Nine stages, three days and nearly 75,000 people a day pressed into the expanse of Zilker Park this past weekend. It was an awesome experience full of impressive musical discoveries, and artists who felt like old friends. Our local music community was well represented and the visiting superstars were no slouches either. Join me as I recap the last three days in pictures and prepare those attending next week for a wild ride ahead.
ACL Festival 2022 Weekend One in Pictures: Day 1 – Friday
Blanketed in cloud cover the entire day, Zilker Park felt drearier than most years (except 2019 when it was 40 degrees during weekend two). But you wouldn’t have known it from the music and the energy in the crowd. Asleep At The Wheel kicked off the festival like they’ve done for 20 years with their brand of downhome country and boogie-woogie twang. Later in the afternoon, Sarah and the Sundays brought a healthy crowd of fans to their feet with a riotous set of good-time jams and exuberant energy. It’s a blast watching bands have fun and Sarah and the Sundays were no exception.
Asleep at the Wheel
Sarah and the Sundays
ACL Festival 2022 Weekend One in Pictures: Day 2 – Saturday
The sun was out in full force and so was the heat. Saturday generally draws the biggest crowds and while early afternoon was laid back and chill, after 6:00 Zilker turned into an all out party. Local MC Mamaduke kicked the day off on the Barton Springs stage with wit, charm, and stage presence to spare. Oh, and she slung some incredible rhymes along with it. She felt completely at home on the big stage.
Later on in the day, Adrian Quesada of Grupo Fantasma and Black Pumas fame, blessed the giant Honda stage with his Boleros Psicodelicos. An unreal ensemble of smooth, sultry Latin all-stars, the set lulled the mid-afternoon crowd into a dream like haze. Nearly every song featured a different singer, all flown in from around the world to join the maestro for this rare live set.
Adrian Quesada’s Boleros Psicodelicos
Lil Nas X
The War on Drugs
ACL Festival 2022 Weekend One in Pictures: Day 3 – Sunday
Sunday featured the largest ATX artist lineup of the entire weekend. Wesley Bray and his group of gospel singers brought some Jesus into Sunday morning while Primo the Alien lit Tito’s Stage on fire with an incredible synthwave set. My photographer and I then dashed across the field to the BMI stage to watch Darkbird demolish the ever-growing crowd with a set full of old favorites and new tunes. Any opportunity to see Kelly Barnes and company rock out is one for the ages.
From there, John and I ran back across the field, back to Tito’s stage to take in a mellow set from Buffalo Nichols. After two hours of power-packed disco, pop, and rock, watching Nicols stand solo on stage and hem beauty from his guitar was a needed change of pace.
Later on the evening, Spoon performed on the Honda stage and nearly every ATX artist in attendance made their way to the set in homage to these local legends. Brett Daniels didn’t disappoint, playing choice cuts from his new album along with beloved favorites. And finally, to close out the Austin portion of Weekend 1, Eric Tessmer closed out the BMI stage with a scorching blues/rock performance full of killer solos and sonic boom.
Primo the Alien
The People of ACL Festival 2022
As I’ve been saying on Instagram all weekend, ACL Fest isn’t just the music. It’s the people as well. From fun-loving families to the fashion-forward, to friends just wanting to connect and have a good time, the festival is a gathering ground. A chance for people to have a blast on a beautiful day surrounded by world-class music. Hope everyone attending next weekend has a fantastic ACL!
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