On Saturday October 15, all of the one-day general admission festival attendees from the night before recovered from home, meanwhile, three-day attendees continued to power through their ACL journey by heading back to Zilker Metropolitan Park for another round of stellar concert performances.
When festival-goers weren’t busy buying food or merch, they were likely on their way to watch their first set of early in the day performances. Fans had the choice to stop by and catch dream-pop singer Spill Tab’s performance of “Cotton Candy” which cradled listeners’ ears with silky vocals paired with the acoustic tones of a ukulele. As well as the choice to watch performances from cumbia-psychedelic group Como Las Movies who showcased their latest 2022 single “Café” at the Honda stage.
The single “Café” tells the heartbreaking story behind missing a lover you were once deeply involved with despite the decision they have already taken to move on. The track embodies the characteristics most cumbia songs are known for, multiple drums, fast rhythm and acoustic chords, but with the addition of the band’s own twist which adds synth keys, voice layering and electric guitar riffs to really deliver the flavor of romanticism and yearning portrayed from the song’s lyrics. It was an interesting experience getting to watch these eclectic sounds combine live and will gladly recommend everyone to check Como Las Movies out for yourself.
Across the park at the American Express stage was the awaited performance from headliner indie-rock group Wallows. Singer and rhythm guitarist, Dylan Minnette, began the set with the vocal performance of the band’s song “I’m Full” from their 2019 studio album, Nothing Happens. Afterwards, the band continued to alternate between singers for certain songs, whether bass guitarist Braeden Lemasters or drummer Cole Preston take their turn on the mic, the rest go ahead and take over their instrument in the meantime.
At some point, Minnette even brings out a tambourine as he sings, just adding more to the point that this band’s members are extremely well-versed in having the ability to play more than one instrument as well as being great vocalists. Another song performed during this set was “Drunk on Halloween” which the band commented that they find fitting to play since it was the month of October after all. Their set included Minette going into the crowd to interact with fans and concluded with a performance of their most popular track “Are You Bored Yet?” which definitely left fans feeling more than satisfied.
Afterwards, at the neighboring T-Mobile stage, was a performance from folk-punk emo band The Front Bottoms who began their setlist with “Lone Star”, a song from their 2014 EP titled Rose. As more and more Dr. Martens boot-wearers filled the crowd, the band continued to carry fans through a field of emotions playing iconic songs like “Be Nice To Me” and “Twin Size Mattress”, which was then followed with more recent material such as “Hello World” from their EP Theresa released earlier this year.
To take a moment from the passionate story-telling singing riddled with vocal breaks all throughout by lead vocalist Brian Sella, the band decides to bring out Sella’s sister and have fans chime in by singing Happy Birthday to her, a very sweet and tender moment between siblings shared with the crowd. Soon after, the band concluded with the song “leaf pile” which may have sent audience members home with an existential crisis but also a heartfelt memory of what was truly a great live performance.
People from the crowd then had to beat the clock as they only had fifteen minutes to make it to the other side of the park to catch the Honda stage performance of indie-alternative group Death Cab for Cutie. The band opened with the song “I Don’t Know How To Survive” from their latest album Asphalt Meadowsreleased earlier this year. The song is the first track from the album and was most likely utilized to welcome fans to their fresh new sound which still carries the light and bubbly feel their songs normally carry but now have a more grainy pop and static tone with the addition of the heavy guitar layering and sudden beat drops.
Although new material from any band can leave one feeling intimidated from experiencing a new shift in sound, this change is celebrated as it doesn’t stray very far from their iconic sound and is found to be executed fairly well. While some may choose to disagree with this distinction, Death Cab for Cutie’s live set performance did not fall short as it also made sure to not leave any long time lsteners behind as the watch performed renditions of their classic songs like “Black Sun” and “I Will Follow You Into The Dark”.
Death Cab for Cutie concluded their performance with more songs from Asphalt Meadows, such as the title song and “Foxglove Through The Clearcut”, which felt like the band placing an acoustic driven bow on top of their now-wrapped up set only to be later unraveled by those choosing to revisit the sound from their latest album at home.
One of the beauties of ACL is the collection of cultures and lifestyles that fill Zilker park over the weekend. This year, attendees were granted the opportunity to join the groundbreaking, openly queer rapper Lil Nas X. Emotions flew high as Montero filled the stage with his unapologetic personality. Lil Nas X performed some of his greatest hits including the record breaking “Old Town Road” which spanned 20 weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100.
The audience was nothing shy of expressing their gratitude for the rapper. Reports came out from many news stations including Austin American Statesman that people were crying titling their Lil Nas X ACL coverage as “Every time Lil Nas X did something that made us scream or cry at ACL Fest.” Over the past 2 years, the “Industry Baby” rapper has solidified his place in the rap game as one of the greats. Lil Nas X lacked no knowledge of this, informing the audience of his age and how “iconic” he’s become. Lil Nas X may have rapped and performed more than he talked, but every word he uttered put the crowd in a frenzy. It truly felt like Montero was calling us by our name.
Diplo took over the Miller Lite stage with a fun electronic set, where he even brought out day three performer Oliver Tree to hype up the crowd. After Diplo, Flume closed out the Honda Stage, where all the EDM fans were having the times of their life.
The only correct way to end the busiest day of ACL was by pop legend P!NK. The three-time grammy winner put on the show of a lifetime that almost felt unreal. P!NK’s magical use of acrobatics mesmerized the audience. Each word of every song was sung by not only P!NK but everyone in the audience who has pretty much grown up on her music. It’s hard to believe that P!NK performed songs that are nearly twenty-five years old as if they came out yesterday.
Some of the most popular songs P!NK’s performances included “So What” released in 2005, “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” released in 2012, and “Get This Party Started” released in 2001. These songs are nearly as old, if not older, than us at Coog Radio but their impact goes far beyond modern music. P!NK may have literally fallen for us, but emotionally we fell for her. With that, it was time to go home and dream.
Music has been a passion of Adam's for as long as he can remember. Adam started playing music at the age of 7 in his local town learning piano, later taking on guitar, to eventually find his love in the alto sax. Though Adam is an avid listener to pop culture, he also enjoys spending time listening to classical, hip-hop, country, and all forms of other music. Adam has been volunteering for Coog Radio since Jan 2020.
I am a UH Graduate Student majoring in Mass Communications, a UT Austin alum and an aspiring music journalist! My hobbies include photography, traveling for shows/festivals and taking strolls with my husky baby Luna Zoe.