The Best of You: ACL 2023 Weekend Two, Day Two Recap
Written by Amarylis Rodriguez, Sorraya Gonzales, Keylee Paz on October 15, 2023
It was a bright, sunny day with clear skies. The crisp 70-degree fall weather at Zilker Park greeted guests for day two of the festival.
At 2:00, Declan Mckenna graced the American Express stage. With white cardboard glasses, he sang old tracks such as “Listen to You Friends.” He also pays tribute to his newer tracks such as “Daniel You Still Child,” “You Better Believe,” and “Twice Your Size.” Mckenna maintains a high energy shifting between guitar and keys, executing both flawlessly. A highlight of the set was the track “Isombard,” where Mckenna encouraged the crowd to dance to the electric guitar. Another highlight included a long guitar note that aided as a transition between “Beautiful Faces” and “Nothing Works.” Finally, the set concluded with his top hit, “Brazil” and “British Bombs“, a track that protests against military bombing.
On the T-Mobile stage, Gus Dapperton brought his alternative tunes and pleasantly infectious energy. From “Prune, You Talk Funny,” to “Medicine” and “Horizons,” Dapperton performed songs from all across his discography that had many fans throughout the crowd singing along. There were also a couple of dance breaks throughout the set that the audience went crazy for, one of them being with his sister/ pianist. Overall, the singer brought the best vibes to the stage and left the crowd buzzing once it was over.
After a 59-second countdown, Mt. Joy entered the American Express at 4:00 on the dot. The gritty guitar, psychedelic visuals, and blues rock vocals bring bright energy to the sunny fall afternoon. The lead vocalist reminds the audience to drink water as he sings songs such as “Bathroom Light,” “Johnson Song,” and “Strangers.” Each track has a guitar build-up that aids the backdrop of an eclipse, referencing the eclipse from earlier in the day. The drummer brings a humorous nature with memorable drum solos and holds a banana shaker for some songs. Mt. Joy’s energy remained bright and carefree as their indie rock music echoed through the stage.
Over on the Honda stage, a huge crowd started to gather for British sensation, Rina Sawayama. The singer showcased not only exceptional vocal and dance skills but also conveyed a narrative in each song, contributing to the overall prowess of her performance. For example, during “Bad Friend,” the singer and her dancers pretended to be friends at first. But as the song went on, the dancers became increasingly unfriendly, leading to Rina standing alone on the stage. There were also many quick changes. The performer began in a white gown, removed the skirt to reveal a corset and pants, briefly left the stage, returned wearing jeans and a white button-up, later added a blazer, and concluded the set in a striking red latex outfit paired with a red cowboy hat. Some of the songs performed throughout these changes included “Dynasty,” “XS,” “STFU!” and “This Hell.” Sawayama also revealed that after about two years of non-stop touring, this weekend at ACL would be her final performance on tour and she was so grateful to perform for Austin.
At 5:15, Coi Leray dances her way into the IHG stage to an enthusiastic crowd. Her bright blue hair glows through her denim jacket shorts and leg warmers. As a DJ hypes her up, she dances around the stage and jumps onto a bed for her during a song off her EP, Blue Moon. With her effortless twerking and dirty dancing, she plays popular hits such as “BIG PURR,” “Baby Don’t Hurt Me,” and “TWINNEM.” She opens multiple mosh pits during the song, “Bops,” and brings a whole party into the crowd. After closing with her top hit, “Players,” the New Jersey Singer asks the crowd for a moment of silence to honor those suffering.
Thirty Seconds to Mars
Exactly one hour after Rina Sawayama’s performance, a countdown commenced on the Honda stage, prompting the crowd to go wild. Nothing could’ve prepared me for what was to come during the eccentric performance of Thirty Seconds to Mars. As “Walk on Water” began, the audience looked to the sky to see lead singer, Jared Leto, on the roof of the stage before jumping down to continue the show. From colored smoke bombs and fire works, to an abundance of giant balloons and pool floaties circulating among the crowd, there was something going on for each and every song, amusing every single audience member throughout the entire performance. They even brought all the photographers in the pit up to the stage for a song and then fans from the crowd for another. Singing “This is War,” “The Kill” and “Stuck,” the band was sure to get in all the fan favorites and give an unforgettable performance.
At 6:00, Alanis Morissette rocks the American Express Stage with her unique vocals. After a screen displays a montage of people discussing her accomplishments, parodying her music, or covering her songs, she enters the stage with a bright smile. She opens with the songs “All I Really Want,” “Hand in My Pocket,” and “You Learn.” Her voice hits every note, shifting into multiple harmonica solos juxtaposing the electric guitars. Her stage presence matches the 90’s rock music, even spinning for two minutes straight during an instrumental. Along with songs such as “Ironic,” “You Outta Know,” and “Uninvited,” Morissette displays why she has remained a rock icon for almost 30 years.
At 7:00, Tove Lo brings hot girl energy to the IHG stage. Opening with songs such as “Pineapple Slice,” “Attention Whore,” and “Cool Girl.” She maintains confidence like no other and brings it all for her last show of the year. In honor of her last show, she says that she wore an outfit that displayed her breasts the most. Despite the humorous line, she explains how she will miss the tour since she loves traveling a performing hits such as “Talking Body,” “disco tits,” and “Suburbia.” With vulnerability in the song “Grapefruit,” Tove Lo knows how to balance a party with a softer side. Closing the show with “Bad Habits” and “No One Dies from Love,” her vocals, dancing, and cloud-filled background made for a beautiful final show.
While still on their At Their Very Best Tour, the alternative pop band made a pit stop in Austin to conclude the night on the Honda stage. This show was something that many fans had been waiting for all day, with many camping at the stage since the park opened in the morning. Beginning with “Looking for Somebody (To Love),” the set started off on a high note and the energy continued through to whole performance. Some of the songs performed included, “The Sound,” “Happiness” and a personal favorite, “Love It If We Made It.” From the very front to all the way in the back, the crowd was dancing all night. Along with the members of the band, there was also a saxophone player that absolutely killed a sax solo in almost every song.