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The Best Of A Magical Austin City Limits 2023

The Best Of A Magical Austin City Limits 2023

This Austin City Limits has been the best we have attended. That’s a fact. The reason? There are several. The first may seem banal but it has been transcendental: weather. With temperatures below usual, we have enjoyed each concert more intensely without fear of suffering from lipothymia.

Another factor has been the composition of the lineup. Contrary to many opinions on Twitter or Reddit, the commitment to fewer flashy headliners has created a fascinating variety of generations, genres, and artists.

And finally, the experience has been magnificent and unforgettable, especially after having seen icons like Kendrick Lamar, Alanis, Foo Fighters, Yeah Yeah Yeahs or Labrinth.

If you haven’t been able to go to Zilker Park or you simply want to feel the ACL in your ears again, we leave you this playlist with the unique and best songs that have played in this dreamy festival and a diary of adventures live there.

Half Of A Pleasure

Austin City Limits

The most anticipated concert by everyone barely lasted half an hour. The messages that came to us from the giant screens at the festival did not bode well. Some doomsayer emphasized on my side the bad fortune of this ACL after losing Kali Uchis at the last minute after a strange resignation from the artist. The signs first warned of a delay for Kendrick Lamar due to problems with his flight and then confirmed that the artist’s set would be reduced. At that time we did not have more information but what we could not imagine, neither could Kendrick, is that a municipal regulation forced the festival to follow the guidelines of a strict curfew at 10PM. That situation caused the festival organization to cut off the sound of the California rapper in the middle of the concert and he had to leave while the public continued singing his songs cheerfully. A bittersweet aftertaste that does not tarnish a half hour of an intimate show, without great stridency, without LEDs but with a lot of presence of art and urban dance. Stories from the street that were drowned in the silence of a curfew.

Unexpected Duos

Austin City Limits

Foo Fighters came to Austin with a clear mission and a huge commitment to the genre they represent. They wanted to pay a noble tribute to people like Ramones, DEVO, Metallica or even Beastie Boys and that’s why they dedicated emotional covers to them. All for rock. Bands and artists who joined in the form of songs to this meeting of unconditional fans with a band full of charisma. They also had a gesture with the recently deceased Taylor Hawkins, to whom they dedicated Aurora. Then, the band began their parade of iconic songs until reaching the final gap with Monkey Wrench and the surprise of the night, the unlikely duet between Foo Fighters and Shania Twain in Best of you. Shania got into a golf cart after finishing her live show and went on stage to make us live an unforgettable moment, before the legendary Everlong said us goodbye.

A Unique Experience

Austin City Limits

Seeing the Yeah Yeah Yeahs live has several irresistible components. First: you find yourself in front of one of the key underground bands of recent decades. Second: Karen O is an indescribable whirlwind so fascinating that she justifies any effort you’ve made to get in front of her. Finally: the visual show is so impressive that you almost forget to mention how terribly good iconic songs like Maps, Gold Lion or Heads Will Roll and more recent delights like Spitting Off The Edge Of The World sound.

A Conversion

Austin City Limits

It’s true. I was an insider at Alanis’ concert. I was never a fan of her, although I was never a hater either. I have never denied her status as a nineties icon and the freshness she brought to pop at that moment when she appeared barefoot in our lives. Therefore, I was curious to see what feelings the Canadian managed to elicit from me. Her nostalgic power attacked hard my helpless emotional defenses through Right Through, Reasons I Drink, You Outgha Know and, of course, Ironic. She managed to take us far away, to the 90s, to happy times. Then I understood that that Canadian whirlwind that kept moving around the stage had the power that only great artists have to colonize your memories and make them their own. Now I’m one of them, I’m an Alanis believer.

The Present Time

Austin City Limits

There are noises that represent an entire generation. Psychedelia in the 60s, synth in the 80s, grunge in the 90s… and Labrinth in the 2020s. The present is Labrinth’s moment. It belongs to him. I was able to check it along with thousands of excited teenagers. He is like a distant uncle to them who is a bit of a badass and entertains them with timeless stories and life advice. He does it with a friendly style, a language they understand and with a spectacular rhythm. Halfway between the most powerful gospel and the most refined electronic music, his music helps to create a special synergy with an artist who, beyond Euphoria’s dazzling soundtrack, has managed to weave a generational moment in each of his concerts. The echo of him still reverberates in Zilker Park.

A Crowned Diva In The Park

Austin City Limits

Suki Waterhouse is pure elegance, sensuality, sophistication and good taste. There is no doubt that she is in her personal and professional prime, but she needed to prove it on a stage beyond the red carpets of Daisy Jones & The Six and the satin sheets of her famous boyfriend. It didn’t take her even two songs to win over the entire festival dressed in an elegant pink jumpsuit and a suggestive pop that plays with rock and ballads in such a suggestive way that your ears can’t help but feel blessed to be caressed by Neon Signs, On Your Thumb, To Love or Coolest Place In The World, dedicated to an ungrateful ex. A crowned diva in the park.

The Last Disco Queen


The disco sucks movement could not end the flame of love, good music and liberation of the genre that they wanted to murder. Jessie Ware is one of her most notable survivors. The Londoner has become a solid reference in the LGTBI+ community and the latest queen of disco. Her live performance is wonderful with spectacular dancers and choirs, a fun set with danceable songs and a unique talent to do all this with a special elegance. Without a doubt, Jessie Ware and her What’s Your Pleasure?, Selfish Love or Free Yourself have been high points of this festival as has her emotional version of Cher’s Believe.

The Woman With All The Instruments


Tash Sultana is a #multi-instrumentalist. She has a DIY vibe that makes her music and her live performances something unique. She is capable of playing any instrument and doesn’t need anyone else to throw a cool party. Although she had brought part of her band to Austin, she was the one who performed most of her repertoire herself while she did not stop singing, constantly changing instruments, controlling the bases… A whole show that reminds us of musicians streets that have inspired her so much.

Rhymes With Meaning


Little Simz is street, she is sophistication, she is fighting with rhymes and she is pure style. All these features have led her to become one of the most radiant faces of the new British urban scene. And all of this came together in Austin where she showed off her usual style without the need for visual gaps or any type of paraphernalia to put the audience in her pocket. I love you, I hate you, Gorilla, Point and Kill and Selfhish helped us delve deeper into her bombastic lyrics and rhythms. She even dared to do a María María by Santana’s cover that left us amazed. Go to see her, she’s incredible. She worth it.

Cold Charisma

Gus Dapperton are cold, not icy like the Portugal. The Man, who preceded them and who are worthy representatives of their native frozen Alaska. That imposed coldness and their attitude make them a very interesting band with certain shades of charisma such as Brendan’s Jagger-style dances, his moments of introspection in the grandmother’s chair that he brought to the stage and the good vibes between him and his keyboardist, which made songs like Palms, My Favorite Fish or Horizons sound even better.

Rampage At Austin City Limits


Mars Volta is a mess like no other. They seem to have come from a dive that serves explosive cocktails with the essence of 70’s rock, a few drops of funk, a kilo of Tabasco and a seasoning of fiery Latin rhythms. They couldn’t be cooler or more charismatic. Hyperactive like few others, the band from El Paso thrives at concerts. Their songs then acquire the crazy and festive connotations for which they were composed and whose context is lost when you listen to them at home. A sonic marvel that provokes endless dances and spasmodic movements in bodies that do not know how to process its diabolical rhythms.

See you next year, ACL!

+ Music in Urban Moon

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