antics only enhance the watching experience, far from distracting from it. Talbot at one point even stopped to directly address the pit that had opened up to ask that these folks have fun, but please be mindful of each other and those that don’t want to partake. All class, all rock. Make sure you show up early on Sunday to see this band.
The Cure – Also not really a surprise for me, as this band refuses to stop being excellent. Even in the immense heat post sunset, Robert Smith traipsed around the stage with ease, his voice offering a still perfect croon of all the classics. The band sounded lovely and it was definitely a highlight to sing along with these giants. Also, the stage totally clears out before their set, as the pre-teens there for Billie Eilish didn’t stick around.
Things you should be aware of: No paper schedules or maps available this
year: they want you to use the App, so download or prepare accordingly. No toilets by the VRBO stage across Barton Springs. Beer tent snacks are pretty tasty, and the beer selection is incredible for a festival setting, so I’d suggest making that a staple stop on your list unless you’d rather drink spiked seltzer all weekend (but hey, live your truth Lindsay). Stay hydrated: just ‘cus it’s cooler outside doesn’t mean you get to skip out on the H2O. Be kind to other people you’re sharing space with and generally use words like “thank you,” “excuse me,” and “please.”
Happy Festin’! These were just my faves of Weekend 1–who knows what W2 will hold.
Mad love to B. Gray for his amazing shots.