Austin City Limits 2023 caps off another tremendous edition in the heart of Texas: [Full Recap]
Austin City Limits 2023 has concluded, and some are stating it was the most entertaining edition yet.
Every October, there are two weeks reserved for one of the premiere multi-genre festivals in Texas, Austin City Limits Music Festival. A celebration of not just music but the culture of the city surrounding it, this festival, for the last twenty years, has grown to hold a soft spot in many music lovers’ hearts. After a tremendous 2022 edition, Austin City Limits 2023 would be expected to find a way to raise the bar yet again, and after the three days of incredible performances, there is no doubt they did just that.
Before the festival opened its gates for the second weekend, the biggest talking point for those anxiously waiting was the impressive headliners that ACL 2023 had acquired. With performances set take place from Kendrick Lamar, Foo Fighters, ODESZA, Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Labrinth, The 1975, Major Lazer, Alanis Morissette and Hozier, ACL booked some of the most in-demand artists currently but also true legacy heavyweight acts that are regarded as some of the great musicians to ever live.
As day one of the second weekend of ACL 2023 commenced, those in attendance quickly rushed to each side of the park to stake out their front-row spots for either Lamar or The Lumineers. But before those two acts would go on about eight hours from then, there were so many amazing shows ready to be presented. One of the early highlights came from rapper Lil Yachty, who brought his ‘The Field Trip’ tour to Texas. With a blend of alternative and hip-hop, Yatchy delivered one of the most unique and compelling sets of the entire weekend on the back of his critically acclaimed album ‘Let’s Start Here.’
Later in the day came acts such as The Revivalist, Portugal. The Man, Glorilla, BLOND:ISH and Nessa Barrett. Another highlight came in the late afternoon as DJ trio Major Lazer, who was filling in as a replacement for Kali Uchis, put on the energetic show they have become known for over the years. And before the headliners took the stage, Above & Beyond delivered an emotional and jaw-dropping set that was a perfect transition into the night. As the clock turned to 8 p.m., it was time for the two major shows of the day. With a visual performance centered around his latest album ‘Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers,’ Kendrick Lamar further cemented his case as one of the greatest hip-hop icons of the past 50 years. Meanwhile, across the park, The Lumineers delivered what many believe was the set of the weekend as they gave a nostalgic performance that has to be witnessed live.
Day two only built upon the energy that outpoured on Friday. This time came performances from Tanya Tucker, Jessie Ware, Bob Moses, Tove Lo, Poolside, Rina Sawayama and a showstopping production by Coi Leray. The standout shows for the day included rising star Noah Kahan and rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars, comprised of Jared and Shannon Leto. Those in attendance at the LA-based rock band’s set got to witness a truly special show, including when frontman Jared Leto began on top of the main stage structure before he jumped down to finish out the set.
As the night for Saturday took over. There were two acts that everybody had their eye on, The 1975 and Foo Fighters. In just their first year touring since the tragic passing of drummer Taylor Hawkins, Foo Fighters delivered a two-hour rock show to a crowd of over 30,000 that lived up to the hall of fame stature the band has earned over 20 years. As they moved throughout their discography of both the early days and new material, including a tribute to Hawkins, they showed why they are still considered one of the best in the industry decades later. The 1975, led by frontman Matty Healy, traveled all the way from England to present one of the most sought-after shows in live music currently. With tremendous stage presence, the band did not disappoint those who waited nearly 10 hours to watch them live.
The final day is one that many anticipated would be the best. As the festival goers made their way through the turnstiles of Zilker Park, acts such as Randall King, Suki Waterhouse, Ivan Cronejo, M83, Death Grips, Morgan Wade, Cigarettes After Sex, Niall Horan and The Breeders began to take the stage. As the afternoon window started to take shape, one of the highlights of the entire festival came from emerging United Kingdom rapper Little Simz, who had one of the larger crowds of the early day slots. Before the final night portion started, there were three other acts set to welcome in the headliners, including Hozier, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and possibly the most anticipated set of the entire day, Labrinth.
As it was time for the last headliners to close out Austin City Limits 2023, those at the park had their choice between ACL alum Mumford & Sons or ODESZA. Both headliners delivered shows that were worthy of closing out the entire festival. Mumford & Sons played through their catalog that hugely defined the 2010 decade, while ODESZA brought their highly acclaimed ‘The Last Goodbye’ production and featured a live drum line. No matter which one people chose, it is safe to assume they left the festival satisfied and on a high note.
There is a magic that surrounds Austin City Limits and Zilker Park. It’s hard to explain, but when you attend the festival yourself, you instantly feel it. With one of the most impressive lineups of headliners of any festival this year, Austin City Limits 2023 was one of the more memorable editions in recent memory, and each day delivered its own special moments that many will talk about for years to come. Until next year’s edition commences in October, those who were lucky enough to attend one of the weekends in Texas this time around will be reliving what can only be described as a once-in-a-lifetime moment.
Check out more moments of Austin City Limits 2023 below. Information regarding ACL 2024 can be found here.
Featured Image Credit: Image Credit: Ismael Quintanilla III / ACL 2023