Weekend Two of ACL Music Festival 2023 promises to keep some trends from Weekend One alive. First of all, the weather gets an encore. It will be a bit warm on Friday, nothing too bad. A cold front will land and we’ll be in for Chamber of Commerce weather on Saturday and Sunday; it is going to be nice enough to break out the DON’T MOVE HERE shirts. Let’s get to some WE2 updates and little gallery from last weekend where I was on stage for a song thanks to my close personal friend Jared Leto. The sad news is losing out on artists like The Mars Volta and The Walkmen. The main draw for WE2 from my perspective is M83.
COLD FRONT ALERT: Folks, it looks like this is going to be the single best weekend of weather for ACL in years! I, for one, am extremely excited to stand in the field and listen to music with friends without melting. Granted, this readership is not always congruent with the ACL target audience, but it does not stop the fest from having enough nostalgia and newness to prompt a wristband pick up.
Let’s run through some artists to see, housekeeping and tips and tricks to survive. Click through fam.
Austin City Limits Festival has announced the 2023 lineup. To be honest, I’m down for weekend one. Sure, the headliners are not the ATH cup of tea, but there are real heavy hitters in the middle lineup. I mean Bass Drum of Death, Chromeo, The Walkmen and The Mars Volta? At ACL? OK. Talking my language. In general, we get Death Grips, Poolside, The Breeders, Yves Tumor and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Weekend Two highlights M83 and Tegan and Sara.
Wristbands are on sale in a couple of hours, but AMEX card holders get early access. CLICK HERE to learn more and shout out to ACL for finally putting the real price of the wristband on the storefront, no more fees and delivery and surcharges at checkout.
We know ACL may not always be our cup of tea top to bottom, lineups drifting towards tiktok stars and Youtube trends in recent year. That does not mean you won’t be void of awesome goodness and refreshing moments of zen along with a big dose of nostalgia to come over the top and sneak up on you having a good time. Here comes a list of things you should consider if you happen to find yourself with a wristband for Austin City Limits 2022 Weekend One.
Nation of Language – Friday 1pm @ Miller Lite – First thing I will see, they might be my favorite band on the lineup. This duo, now fully fleshed out as a four piece, bring together so much of what I love about synth pop and 80’s wave hits. Songs sometimes build, sometimes simmer darkly, but their set at Levitation last year was so good.
Genesis Owusu – Friday 4pm @ Tito’s – I make it a point to hit the tent midday at some point to see something I wouldn’t normally pursue. Owusu blends elements of R&B, hip-hop, disco slow jams and straight up hype jams. I’m curious. Check out “Whip Cracker” and try to categorize.
Big Boi – Saturday 6:15 @ Honda – Big glasses, bounce.
The War on Drugs – Saturday @ T-Mobile 7:15 – These songs want wide open spaces to expand out towards, find a spot out by the chair line, reflect on the days events. This stage tends to deliver in the later hours somewhat isolated from the crossover of noise as Diplo floods the hill at Miller Lite.
Dehd – Sunday 1:15 @ T-Mobile – A tight trio delivering well-crafted lo-fi pop songs locked down with underlying synths and an ever present catchy chorus. The only bummer is that locals Darkbird and Caleb de Casper are at the same time. That would have been a nice one-two-three punch, but I am going to take Dehd this round.
Buffalo Nichols – Sunday 1:45 @ Tito’s – Carl “Buffalo” Nichols did some moving, both geographically and musically. Where it has landed him is Austin, trying to rebuild the foundation of the blues, a noble effort to connect the history of the music to a new generation. #tenttheory
MUNA – Sunday 3pm @ Barton Springs – Buzz
Spoon – Sunday 4pm @ Honda – Why not?
ZHU – Sunday 7pm @ Miller Lite – Who knows how this will go, but there are some really strong deep house jams by Zhu lately, so go check it out, get your shimmy on and I’ll report back for next weekend.
Here’s a fancy playlist with some of these artists and more —-
We are a little bit clear of ACL 2021’s two weekends. We dealt with the mental gymnastics required to attend both weekends during a pandemic. Proof of a negative test or full vaccination likely meant that Zilker Park was the safest place in Austin. But then again, a lot of people are liars.
So difficult to let go of being safe, yet so easy to get caught up in the moment.
The humidity returned. Record high temperatures were recorded. There was nowhere to hide. It was hot. I guess we have to move the fest back another month?
Day three was pretty chill for me. Plenty of fun shooting to do, though. Going into the fest, Sunday was all about Idles. Instead, I experienced several gems hiding around that powerhouse performance. From mellow to nostalgic to charming, Sunday’s photos include Otis The Destroyer, Thomas Csorba, Faye Webster, Idles, Banks, Third Eye Blind, Kacey Musgraves and a shot of the biggest crowd ever for side stage performance. No, I did not shoot Lizzo as after I checked out TEB and Kacey, the crowd waiting for Lizzo was so huge that making it through before the pit closed was not looking possible without a jet pack. It was crazy.
Next. It was still hot. It was a dry heat, but who am I kidding. Electrolytes, it’s what plants crave.
As Billie Eilish fans sat in pools of sweat, I spent the day chasing the music. It was a good day. The dust started to rise and survival was the utmost priority,. Besides, we had Bayonne, Taylor Bennett, Superet, Men I Trust, Patrick Droney, Brittany Howard, Bones UK, Gary Clark Jr., James Blake and The Cure to keep us on task. No photos of GnR (sorry 19yo me), Metric (sorry RayRay or Eilish (sorry Nathan) due to artist restricted pits and rights grabs release (looking at you Emily). I made up for it with even moar Cure. See more via the Read More.
Are you attending? Are you dreading the heat? It will be a dry heat. Like that helps…
While we aren’t as excited about the lineup this year versus last, my fest schedule is still full with either artists I want to see and shoot. That means staying hydrated while staying in motion and as you are making the stage to stage pilgrimages, there are some news bits that ACL sent out that you should pay attention to. Click through for the full skinny and a bag policy cheat sheet, but here a few highlights.
HI, HOW ARE YOU LOUNGE: Jumping on the Daniel Johnston thing for a good reason, there’ll be a lounge area to decompress and here about the Hi, How Are You Project.
BONUS TRACKS STAGE: I am going to call this the podcast stage. Lookup the schedule for interviews and discussion panels.
BEER HALL BITES: Two-for-One zone, now, get a beer and snack. Pretzels and beer cheese, carb up and protein intake, perfect.
MORE ENTRY LANES: Ramping up flow in, but y’all think hard about bringing a bag. Load up your pockets. Make one person that is reliable carry through the gear and buy them beers (and water).
It was a solid year for the Austin City Limits Music Festival. It was one of the best overall lineups in years. Better weather would have been nice, but what can you do about the weather (besides carbon offsets, public transportation, solar, efficiency audits, etc).
Sunday was the chill day for ATH for ACL WE2. I wasn’t approved by St. Vincent or Arctic Monkeys. Day six was even steamier than I would like to remember. Consider the wall hit, but it by will alone I set my mind in motion….and Janelle Monae’s extraordinary presence.