Weekend Two of Austin City Limits Festival started out as most festivals do mid-day Friday, pretty scarce of attendees. However, if you were at the at the 2:30pm Wet Leg show you wouldn’t have known it. Fans of all ages clung to the boiling rails of the Honda Stage to get their fix of the group’s ACL debut. Hearing the crescendoing, almost operatic vocals of Rhian Teasdale during the chorus of “Supermarket” got the crowd roaring before a short intermission allowing lead guitarist Hester Chambers to draw a tattoo for a fan.
With artists like Machine Gun Kelly taking over the scene, ACL did justice by plugging his up and coming co-contributor Glaive into the line-up. As the day reached some of its highest temperatures fans hunkered down under the shady trees of the Barton Springs Stage to catch the pop/punk esque show. Glaive, who was hyped to perform his freshly manicured set for the first time in a festival setting, didn’t let the heat stop him as he worked the stage side to side singing tracks like “Bastard”. He described the experience as “hot as flying FUCK”.
Conan Gray, hailing from just outside the Austin City Limits of Georgetown, returned to Texas as part of his ‘Superache’ tour. Local fans as well as the majority or ACL’s younger crowd hurdled their way towards the American Express Stage to see the indie-pop artist perform his hits. Dressing in all black and facing directly into the sun didn’t slow down the Texas native as he did not miss a beat.
Arlo Parks, who recently canceled the remainder her North American tour to recuperate after playing over 120 shows this year, didn’t give any signs of burnout performance to her dedicated fans Friday on the Miller Lite Stage. The “Caroline” singer passionately conveyed her feelings to through the mic to a quickly growing crowd. As the grimacing sun started to fade, Parks performed her hit “Eugene”, citing her favorite Radiohead album as the inspiration to the track sending the crowd into a frenzy.
As 6pm struck so did the repetitive and familiar C/F# note combo that so many procured Weekend Two tickets to hear. Gracing Zilker Park for the third time, Phoenix started an unforgivable golden hour performance with hit song “Lisztomania”, following up hit after hit. Frontman Thomas Mars voiced he would keep the chatter to a minimum as the band had a lot of music to work through. However, not before he pumped up the crowd for their new studio album arriving at the beginning of next month.
Billy Strings, possibly the most incredible picker of the century, found his home on the T-Mobile Stage this year. Crowds of all types gathered to hear his authentic lyrics and see the sheer speed of his hands. Accompanied by his amazing band, Strings weaved his bluegrass tunes through the minds and souls of his fans. While he claims he’s not a jam-band, Grateful dead-esque fans could be seen in the outskirts dancing, as if that were the case. His lengthy yet emotional performance of “Away From The Mire” was unforgettable.
Out of all the performances Friday, headlining artist SZA’s production was hands down the most vast. The hit-maker started her performance elevated upon the crow’s nest of a vessel fit for the main stage. Beginning the evening with her feature in Kendrick Lamar’s “All The Stars”, SZA had her fans gripping to hear what came next. Her and her back-up dancers provided the perfect amount of flair and had crowd fixated until she finished at 9:30. Though the ever-popular band The Chicks were performing just across the park, SZA had no problem pulling a large sea of attendees to the Honda Stage to close out the evening.