Although ACL Weekend One 2019 started off as one of the hottest weekends the festival has had to date, that didn’t stop the kickoff from being ice cool.
This year’s festival is set to showcase over 140 bands across eight stages, and one kid’s stage. The bands, like the audience, come from all around the globe.
Performers started at 12:30 p.m. and the last acts did not finish until 10 p.m. The day started off so hot that some performers—like the band Houses—had to briefly postpone their show at the Miller Lite stage due to equipment overheating.
However, the crowd didn’t seem to mind as “you don’t need it” and “go acoustic” chants were heard before the band was able to fix the equipment.
Houses frontman Dexter Tortoriello said though the band knows their setlist word-for-word, it would have been remarkably difficult to play acoustic.
“It’s terrifying because there are so many different things we’re doing,” Tortoriello said. “I want to have an acoustic set ready at this point so we can just go.”
The day continued with performances from FIDLAR at the American Express stage; Jai Wolf performed twice, once at the T-Mobile stage and later at the Honda stage; Black Pistol Fire at the Miller Lite stage and Palm Springsteen at the BMI stage, among others.
Festival attendee Gretchen Weerakoom had never heard of Palm Springsteen but said the band had some of the coolest songs she had ever heard.
“(Palm Springsteen’s) sound is badass,” Weerakoom said.
Midday performers included K.Flay at the VRBO stage, who received shout-outs from several other bands, King Princess, a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer at the Honda stage and The Raconteurs at the American Express stage.
First-time festival attendees Morgan Vinson and Thomas Gunter said they got to the shows late to avoid the heat but were excited to see most of the big-name groups and discover new music.
“I think it will be cool to see a bunch of people we like in one place,” Vinson said. “I’m excited to see Childish Gambino, Tame Impala and Billie Eilish.”
The evening closed out with overlapping performances by Guns N’ Roses at the American Express stage and Tame Impala at the Honda Stage. At similar times, a silent disco was featured at the Tito’s Handmade Vodka Stage.
Festival attendee Brianna Perez woke up at 6 a.m. to drive to Austin from Corpus Christi. She said ACL was a chance for her to take a break from her busy lifestyle as a pharmacy student.
“The best part of my day is to just let go and let loose,” Perez said. “It’s good to come here and live in the moment.”
Guns N’ Roses performed for whopping two-and-a-half hours, from 7:30-10 p.m., in front of one of the largest crowds all day.
Tame Impala opened their show with a video of the band walking toward the stage. The Australian-based band performed to a tantalizing video sequence; the video featured Pink Floyd-esque rainbow waves, geometric shapes and a man with laser beams for eyes.
One of the most memorable moments was during the song “Apocalypse Dreams,” where the whole crowd waved their arms back and forth. Tame Impala played several other hits including “Let It Happen,” “The Less I Know The Better” and “The Moment.”
“I can’t wait to do this with you,” Tame Impala frontman Kevin Parker said. “I love you, Austin. You guys are next level.”
Day two holds Billie Eilish on the Honda stage at 6 p.m., Metric on the VRBO stage at 7 p.m., Childish Gambino on the American Express stage at 8 p.m. and The Cure on the Honda stage at 8 p.m.
For more information, visit ACL’s website.