ACL 2022 blog: day two of weekend one

The second day of Austin City Limits music festival was packed with even more people and wonderful headliners.

By Erianne Lewis | Arts and Life Editor

This morning I surprisingly woke up with lots of energy, despite the lack of sleep I got. I started off my festival day at around 3:00 p.m., as there weren’t any artists I wanted to see before that. I planned on catching the end of Role Model’s set when I entered the ACL gates, but the crew was picking up the set, when I got there.

I was a little disappointed at first, but I decided to just head to Wallows, which were scheduled to start in about 20 minutes. I was able to find my roommate and her friend, despite the intensity of the crowd. We stood near the middle barricade, which end up being an optimal spot.

Wallows came on stage 11 minutes early, and no one in the crowd was really prepared yet, but as soon as the first cord was strung, the crowd began to roar. Dressed in a very on-brand pinstripe button down with black slacks, Wallows lead singer Dylan Minnette, did an amazing job of moving around the stage and engaging with the audience throughout the set.

They played a mix of notable fan favorites like OK,Scrawnyand Pleaser, but they also chose some songs significant of their first time performing at ACL four years ago, for a much smaller audience.

Reminiscent of that experience, they played their 2018 hit, “Pictures of Girls.” They ended their set with “Are You Bored Yet?” which had nearly every audience member singing and dancing along.

After Wallows ended, I went to grab a small snack from the press lounge. To my surprise, they were serving chicken and brussels sprouts today, which were actually pretty good.

After my little snack break, I stopped to take a quick restroom break, in the nice press bathrooms of course. A festival worker was cleaning the bathroom, so I just decided to patiently wait outside.

This led to another chance encounter and a new friendship. A line began to form behind me, and we began to make small talk. Then, I discovered that I was standing next to another college journalist (we felt rare at ACL) from UT’s newspaper, The Daily Texan.

We formed a quick friendship, and she showed me the work tent area of the press lounge, which I had been hesitant to go into before. There, I met the other editor who was attending ACL with her. They were both very cool and so sweet. We then decided to head to Lil Nas X’s set together.

One of the ACL lessons I have learned is that friendships will form in the most random lines and in unexpected instances.

Amidst his plentiful costume changes, Lil Nas X ruled this stage on day two of ACL weekend one. Josh McSwain | Roundup
Amidst his plentiful costume changes, Lil Nas X ruled this stage on day two of ACL weekend one. Josh McSwain | Roundup

Every single second of Lil Nas X’s set was absolutely entertaining. There was never a dull moment, because I didn’t know what to expect next. I think Lil Nas X was one of the best performers of the weekend, because he knew how to keep a captive audience throughout his theatrical set.

It may have been the four outfit changes within his one-hour set or maybe it was the stunning visuals. His sparkly two-piece sets were a perfect addition to his performance.

His set had all the ingredients of a fantastic performance from samples of other songs to transition between his songs, to great energy from his backup dancers and a easy-to-follow storyline displayed through his set.

The outfits completed the songs he was playing at the time, and as expected, he had to don a cowboy outfit complete with chaps for his classic “Old Town Road.”

Even though I was further back for this performance, the energy was still unmatched throughout the crowd. Everyone was dancing as Lil Nas X instructed us to at the beginning of his set, from the people in the very front to the very back.

After Lil Nas’s set, I attempted to head back to the press lounge area, but the crowd was beastly, because people were trying to head to Diplo and Flume who were at parallel stages.

Diplo kept the crowd energized with his electronic music on day two of ACL 2022 weekend one. Josh McSwain | Roundup
Diplo kept the crowd energized with his electronic music on day two of ACL 2022 weekend one. Josh McSwain | Roundup

During this journey, I got separated from my new friends, but if y’all are reading this, hi! I was able to get out of the crowd eventually, and I met up with my roommate and her friend, and we headed to get water before P!nk.

I’ll admit, I was a tad bit hesitant about seeing P!nk, because I wasn’t sure I would know a lot of her songs. My worries disappeared after the first few songs, “Raise your Glass,” “Just Like a Pill” and “Try,” because I somehow knew every single word and P!nk quickly became my favorite performance of the day.

I loved that the crowd was a mix of young children and older adults, because her songs are loved by a variety of people. Pink mixed her hit songs with a lot of song covers by artists that she adores.

This worked to her benefit and filled up her hour-and-a-half set time. I certainly was not expecting to be rocking out to P!nk’s renditions of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Adele’s “Make you Feel my Love” and No Doubt’s “Just a Girl,” but nonetheless I appreciated it.

In very P!nk form, she joked with the audience throughout her performance and wasn’t hesitant to play “the mama role” when she saw someone in the audience was struggling and needed security.

P!nk concluded her performance, in what I thought to be the coolest way, by flying over the audience in a circle harness, while singing “So What.” Even though she has done this at other shows, I was amazed by it and was left speechless at the end.

Day two’s performances felt longer than day one’s, but they were still exciting. I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to muster up the strength to attend day three, but maybe the promise of seeing Paramore, PINKPANTHERESS, The Marias and 6lack will motivate me.