The Texas sun beat down heavily for Day two of Austin City Limits, but nothing could stop the masses from flooding Zilker Park with high hopes for a stacked Saturday lineup. A diverse and eclectic bill of artists for the day, the list of artists had something for everyone and an array of genres that were far from what you would expect at a typical festival.
One of the first acts to hit the Honda stage was Adrian Quesada’s Boleros Psicodélicos. Quesada, the Grammy award-winning artist largely known for his contributions to Psychidellic soul band Black Pumas, has called Austin his home since his college days and facilitated a show that reflected his appreciation for the city. The show played less like a traditional band and more like storytime around the campfire, each featured vocalist coming up to the microphone with an opportunity to tell their story in their own voice. Quesada stood at the corner of the stage for most of his performance, so humble in his ability to allow other artists their chance in the limelight that one could hardly tell he was the star of the show. The Latin showcase highlighted the festival’s eclectic attitude and mission to highlight as many artists as had the talent to get on their stages.
Representing the pop-punk scene that has enjoyed a miraculous comeback over the past few years, Charlotte Sands gave a rousing midday performance on the BMI stage. She started the show with her most recently released single “Tantrum” and her energy only built from there with a style reminiscent of a young Avril Lavigne. Sands’ support for other artists on the bill was quite literally worn proudly, as she wore a shirt featuring the album cover from headliner P!nk’s 2001 album “M!ssundaztood.” The artist told of how she was beyond excited to play Austin City Limits, exclaiming “I’ve wanted to play this festival since I was nine.” And later claiming “This is the only festival I’ve ever dreamed about playing.” Telling the audience she even called her father to tell him when she was booked to the gig. Her punk attitude was present throughout the show, toward the end claiming “God knows I’m going to get drunk after this. Or, drunker.” She ended her show on a personal note stating “If there’s one song I want you to remember me by, it’s this song.” Before ending the performance with “Dress.”
Commanding the biggest stage at the festival, rapper Lil Nas X made Zilker his home as he gave arguably the most theatric performance of the weekend. A show in three acts, the first, “Rebirth,” began with “Panini.” The artist walked onstage dressed as a gladiator with a team of backup dancers, stoic in his demeanor, until he ended the portion of the set with his breakthrough single “Old Town Road” which spliced in parts of Ginuwine’s “Pony.” Act two, “Transformation” began with his recent hit “DEAD RIGHT NOW” and the story built. The most coordinated act of the three, it featured the dancer’s talents, turning the stage into a platform for ballet. The flamboyance and showmanship of the set almost highlighting Austin’s place in Texas as their liberal oasis. Act three, “Becoming” ended the show with energy. Starting the act with “MONTERO (Call Me by Your Name)” with a electrifying passion. He gave credit to his dancers toward the end of his set, announcing them individually before ending the performance with “INDUSTRY BABY.”
Headlining Saturday night, P!nk gave a two-hour performance that truly reflected her career as a performer, spanning four decades. Starting the set off with a classic, she began with her 2001 anthem “Get the Party Started.” Her show left little to be desired, performing most of her recognizable discography including “What About Us,” “Just Give Me a Reason,” and “Raise Your Glass." Despite P!nk’s plethora of original hits, her set featured a handful of covers by artists she admired including “River” by Bishop Briggs, “Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan, and “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen performed in its entirety. She paused to admire the child’s voice played during “Cover Me in Sunshine” later admitting that was her kid’s voiceover. Her set was marred only by the Texas wildlife which plagued the artist’s set, interrupting her performance when a bug flew into her mouth during “Try” and distracting her when a cockroach ran across the stage as she sat down to perform behind her piano. To end the show, the artist ran up and down the stage to “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” before running offstage for a costume change. The theatrics of her encore beautifully capped off the night. She then strapped into a device and flew through the air, supported by a series of wires, and proceeded to end the show with “So What,” flying above the audience throughout the whole show. The audience joined P!nk as she literally and figuratively jumped for joy, leaving Zilker excited for one more day of festivities.