ACL Weekend One: day two features international artists and massive crowds

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ACL Weekend One: day two features international artists and massive crowds

Billie Eilish performs from afar on the Honda stage.

Billie Eilish performs from afar on the Honda stage.

Photo by Laura Figi

Billie Eilish performs from afar on the Honda stage.

Photo by Laura Figi

Photo by Laura Figi

Billie Eilish performs from afar on the Honda stage.

Laura Figi, Life and Arts Editor

Despite all odds, ACL day two brought even more hype than the day prior.

The second day of the festival featured Diamente Eléctrico on the T-Mobile stage, a Colombian blues-rock band dominating the music scene in their home country. Ingrid Andress, country-pop artist, performed on the BMI stage and The Aquadolls, who give off an air of classic, mid-2000s punk girl power, performed on the Miller Lite stage.

Dressed in the trappings of girls who do not mess around, The Aquadolls expressed their frustration of being mistaken as groupies or girlfriends of band members in the song “Suck on This.” The band is signed to their own self-made label—Aqua Babe Records—and plans to release an EP in fall 2019.

Next in the lineup was Austin-native Bayonne, whose real name is Roger Sellers, on the Honda stage and Flora Cash, a duo who fell in love with one another’s music and eventually each other. Flora Cash played on the American Express stage; their collective Swedish and American cultures created a meshed dream pop and indie rock sound.

Los Angeles-based rock band Superet played on the BMI stage at 1:30 p.m. Band members said it was their first time on the festival circuit and wanted to thank any new fans they gained.

“Please keep listening,” singer and guitarist Matt Blitzer said. “I think this is going to be a long journey, with a lot of music to be released over a long period of time and I hope you will stick with us.”

Festival-goer Garrett Finkler has attended ACL for the past three years. So far, Finkler said this year’s experience has been second to none. He said he was surprised by how much he enjoyed Superet’s music.

“(ACL) just keeps getting better and better,” Finkler said. “I listened to one of (Superet’s) songs this morning and I loved it.”

Men I Trust, indie pop band from Montréal, Canada, performed on the Honda stage at 2 p.m. The trio describes their sound as, “gliding on a never-ending wave.” At the same time, on the American Express stage, 21-year-old Norwegian pop artist Sigrid performed.

Billie Eilish made her first appearance of the day at 2 p.m. on the Bonus Tracks stage with NPR’s “All Songs Considered.” Eilish discussed her synesthesia, where she described associating colors with numbers, as well as her songs and their meaning. Additionally, the 17-year-old spoke about the pressure that comes with being a young artist.

“Don’t give up on yourself,” Eilish said. “I know that’s corny but even if you do give up on yourself, don’t.”

By 4 p.m., an array of international flags had been assembled on the green in front of the Honda stage.

Seven-time festival attendee Audrey Bryan said she was most excited to see Eilish perform, but thought Tame Impala was a hard act to beat. She offered advice to newcomers at the festival.

“Just embrace the music that’s here,” Bryan said. “Go to any show. Go see any concert, even if you don’t know them.”

Brittany Howard delivered a high-energy performance at the Honda Stage from 4-5 p.m. During her set, she spoke about her desire to see more kindness in the world.

“I stand with what is good, what is fair and what is righteous,” Howard said. “My spirit will never be snuffed out. We’re all brothers and sisters, different shapes and sizes, different creeds.”

Kali Uchis performed next on the Miller Lite stage at 5 p.m. Slowed down and mellowed out, she sang her rendition of Radiohead’s “Creep” in front of a full moon backdrop, which introduced a more serene element to the festival.

Eilish took to the stage once again at 6 p.m. The Honda stage was surrounded by festival attendees as the show opened with a gothic cartoon montage of Eilish. The singer appeared on stage wearing a neon green outfit and matching sunglasses.

The first 15 minutes of her show was filled with hits like “Bad Guy” and “Strange Addiction” from her newest album, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” She later followed with older songs like “idontwannabeyouanymore.”

At one point, Eilish walked among the crowd to “Ocean Eyes” and thanked her crew and brother, Finneas.

“I love you all,” Eilish said. “You’re all so good to me. Can we all think about the fact we’re alive and breathing right now?”

The evening was closed out by simultaneous shows at 8 p.m. from Childish Gambino on the American Express stage and The Cure on the Honda stage.

The crowd sizes were not for the faint of heart. At the start of both artist’s performances, it felt like the park was the Red Sea, freshly divided.

Second-time ACL attendee Kyleigh Benson said though the fear of potentially getting heatstroke was present, it hasn’t damped her experience. She said she was not familiar with much of Childish Gambino’s music but was still excited to see him.

“He has a good mix of lit music and chill, softer music I can vibe with,” Benson said.

Childish Gambino, whose real name is Donald Glover, opened his show clad in nothing but a white pair of pants. The performance was especially significant as rumors have been circulating this could have been his last tour before retiring his alter ego. Just before performing “Summertime,” he advised the crowd to live in the moment.

“This is an experience,” Glover said. “This is something to feel. Put your phones down.”

Glover walked amidst the crowd for a song shortly after he began his set, took videos on fan’s phones and introduced his band, which included a live choir. The videos onscreen looked like they were out of a movie and the lighting put a halo around the musician in nearly every shot.

The crowd was caught by surprise when a barrage of fireworks erupted from the top of the stage. Shortly after, Glover expressed his gratitude to perform at ACL.

“Y’all waited a year for me,” Glover said. “You did not have to do that. Always remember we have each other. You are not alone.”

Glover finished out his set with, “Human Sacrifice,” “This is America,” “Sober,” “3005,” “Sweatpants,“ and finally, “Redbone.” He left the stage, but not before bidding the crowd a proper farewell.

“Thank you, Austin,” Glover said. “I love you forever.”

The Cure soldiered on until 10 p.m. The English band added another notch to their over 1,500-concert tally count.

The final day of Weekend One promises performances from The Japanese House on the Vrbo stage at 1:15 p.m., Kacey Musgraves on the American Express stage at 6 p.m., Lizzo on the Miller Lite stage at 7 p.m., Cardi B on the Honda stage at 8 p.m. and Mumford and Sons on the American Express stage at 8 p.m.

For more information, visit ACL’s website.

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