The third day of Austin City Limits brought a lineup of heavy hitters to Zilker Park. With a stacked program of artists, some known throughout the decades, some up and coming, and a couple with something to prove, little was left to be desired as the festival was sent off in style.
Playing early in the day on the mainstage, Tennessee indie pop project Goth Babe performed to a packed crowd. As Griffin Washburn took the stage wearing overalls and a trucker hat, he started his set off with a smooth jam, beginning with “Moments / Tides.” Washburn expressed his gratitude to the audience that with the exception of the ACL-sanctioned after-hours show he had played just hours before, this was his first time performing on a stage in Texas. The set was full of pieces that reflected this passion for reaching a new frontier including “Colours,” “Casita,” and “Weekend friends.” Images of his Australian Shepheard, Sadie, regularly cycled through the screen onstage, a perfect symbol of the positive energy the musical act brought with their show.
A cornerstone of the late 2000s emo movement, pop-punk legends Paramore played a golden hour set to a tightly packed crowd on the American Express stage. This was just their fifth show since 2018, and the entire state of Texas seemed to turn out for the performance. The band took the stage followed by lead Singler Hailey Williams who sported her signature bright orange hair and copious energy, and began the show with a hit from their newest album “This is Why.” The band then went back in time to their album "Brand New Eyes" and cranked the voltage up, playing “Brick by Boring Brick” as the most pits opened. Their classic singles were everpresent in the set including “Ignorance,” “Ain’t It Fun,” and of course, “Misery Business.” Williams encouraged the audience to match her enthusiasm throughout the set and encouraged others to dance through the show, at one point saying “You’re going to take one look at me and you’re not going to feel self-conscious anymore.” Before she danced her way through “Caught in the Middle.” The band ended their set with an anthem to good times, their 2017 single “Hard Times.
Frontman of Mumford and Sons, Marcus Mumford, gave a solo performance on the T-Mobile stage as the sun set over the park. While many artists would try to use their solo tours to try and distance themselves from their previous projects and establish their own identity, Mumford leaned into his tenure with Mumford and Sons early in his set, opening his show with two songs from the project, “Awake My Soul” and “The Cave” respectively. Performing in the month following the release of his first solo album “(Self-Titled)” Mumford’s sentiments toward the project were clear. In discussing the album’s creation, he called it one of the most collaborative endeavors of his musical career. In the spirit of this sentiment, he shortly after invited fellow artist Danielle Ponder to the stage to perform alongside him while he performed “Grace.” From then out the set was mostly his own work, showing off his newest singles including “Better Angels,” “Prior Warning,” and “Dangerous Game.” Mumford ended the show with a few covers from another one of his projects, “The New Basement Tapes.” Finishing with “When I Get My Hands on You.” and “Kansas City.”
Headlining for the night and closing the festival out with electricity, the Red Hot Chili Peppers ended the festival in terrific fashion. Drummer Chad Smith’s drum kit was decorated with late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins’ logo and name proudly presented across the front in memorial to the artist. As the lights dimmed, Smith, John Frusciante, and Flea energetically rushed onstage to start the set with a five-minute introductory jam, afterwards frontman Anthony Kiedis took center stage and the band officially started their set with “Can’t Stop.” The reinstation of guitarist, Frusciante, was not lost on the audience or the band, as their setlist was notably omitting all songs penned in his absence, including all songs from “The Getaway” and “I’m With You.” Throughout the set Flea and Frusciante played facing each other constantly, almost symbolizing Flea anointing him back into the fold. One of the more moving moments of the show came during the performance of “Californication” which was played at a much slower tempo, allowing the depth of the song to truly sink in. The set was flushed with many of their classics including “Snow (Hey Oh),” “Soul to Squeeze,” and “Give It Away,” but made time for their newer music deciding to pick this venue to debut their new piece “Eddie” live for the first time. Despite ending more than a half hour earlier than billed, the band gave a memorable set by all accounts. Kiedis stated “Let’s do it again sometime” before the group walked offstage. The audience, however, was not willing to accept the end of the show and chanted for the group to return until they eventually obliged. Leading the pack, Flea walked across the stage on his hands as everyone took their posts and ended the festival with their 2002 hit “By The Way.” A fulfilling end to the weekend, fireworks were set off from the American Express Stage long after the final song as most of the crowd was on their way out as if to say “See you again next year.”