What was supposed to be a weekend full of rain, turned out to be a weekend full of high energy and blue skies. Austin City Limits was back in action this past weekend after two years away. Friday was questionable, as heavy overnight rains in Austin forced organizers to cancel the first two hours of the festival and pushed the opening time to 3:00 p.m. But, these expected downpours never turned up allowing everyone in attendance to feel all the feels of a normal year of ACL.
My Friday opened with ZHU taking a slightly less chill approach to the start of my weekend, in the best way. ZHU brought the energy to kick off the events that quickly followed by giving the crowd a chance to amp up and participate in the electric sounds and heavy beat drops. Shortly after I made my way to Megan Thee Stallion who definitely did not disappoint. Her maxed-out performance consisted of her most popular songs like “Hot Girl Summer,” “WAP,” and “Thot Shit.” The performance was so favored that both Miley Cyrus and Billie Eilish were there to cheer her on. Once Megan brought up fans to dance with her, Miley made a quick appearance crashing the stage to join in on the twerking competition. She later Instagrammed a video of the encounter captioning it, “Dreams DO come true! Me & @theestallion doing hot girl shit!” Something else that did not go unmissed was her shoutout to Texas Governor Gregg Abbott and the Texas Lawmakers. She asked the audience to raise their middle finger as she exclaimed, “it’s a big fuck you..to all these hoe-ass men trying to tell us what to do with our bodies.” Following the iconic women trend, Miley Cyrus was next in my lineup, who made it clear she was the Friday night finale. The queen herself wore a pink romper with a studded belt and high heels making an unforgettable entrance to “We Can’t Stop.” She partied with the crowd all night singing her most memorable hits ranging from “23” to “The Climb.” At certain points in the performance, “Hannah” was shouted repeatedly for the crowd to reminisce together. Constantly dancing and keeping the festival-goers intrigued, I would say Miley Cyrus was the highlight of my weekend. She killed it.
Saturday started strong with Doja Cat who took the stage by storm and proved her undeniable charm. Her Alice In Wonderland lookalike set captured the audience as well as her incredible backup dancers. Her performance included songs from other albums, “Hot Pink” and “Planet Her,” as well as singing her famously known singles like “Kiss Me More.” As we were walking through the crowd post-performance it was hard to get away from the chit-chat about how amazing she looked and performed the put on! She was definitely a hit, Complex even posted a video of it. Following Doja Cat, Jack Harlow was another hot commodity. His solo performance was hard to miss as he took over the stage with an overwhelming amount of fans. His massive following was hard to ignore as he explained, “you don’t mind if we do the biggest song in the world right now?” Before singing the Lil Nas X collab “Industry Baby.” To close out the night, Billie Eilish took the festival by storm and had the largest outcome. Her highly anticipated performance created a wave of fans that were eventually louder than her. She blessed everyone with her soft melodies that clearly captured the hearts of some. Her more upbeat tunes created a powerhouse, one that was hard to miss. She made it a point to use her platform for important social matters that particularly resonate with her. She shouted, “if you don’t think global warming exists, you’re a fucking loser!” Cheers and chants swarmed the area. Following Megan Thee Stallion’s lead, she spoke her mind about the Texas abolition ban. She said, “I’m sick and tired of old men. Shut the fuck up about our bodies,” as a screen with the words “Bans Off Our Bodies” appeared behind her. She closed the show with her newest hit “Happier Than Ever” which sent chills throughout. As assumed, she was, in fact, epic.
The last day was a more laid-back one as far as the number of people we saw, however, the two performances were the perfect amount of energy to end the weekend with a bang. It started with Chris Lake whose electronic music sent fans jumping for the entire set. He closed with his most popular song “Turn Off The Lights.” After his set, we decided to camp out for Tyler The Creator which proved to be worth the wait. The rowdy crowd was far from disappointed as Tyler started the show playing songs from his newest album, “Call Me If You Get Lost.” He hyped up the crowd as he stated, “based on my skin color, I don’t feel safe in most of the places in this state… but we are in my favorite city in Texas.” The stage had a plethora of enticing effects such as fire, sparklers, smoke, and lights to intrigue the crowd. He walked onstage holding two suitcases and his setup featured a giant rocking boat in which he performed a few songs in. His comedic approach and powerful energy throughout the show proved to be an engaging tactic as the entirety of the crowd stayed until the very last song. Tyler put on a show, that’s for sure! As he closed the festival for the weekend, he made sure to leave an impact by shooting fireworks and thanking the crowd for having him.
Overall, ACL 2021 was well worth the 2-year wait. Each performer seemed to put on their best performance and created the immaculate energy each day brought!