The End…For Now: ACL 2023 Weekend One, Day Three Recap

Written by , on October 9, 2023

On Sunday, Oct. 8, Austin City Limits, informally known as ACL, was in full swing, with thousands of attendants packing Zilker Park in anticipation of the last day of the music festival. Legendary artists such as Hozier, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Labrinth were scheduled to perform, bringing excitement to each of the attendants.

First was Ali Sethi in Tito’s Handmade Vodka stage performing beautiful ghazals, which are poetry-style classical Urdu music. Sethi’s soulful vocals were breathtaking as he performed a variety of his popular songs, such as “Left Right” and “Ishq.” His musical style takes influence from a variety of traditional Urdu music, such as his use of raga, which is a specific melodic framework many South Asian artists use within their music.

Before performing his last song, “Pasoori,” he brought out Zoe Viccaji, who is also a featured artist on Coke Studio like Sethi. The two performed the song as the crowd sang along, catching each lyric, regardless of the language difference. In awe of his audience, Sethi performed an encore of a solo version of “Pasoori” before he left the stage. Audience member Eurika Sulpya said, “he needs to come to the USA more.”

Next, Suki Waterhouse performed on the Miller Light stage. She began her set with the song “Moves,” dressed in a sequined bodysuit and white oval sunglasses. The crowd danced along and cheered to each of her songs. Waterhouse said, “Thank you, Austin, for being the coolest place in the world” before performing her song “Coolest Place in the World” from her EP Milk Teeth. After her performance, she said, “I love that song. It reminds me that I have the coolest job in the world.” Before ending her set, she played “Good Looking” and “To Love” before running off-stage.

Yves Tumor had an exciting set at Tito’s Handmade Vodka stage in which they revived the ACL crowd with their funky and alternative sound. With each song, the crowd screamed and shouted, dancing along to their experimental music and matching their insane amount of artistry. This was definitely one of the loudest crowds at ACL as the audience hyped Yves Tumor as they performed incredibly. At one point, they threw a t-shirt in the crowd, and fans scrambled trying to grab it. Overall, it was an impressive performance with a large audience packing a relatively smaller stage.

Afterward, Yeah Yeah Yeahs played a stunning set at the Honda stage. Karen O, lead singer, entered the stage wearing an intricate bedazzled jumper with pink, sparkly fringe hanging off the sleeves. She also wore a black skirt with sequins, which she spun in on-stage. It was clear she was dressed for the stellar performance she was about to give. The crowd went wild as she danced and ran around the stage, all while performing an impeccable set. The band also threw in inflatable eyeballs, which the fans threw around the audience. Toward the end of the set, they performed “Heads Will Roll.” As they left the stage, Karen O said, “We wish for peace, Austin.” It was definitely a performance of a lifetime.

On the adjacent Miller Light stage, Cigarettes After Sex performed a beautiful set. Fans cheered as Paul Gonzalez, singer of the band, performed his ethereal set. Throughout the entire set, Gonzalez was front and center on stage, with a white, bright light shining on him, giving a monochrome feel to the stage. Overall, the band performed beautifully. Be sure to grab a coveted ticket for their sold-out show on Oct. 13 show in 713 Music Hall.

Photo taken by Isha Merchant

At the American Express stage, Kevin Kaarl began his performance. With a dreamy indie-folk sound, he enthralls the crowd with the soothing melodies he plays. The Mexican-American singer-songwriter appeared with his band and demonstrated his talent for conveying deep emotion regardless of language. He sang in both English and Spanish and thanked the crowd in both languages. 

Niall Horan also performed to a packed crowd at the American Express stage. After many friends spoke positively about the festival, he expressed great enthusiasm to finally perform at ACL. He sang songs from many of the great hits of his solo career. He often talked with the crowd by joking about the heat and teasing the crowd about what songs he would play next by saying, “I doubt you’ll know this song, I apologize.” then he performed “Story of my Life,” a song that was one of the biggest hits of when he was part of One Direction

He also performed a spectacular cover of “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” by Tears For Fears. He thanked the crowd various times throughout for staying despite the heat and for supporting him. He ended with the performance of “Slow Hands,” which got the crowd singing and dancing along. As a final goodbye and wanting to remember such a critical moment in his career, he asked for everyone to “pose crazy” for a group photo, and with that, he did his final thanks and left the stage.

Hozier began his performance following a bit of time after Horan’s at the American Express stage. With the view of so many people, he commented on how much he missed performing at ACL and how happy he was to be back. He also made mention of how much he loves Austin and its people. He performed songs from both his early and latest work. 

With his soulful folk-induced sound, powerful vocals, and poignant lyrics, the music enthralled the crowd. He constantly changed instruments from song to song from guitar, acoustic guitar, and vocal. The energy was high throughout as the crowd moved to the rhythm of the music. Hozier ended his performance with the whole crowd singing along to “Take Me to Church.” He thanked the crowd, bowed with his touring band, and left the stage.

One of the final and most anticipated acts of the night is ODESZA. They began their performance at the Honda stage with a packed crowd. ODESZA is an American electronic duo, and they demonstrated why they hold significant influence in the EDM scene. They had many live musicians, mainly a drum group, and the duo was the conductors of the visuals provided for the audience. The amazing choreography for the live musicians got the crowd’s attention. The unique blend of electronic, indie, and chillwave genres distinguished them from previous electronic bands as the audience grooved to the beat. The duo performance ended, and so did ACL Weekend 1.

Overall, today was an amazing day of many fantastic acts, and while the weekend may have ended, there is still more ACL to come in Weekend 2. Weekend 1 was a memorable experience as many came together to enjoy these days full of music, discovery, and wonder. We hope you enjoyed our journey with us for Weekend 1! Please look forward to coverage of Weekend 2 by Coog Radio!

  • Andrea Diaz

    I'm a Senior at the University of Houston. I'm majoring in Marketing and double minoring in Public Relations and Management Information Systems. I enjoy the fine arts and love discovering new music!

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  • Isha Merchant

    Hi! My name is Isha. I am a Strategic Communications major, and I enjoy concerts, movies, and art.

    View all posts

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